KINGMAN - Lee Williams High School visits the Mingus Marauders tonight in the football season opener for the Volunteers, who are fielding their first team of seniors in the school's three-year-old varsity program.
Lee Williams finished 7-3 in the regular season last year and made the AIA playoffs for the first time, losing to Round Valley, 52-0.
Mingus is probably as good a team as Lee Williams will face all year, Volunteers head football coach Eugene Kramer said Wednesday at practice.
"They're very well coached and well disciplined. They're a River Valley type of football program," he said. River Valley handed Lee Williams one of its worst defeats last year.
Mingus is led by quarterback Jordan Upham, who ran for three touchdowns and threw for three more in last week's 42-15 opening victory over Cactus Shadows. His 185 rushing yards included a 75-yard touchdown scamper.
The Marauders rotate through a number of running backs, including senior Tristan Clark, who compiled 106 yards rushing in the opener and caught a 53-yard touchdown pass.
The Volunteers will look to stop the Marauders with a stellar defensive line that returns three-year starters Kaleb Smith, Tim Lutz and Kensington Penny, along with returning senior letterman Jerry Jones.
On offense, the Volunteers are going with Landon Kramer at quarterback, after losing last year's starter Braxton Burgess to a summer basketball knee injury.
Kramer, the coach's son, was impressive in last week's scrimmage at Needles, showing the most athleticism among three quarterbacks who saw playing time, coach Kramer said.
"We played all three quarterbacks (Kramer, Trey Fitzsimmons and Daniel Mazon) and felt Landon won the job. He gives us our best chance at winning," the coach said.
Kramer said the team's effort against Needles was "awesome," and play execution was "okay" for the most part.
"I thought we could get off the ball quicker and we lacked intensity at times," he said.
Lee Williams' game at Mingus can be streamed live at MohaveTVNews.com/livesports, with Alan Scott calling the action.