KINGMAN – For the only time this season, all three area high school football teams will play on the road. Kingman Academy travels to Chandler Prep tonight, while Lee Williams plays at Flagstaff and Kingman is at Chino Valley.
While the No. 20-ranked Tigers (4-2, 3-0 2A Central) are facing a non-region opponent, the 20th-ranked Volunteers (4-2, 1-2 4A Grand Canyon) and No. 32-ranked Bulldogs (2-4, 0-1 3A West) continue their region slate.
The Academy is coming off an exciting win over Parker with a last second touchdown, but head coach Dan Stroup knows the team isn’t letting tonight be a “trap game.”
“We’ve had really good focus,” he said. “The staff and I have really worked hard to make sure that they understand it’s an important game.”
The No. 7-ranked Titans (5-1, 3-0 2A Metro East) are on a four game-winning streak, but did drop a 46-20 loss to the Tigers last season. With that said, the contest is one that Stroup is looking forward to considering Chandler Prep’s ranking.
“Even though they’re not in our region, it’s certainly would move us up the ranks like we want,” he said.
The Vols, meanwhile, are looking to carry over the momentum from their first region win – a 14-7 victory at Coconino.
“Last week was a great team win – it is always important to get that confidence back,” said Lee Williams head coach Clint Sasse. “We are looking to come out with the same energy and the same attitude as last week.”
The 15th-ranked Eagles (5-1, 2-0) suffered their first setback last week to a non-region opponent in a 34-17 loss to Thunderbird. Sasse knows that affects any teams’ confidence, but the Vols are making sure they take care of what they can control.
“Our focus – as it has been all season – is to do our job and to be the more physical team out on the field Friday night,” Sasse said. “We have been focusing on controlling the football game and getting the win. The score will take care of itself if we focus on the process.”
The Bulldogs will look to do what Lee Williams did last week and pick up their first region win tonight against the No. 28th-ranked Cougars (3-3, 0-1).
Chino Valley dropped its region opener 18-14 at River Valley last week, but Kingman head coach Cam Wierson knows they have found success in the passing and running game.
“We have that issue very well dialed in schematically,” he said. “Our kids need to find a way to get them on the ground.”
If the Bulldogs can do that, Wierson likes their chances to get their first region win.
“Chino is realistically beatable,” he said. “We need to play lights out on defense and take care of the football.”