Bulldogs battle, but end season with loss at Wickenburg
KINGMAN – The Kingman High School football team was dealt an unexpected blow as the first half came to a close Friday night at Wickenburg.
It ended up being the difference-maker, too, as momentum swung the wrong direction in a 14-6 loss to the No. 26 ranked Wranglers.
“We ran wedge run play and our guy was down and the white hat official yelled ‘play is over,’” Bulldogs head coach Russ Stryker said. “He reaches up to hand the ball to the official and a kid from Wickenburg takes the ball and runs it 60 yards for a touchdown. And they rule it a touchdown. We were stunned. That was a crazy play.”
The Bulldogs were still in the game until the fourth quarter as Austin Dias scored a touchdown to inch within 14-6.
Kingman kicked an onside kick, but couldn’t score on the potential game-tying drive.
“We were marching down and we fell short,” Stryker said. “We turned it over on downs at about Wickenburg’s 20-yard line. It was just a heck of a game, it really was. I felt bad for the kids that we had to end up losing it, but I felt good that they really competed hard for the whole game.”
Dias led the Bulldogs with 132 yards and a score, while Gavin Randall added 23 yards on the ground.
Defensively, Dias finished with seven solo tackles, a forced and recovered fumble and a sack.
Joey Drumright added four solo stops and a fumble recovery, while Charles Williamson and Powers Corbin each notched four solo tackles.
“It was an in the trenches dog fight the whole game,” Stryker said. “The kids competed really well. There was a lot of really big hitting and that’s kind of how we expected it to go down. We just ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard.”
The Bulldogs finish the 2019 campaign at 4-5, 1-3 in the 3A West Region and will have to rebuild as 16 seniors won’t be on the team next season.