KINGMAN - Parts of the equation came together for the Kingman Academy Tigers Friday at Tonopah Valley but not enough as The Phoenix blanked the Tigers, 14-0.
"I saw some really good things," said KAHS football coach Dan Stroup. "A lot of improvement from the defense in one week. Our defense gave us plenty of opportunities, and I'm very excited about that side of the ball."
Tonopah (2-0 Division V) averaged 27 points per game last year and scored 28 in its season opening win 10 days ago.
Academy (0-2 D-IV) held that high-powered offense to just six points, which The Phoenix scored on their opening drive of the game.
"The defense played great. Just perfect," Stroup said. "We shut them down defensively pretty well."
Jordan McDowell-Seybert led the Tigers with 16 tackles, a caused fumble and a recovered fumble. Matt Timmerman made 13 tackles.
Tonopah took a 14-0 lead into halftime after Tiger quarterback Kekoa Makaiwi-Stroup threw an interception that was returned 45 yards by The Phoenix for a touchdown with a minute left in the second quarter.
Makaiwi-Stroup completed 5-of-15 passes for 48 yards and had two interceptions. Gavin Lowry was his favorite target, catching four for 38 yards.
"Our offense has young linemen who are not doing a very good job," the coach said. "They're still not picking up their assignments and can't pass protect."
McDowell-Seybert rushed for 54 yards on 16 carries and the Academy never threatened Tonopah offensively. Only once did the Tigers penetrate inside The Phoenix 30, but that was negated on a penalty.
Sophomore Tyler Balluff had a complete game on defense for the Academy. Balluff filled in for an ill Clayton Holloway at strong safety and had 11 tackles and an interception.
"We preach next man up, and Balluff was the perfect example of that," Stroup said. "He's always been on the edge to help us. He had a whale of a ballgame."
Stroup is excited about the defense's development, but he remains concerned as the Tigers near their home opener. Academy hosts Estrella Foothills (2-0 D-IV) at 7 p.m. this upcoming Friday at Southside Park. The Wolves defeated Fountain Hills Friday, 49-0, and MaxPreps.com has them ranked No. 6 in D-IV.
"We have to play a perfect game to beat Estrella Foothills," Stroup said. "They're as good as everyone else on schedule, including River Valley and Lake Havasu."
That perfection includes the offensive line.