Prep Football: Jackson, Bulldogs prepared for another challenge in No. 8 ranked Wickenburg
KINGMAN – Lamar Jackson may only be a freshman on the Kingman High School football team, but head coach Cam Wierson already has high praise of the “smooth operator.”
And that’s saying a lot considering Jackson faced No. 1 ranked Northwest Christian last week and faces another difficult opponent Friday night when No. 8 ranked Wickenburg comes to town.
“He has a calmness to him that gives way to playing with a level head, which is a key characteristic of excellent quarterback play,” Wierson said of Jackson. “He was definitely thrown in the fire last week. We installed the offense on Monday and he played a game that Friday. It takes two to three years in a system for me to consider a quarterback well prepared.”
Jackson is far from that point – he only has two weeks under his belt and there is still plenty of room for improvement. That was evident after Jackson threw six interceptions last week in a 72-6 setback to Northwest Christian.
However, lost in the final score was Jackson finding freshman Dom Concepcion for a touchdown.
It was Jackson’s second straight game with a passing score and there is strong likelihood he could be the future face of the Bulldogs program.
“He has a chance to be an all-state quarterback if he puts in three good offseasons and learns the art of commanding men,” Wierson said. “
But for now, the goal will be to take it one game at a time and the next opponent is the Wranglers (6-2, 2-1 3A West Region).
While the record shows success, Wierson believes Wickenburg is “not an elite football team.”
“They’re a bubble playoff team – they’re not a daunting opponent,” Wierson said. “They’ve just got a program established. It’s a one-school town, and their kids love to play football the way it’s supposed to be played – violently and with all-out effort.”
The 31st-ranked Bulldogs (3-5, 0-3) still have their work cut out for them against a Wranglers squad that has racked up 1,524 yards rushing and another 1,165 throw the air.
Senior quarterback Mike Mindnich leads the way with 1,130 yards passing and 14 touchdowns along with 630 yards rushing and eight scores.
While Wickenburg’s passing attack has found success, Kingman’s game plan is simple.
“We’re focused on stopping the run,” Wierson said.