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Thu, Sept. 19

Prep Football: Vols enter season finale determined to knock off Mohave for first region win

Lee Williams senior Matt Bathauer leads the Vols with 65 tackles, along with three blocked punts and two blocked field goals this season. (Daily Miner file photo)

Lee Williams senior Matt Bathauer leads the Vols with 65 tackles, along with three blocked punts and two blocked field goals this season. (Daily Miner file photo)

KINGMAN – Matt Bathauer and eight other Lee Williams High School football seniors will step foot on the gridiron for one final time Friday night when the Volunteers host Mohave. It’s no secret that the 2018 season hasn’t lived up to expectations, but Bathauer plans to end it with a bang.

“Right now what’s on my mind is that I want to win,” he said. “Even though we haven’t really had a good season, we’ve had these coaches dedicated to us. These players have worked their (butts) off. Despite the record, all these guys work really hard out here every day.”

That dedication won’t change as Lee Williams looks for a win it its season finale. Bathauer said over the past few games the Vols have “shown so much fight through all four quarters.”

That drive will be crucial as neither team has tallied a victory in the 4A Grand Canyon Region and both sit at 2-7 overall.

“Mohave hasn’t had things bounce their way, which is a lot like ourselves,” said Vols head coach Clint Sasse. “Both teams are going to come out and do their best – do anything they can to win this game.”

The Vols last won a contest Sept. 7 in a 53-0 shutout of Kingman Academy, while the T-birds defeated Dysart 41-26 on Sept. 14.

The struggles extend much further for Lee Williams as it has only scored 24 points in the last three games.

“The only stat that matters truly offensively is how many points are scored and how many times you cross that goal line,” Sasse said. “That’s what we’re working on this week. When we get within an area, and I consider a big area, we should score. We have to, especially this game.”

Sasse knows Mohave will try to prevent that and keep the ball away from the Vols. That has been the T-birds’ strategy and it shows in senior running back William Robizine’s 1,330 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Lee Williams will counter with a group of runners that is led by Cameron Ott. The senior has rushed for 412 yards and four touchdowns, while fellow classmate Enzo Marino has 404 yards and seven scores.

The two will be playing their final game in front of family and friends, and Bathauer knows it will be emotional.

“There will be a lot of tears on Friday night – the field, the coaches and the players,” Bathauer said. “I’m going to miss the whole program. It’s one of those things you never want to let go.”

But that time will come once the clock hits zeros and Bathauer can’t believe his high school football career is almost over.

“It was like the blink of an eye,” Bathauer said. “It feels like it was just yesterday it was my first football game as a freshman. It’s insane now. It’s pretty emotional. These guys have put so much in and believed in me. They’ve made this season great. I owe it all to them.”

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