Photo by Shawn Byrne.
KINGMAN – Trailing 20-16 at halftime, Kingman Academy was confident it had made the adjustments necessary to knock off 2A Conference No. 12 Chandler Prep in the second half Saturday at Southside Park.
The No. 30-ranked Tigers came out in the third quarter inspired, shut out the Titans over the last 24 minutes 30-0, and came away with a 46-20 non-region win.
“The first half we were just trying to get used to it,” said sophomore offensive tackle Bryan Jones (6-3, 235). “The second half we came out, fired it up and were ready to go win the game.”
The tide quickly turned in Kingman Academy’s favor in the third. Chandler Prep (6-2) took the kickoff and on its second play from scrimmage the chinks in the Titans’ armor began appearing.
Running back Trey Harris, who accounted for most of Chandler’s offense (stats for the Titans were not available), broke free down the left sideline for a large gain but found Tiger safety Clayton Holloway waiting for him. In bringing down Harris, Holloway forced a fumble that was scooped up by linebacker Jordan McDowell-Seybert who ran it back for a 65-yard touchdown. McDowell-Seybert ran in the two-point conversion, he had four in the game, and Academy led, 24-20.
The Tigers defense again prevailed, forcing Chandler to a three-and-out. Kingman Academy (4-3) took over on its own 48 and four plays later McDowell-Seybert bounced it outside for a 27-yard touchdown run. After his fourth conversion it was 32-20.
McDowell-Seybert rushed for 125 yards on 24 carries for three TDs. Holloway had 10 touches for 153 yards and touchdown runs of 70 and 55 yards that sealed the win in the fourth quarter.
When Harris wasn’t running the ball for Chandler, the Titans liked to try getting over the top of the Tigers’ defense like they did on a 35-yard TD pass in the second quarter to take that 20-16 halftime lead.
That was one of the adjustments Kingman Academy made at the half, and the Tigers were ready for it over the final two quarters. Junior Jacob Kidd had two interceptions, one in the third and the other in the fourth quarter for the Tigers.
“We just stayed deep and stayed on top,” the defensive back said.
Kidd’s interception in the fourth came in the end zone as Chandler threatened. Kidd was all alone for the catch.
“I felt like the receiver,” he said. “It was great.”
McDowell-Seybert led the defense with 16 tackles and blocked a PAT. Defensive lineman Kannon Butler had 13 tackles, two hurries and a quarterback knockdown. Khaleel El-Awik had 11 tackles, and the Tigers picked off four Titans passes with Koa Makaiwi-Stroup and Holloway each picking off one.
Makaiwi-Stroup completed 8-of-13 passes for 102 yards as quarterback. He completed four passes to freshman Hayven Potter for 77 yards, including a long of 44. Donnie Tatham, stepping up for Nate Carter who was out, caught three for 24 yards.
“It was a big win for us moving forward and trying to capture a region title and make the state playoffs,” said KAHS football coach Dan Stroup. “We have a lot of work still to do. We just need to be consistent.”
The Tigers, 2-1 in the 2A Central Region, have a showdown with Tonopah Valley (5-2, 3-0) at 6 p.m. Saturday at Southside Park. Tonopah beat Parker on Friday, 30-28.
“Tonopah is tough,” Stroup said. “Our destiny is in our own hands. And that’s a big thing.”