KINGMAN - When Jason Ruiz scored on a 3-yard run with 48 seconds left, it looked and felt like a tough night on the Sedona Red Rock football field was going to have a happy ending for the Lee Williams High Volunteers.
But the Scorpions had one last big-play bite, capping a frantic drive with a short touchdown pass with one second left, giving them a 21-19 win over the Volunteers.
"It was one of the hardest losses I've ever had to witness as a coach," LWHS's Eugene Kramer said.
And it happened just as Kramer feared it would. Red Rock (6-3, 3-2 section) scored twice in the second quarter, once on a long pass play, once on a long run, to lead 14-7 at the break.
"They had a lot of offense, a lot of big plays, a lot of speed," Kramer said. "They scored on the long pass and the long run because of their speed. It was one broken tackle and they were gone."
The biggest play after the Volunteers (6-3, 3-2 section) took the lead late was a 40-yard pass completed into double coverage. "He made a great catch on us," Kramer said of the speedy Red Rock receiver.
The Scorpions followed that with 10-yard and 5-yard completions, the last for a touchdown, to leave the Volunteers and their coach shocked at the outcome.
LWHS scored first, taking a 7-0 lead on a 20-yard pass from Braxton Burgess to Dallas Morgan. Andrew Davis's touchdown run in the third quarter cut Red Rock's lead to 14-13, with Ruiz crossing the goal line late in the fourth to cap a 50-yard drive and wrap up 342 yards of total offense amassed by Lee Williams.
"To have that much offense and only 19 points - that's just tough on us," Kramer said.
Ruiz led the Volunteers with 142 yards on 16 carries.
The mood on the bus for the long trip home was "somber," Kramer said, but that shouldn't carry over to Friday's game against Kingman Academy, not with a playoff berth on the line.
"I don't think we'll have any trouble getting ready for Friday," Kramer said. "Kingman Academy might be the best team we'll see. It will be a great matchup."