Photo by JC Amberlyn.
KINGMAN – Trevor Lowry picked off Kingman’s Miguel Salinas four minutes into Friday’s game, and Kingman Academy rode that wave of momentum to the end and drubbed the Bulldogs at KHS, 48-0.
Kingman (0-2, 3A West) had the early advantage. They forced Kingman Academy (1-1, 2A Central) to punt on its opening possession, and the Bulldogs had moved the ball 34 yards on three plays and a penalty. But then came the interception.
Four plays later, the Tigers converted on a 29-yard Jordan McDowell-Seybert touchdown run. Academy then forced the Bulldogs to punt on their ensuing possession and went on a 13-play, 70-yard touchdown drive, capped by Clayton Holloway’s four-yard scamper for the score.
From then the rout was on. Academy scored 28 points in the second quarter to lead at the half, 35-0.
One of the big differences for the Tigers this week was the turnover game. Academy didn’t cough the ball up once against Kingman after turning it over seven times in last week’s loss to Bourgade Catholic.
“We’re the same team,” said KAHS coach Dan Stroup. “Win, lose or draw, we just need to keep growing and moving forward. The biggest improvement comes between Games 1 and 2. You’re either getting better, or you’re getting worse.”
Academy defensive tackle Kannon Butler didn’t record many tackles, but he had the Bulldogs’ attention playing a major role in the shutout. The Tigers held Kingman to 127 yards in total offense and forced the one turnover.
“No. 8 (Butler) dominated us,” said KHS coach Cam Wierson. “We couldn’t touch that kid. He single-handedly ruined our offense.”
Lowry led the Academy defense with seven tackles and a pass breakup. McDowell-Seybert recorded six tackles and two quarterback knockdowns, and Holloway had six tackles.
The Tigers’ offensive and defensive lines simply owned the line of scrimmage throughout the night. Senior guard and defensive tackle Dillon Zorn said it was all about strength.
“All year in the weight room,” he said. “We just put it on them. We drove them and drove them the best we could. The line was phenomenal. Everyone worked hard on their job.”
Academy junior quarterback Kekoa Makaiwi-Stroup arguably had his best game of his career for the Tigers. He’s been taking the snaps on varsity since his freshman year. He completed 9-of-13 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with Nate Carter, who finished with three catches for 88 yards, on a 54-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Makaiwi-Stroup hit freshman Hayven Potter for a 25-yard touchdown on a catch-and-run with Potter bouncing off of Kingman tacklers in the second quarter.
“Hayven made a really nice play,” Stroup said. “He didn’t accept being tackled.”
Makaiwi-Stroup said once the Tigers got their blocking assignments in order, the offense began moving. Academy had 416 yards of total offense.
“We had to pick up the blitzes,” Makaiwi-Stroup said. “They were blitzing and we weren’t stopping them at first. By the end we fixed it, and we kept playing football.”
McDowell-Seybert led the rushing attack with 131 yards on 12 carries. He rushed for two touchdowns, the 29-yarder and added a 53-yard TD run.
Joey Martin carried twice and ran for a 66-yard score late in the game.
Academy plays for the City Championship at Lee Williams (1-1, 4A Grand Canyon) next Friday. The Vols were run over by Dysart in El Mirage Friday, 56-0.