Prep Football: Fresh off a bye week, Vols ready to get first region win
KINGMAN – It’s not often a team has a bye week so late in the season, but the Lee Williams High School football team used its time off to gain a new outlook for the final stretch.
The Vols only have four games left and the drive to a strong finish starts tonight against Flagstaff in the NAU Walkup Skydome.
“The sense of urgency has been there, but now after we had time to self-reflect and know what we have in front of us. Everybody is hungry for a win,” said Lee Williams head coach Clint Sasse. “We have to come out and play our game. If we do that, we’ll win – hands down.”
The No. 35 ranked Vols (2-4, 0-2) have dialed up their mental focus during the last two weeks and that could pay dividend against the 31st-ranked Eagles (2-4, 1-2).
“We’re just all mentally sharper and all better football players and football coaches after the break,” Sasse said. “We go out to practice and you see that we’re not making those little mistakes we made two weeks ago.”
Junior AJ Herrera shared the same thoughts as he said the team had time to refocus and lock in again.
Lee Williams will need to fire on all cylinders against a Flagstaff team that is led by Luis Jaramillo. The sophomore running back has 760 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns this season.
“Flagstaff is a good team,” Herrera said. “We can’t sleep on any team in our region because they’re all capable of being really good. We match up really well with Flagstaff. If we do our jobs and stick to the game plan, we’ll have a really good chance to win.”
The Vols do have a slight advantage in preparation as the Eagles lost 42-7 to Bradshaw Mountain last week. There’s a chance Flagstaff will be banged up a little bit and Lee Williams hopes to take advantage.
“We watched a lot of film and have a really good idea of what they’re going to try to attack us with – offensively and defensively,” Sasse said. “We’re going to look to exploit their weaknesses.”
The atmosphere should also help create a great environment for both squads, especially in a stadium where a college team laces up its cleats.
“Everyone is really excited to play in a D-I dome,” Herrera said. “It’s a great experience. It’s fun too. We’re all excited for this game – it’s a must-win. But we’re going to go out there and do our jobs and have a good game.”