KINGMAN – The Kingman Academy High School team jumped out to another fast start on the road, but couldn’t hold on Friday night in a 34-28 overtime loss to Parker.
“We have to learn to play with the lead, keep executing and not let off,” said Tigers head coach John Morgando. “We can’t play flat.”
Academy (0-2) was anything but flat in the second quarter – scoring three touchdowns for a 21-6 halftime lead. Dallas Edwards found Nate Perea for each score and it appeared the momentum was in the favor of the Tigers.
“The start of the game Parker was playing pretty up on us – selling out to stop the run,” Morgando said. “So we managed to get over the top of them a couple of times with deep passes. Then later we came back with some underneath stuff that worked as well.”
Academy’s passing strategy didn’t find as much success in the second half though. The Broncs knew Edwards and Perea had burned them and started playing tight coverage.
“They started sitting on some of his routes,” Morgando said of Perea. “It led to a couple of turnovers that way. They were sitting over the top, underneath him.”
However, the momentum shift happened late in the third quarter when Parker scored on a safety and then added a touchdown only eight seconds into the fourth quarter to cut Academy’s lead to 21-14.
It didn’t get better for the Tigers as Edwards was intercepted on the first play of the next drive and the turnover led to six more Parker points.
But Edwards bounced back with another touchdown pass to Perea to increase Academy’s advantage to 28-20 with 5:39 left in the game.
The Broncs weren’t going away though, driving down the field for six points and a successful two-point conversion to knot it up, 28-28.
In overtime, the turnover bug struck again as Parker intercepted a pass and scored two plays later for the win.
“The second half was the difference-maker,” Morgando said. “Parker came out hard and executed their game plan a little better than we executed ours.”
Perea finished the game with 10 catches for 218 yards and four touchdowns to lead the offense. Edwards completed 11-of-23 passes for 223 yards with four scores and three interceptions. The Tigers didn’t fare as well on the ground – rushing for only seven yards.
Academy is back in Kingman at 7 p.m. Friday as it makes the short drive to Lee Williams (1-2).