Photo by Beau Bearden.
KINGMAN – Mother Nature wasn’t the only one lighting up the sky Friday night, as the Lee Williams and Kingman Academy football teams put on a show in the City Championship at LWHS.
In a game that was delayed twice due to lightning, the Volunteers defense made a late stand on a two-point conversion for a 21-20 win over the Tigers.
“The defense was just amazing tonight,” said Lee Williams’ Paul Giglio. “Two great teams going at each other. Obviously a great score to the game. Everybody just played really well. I love playing these games. It’s amazing.”
The Vols appeared to be in trouble with two minutes left in the game after the Academy scored from the one-yard line. However, an unsportsmanlike penalty after the touchdown put the Tigers in a difficult spot. The Academy still chose to attempt the two-point conversion from the 18-yard line, but they were unsuccessful and Lee Williams ran the clock out for the win.
“That’s a well-coached team and they had us on the ropes there,” said Vols head coach Clint Sasse. “It definitely helped backing them up on the two-point conversion. We got the stop. … A fun one for the fans to watch and I wish it wasn’t as exciting. But a win is a win.”
Offensively, Giglio played an instrumental role in the Vols starting a season 3-0 for the first time in program history. The senior finished with 165 yards and two rushing touchdowns. While Lee Williams has never started a season 3-0, it did win three straight games in 2014 – Giglio’s freshman year.
“It’s been three years,” Giglio said. “It means a lot. It’s my senior year, it feels amazing. Just can’t wait for the journey.”
The Vols other score came through the air as AJ Herrera found Hunter Sturgill for a 16-yard touchdown.
Lee Williams finished with 339 total yards of offense – 243 rushing and 96 passing.
Defensively, the Vols forced four fumbles and Cameron Ott also intercepted a pass. Kael Juelfs led the way with 11 tackles, while Ott and Sturgill each had seven.
“All facets of the game played pretty well,” Sasse said. “Both sides of the ball played extremely well. It was a little sloppy, but you can’t expect much more with the weather we were dealt. That’s just football.”
Lee Williams is the road Friday for a 7 p.m. contest against Mingus. It will be the first of five straight 4A Grand Canyon Region opponents and Sasse knows it will be tough.
“We have to play better and keep doing what we’re doing – just making strides every week,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing now. It’s a tough region full of hammers. It’ll be fun though. We’re looking forward to it.”