Vols dominate line in upset win over Sedona Red Rock
KINGMAN - Sedona Red Rock entered Friday's game against the Lee Williams High football team ranked No. 18 in AIA Division V. The Scorpions left flattened in what can be termed as a signature win for the young LWHS program, 29-14.
The Volunteers amassed 351 yards in total offense, including 312 on the ground, while Red Rock (6-3) could only put together 123 total yards. LWHS (3-6), with 49 rush attempts, held the ball for 6-1/2 minutes longer than the Scorpions.
"We controlled the clock," LWHS coach Eugene Kramer said. "By doing that we wore them down. We're starting to gel as units both offensively and defensively. The kids know their responsibilities."
It was Red Rock that drew first blood with a five-play, 54-yard drive on its opening possession. The 2-point conversion failed and the Scorpions held their only lead, 6-0.
The way LWHS answered, it seemed like a veteran team rather than a roster composed of freshmen and sophomores. The Volunteers tied things up on their first possession when Jason Ruiz scored on a 1-yard run and the PAT failed.
Ruiz ran for 156 yards on 23 carries, scoring three touchdowns and a 2-point conversion.
"My line executed," Ruiz said. "Without my line, I couldn't have the game I had."
The LWHS offensive front controlled the line of scrimmage much of the time, so much so that Red Rock's best defensive player, Zeke Saxman (No. 75), wasn't a factor.
"We worked together as a team," offensive lineman Kaleb Smith said. "We had a common goal as one. We're like a family, and we fought as a family."
The Volunteers defense came through as well and was responsible for grabbing the lead that LWHS would never surrender. After the offense failed on fourth-and-five at the Red Rock 9-yard line, the Scorpions attempted a pass play but were thwarted when defensive end Landon Kramer forced Red Rock quarterback Derrick Johnson to fumble out of the end zone.
With the safety the Volunteers went on top for good, 8-6.
Kramer finished with three sacks and seemed to apply pressure on every Scorpion pass attempt. The LWHS defense made nine tackles for loss in the game.
"Everybody did what they had to do," Kramer said. "It was because of hard work at practice this past week. The credit really goes to our coaches. They did an awesome job coaching us."
The Volunteers took the free kick after the safety and drove 65 yards while chewing up nearly six minutes. Ruiz scored his second touchdown on a 10-yard run, added the 2-point conversion, and the Volunteers led 16-6.
The Scorpions took over with 29 seconds remaining in the half and, after a 43-yard halfback pass, found themselves on the LWHS 1-yard line with enough time remaining for one play. Coach Kramer quickly got a timeout to compose the defense, called a blitz and the Volunteers held.
"Dallas (Morgan) and Andrew Davis read the play and timed it perfectly," Kramer said. "Just the way they were supposed to."
LWHS added a touchdown in the third quarter on a Ruiz 18-yard run and put an exclamation point on the victory late in the fourth when Morgan scored on a 1-yard plunge. Morgan, who finished with 77 yards rushing, added the PAT. Davis ran for 69 yards from the fullback position.
Red Rock scored its second touchdown with 56 seconds left in the game.
The Volunteers finish their season at 7 p.m. Friday at Southside Park when they face Kingman Academy, the first-ever intracity varsity football game in Kingman.