Surging Lee Williams triumphs over Pinon
KINGMAN - It is true that good things happen when you least expect them, and for the Lee Williams football team, great things also come from unexpected sources.
Although the Volunteers beat Pinon 41-16 Friday and led 14-0 at the half, they also let two scoring opportunities go for naught in the first half, twice entering the red zone and coming up empty. LWHS also had six penalties in the first half and 10 for the game.
"We had a good little talk at half," LWHS coach Eugene Kramer said. "We told them the number of penalties was unacceptable and that we had to do things the right way."
That's when sophomore Greg Martinez surprised everyone. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Pinon attempted an onside kick. Martinez, playing in his first-ever game, scooped up the ball and bolted 50 yards for a Volunteer touchdown.
"They kicked to me. I saw a gap and went for the touchdown," Martinez said.
Martinez reported late to the team to start the season, so his coaches told him he had to make 30 straight practices before he could play in a game.
"That was one of the highlights of my coaching career," Kramer said of the Martinez touchdown. "He never missed practice, and he was the spark plug for us tonight."
That opened the floodgates for LWHS (2-6). After the Volunteers missed the PAT, Landon Kramer squib-kicked the kickoff, and the Volunteers' Trey Fitzsimmons recovered it on the Pinon 22-yard line. On the next play, Jason Ruiz went up the middle for a touchdown. Dallas Morgan ran in the 2-point conversion, and just 24 seconds into the second half it was 28-0.
Ruiz had 153 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns. He finished his night with a 57-yard run for a score to make it 34-0. The Volunteers finished with 259 total yards rushing behind a highly effective offensive line.
"They are like night and day from our first game," Kramer said. "Their technique is as good as any varsity line."
Normally, a team that runs just three offensive plays in the first quarter would find themselves playing from behind. LWHS had only those three plays but led 14-0. Landon Kramer got the scoring started with a 21-yard run at 7:09 left in the first quarter to put LWHS ahead, 6-0.
Pinon (1-6) went on a 20-play, 63-yard drive and just before the quarter ended, Dallas Morgan took an interception from the Volunteers' 10 and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown.
"I knew it was bound to happen," Morgan said. "They threw about four passes before that where I was pretty close."
Morgan bolted up the right sideline and left the Eagles behind him.
"I looked and saw everyone on my left as I ran to the right," the sophomore said. "I expected to be caught from behind. I looked and saw no one and started smiling."
Morgan wasn't done yet. He scored the Volunteers' final touchdown on another interception return, this time for 48 yards.
Pinon added its two touchdowns to the scoreboard in the game's final five minutes.
LWHS remains at home this week when they face off with Sedona Red Rock (6-2) at 7 p.m. Friday.