Cougars fall short on the road to Kingman Academy
KINGMAN – Momentum is a funny thing – one minute it starts to move heavily in one direction and out of nowhere it makes a U-turn.
The Chino Valley High School football team experienced that Friday night as it couldn’t finish off Kingman Academy in a 27-26 loss at Southside Park.
“It was a boxing match,” said Tigers quarterback Charlie Anderson. “It was back and forth, tensions were high and lots of penalties. But we found a way to get it done. We had a couple of underclassmen step up and they did well.”
However, it was Anderson who made sure Academy walked away victorious after he connected with Gabe Imus for the game-winning touchdown with 5:04 remaining in the game. Before the big play the Tigers were facing a five-point deficit after Chino Valley’s Trevor Gianfrancesco punched in from two yards out to shift the momentum in favor of the Cougars.
However, the next drive quickly changed things as Academy moved into scoring position. It appeared the drive was going to stall, especially after Chino Valley declined a penalty that forced the Tigers into a fourth down.
But Academy went for it and Anderson had just enough time to complete a 30-yard strike to Imus.
“It’s one of those where ‘Do you take the yardage and give them two downs or do you not take the yardage and just make them go to fourth down?’” said Cougars head coach Wade Krug. “So we rolled the dice and we didn’t come out on top on that decision.”
Chino Valley did have two opportunities to score following Academy’s touchdown, but couldn’t capitalize. Both drives stalled as each team traded interceptions in the final 3:26 of the game.
“It was a defensive battle on both sides,” Krug said. “(Kingman Academy) just happened to get the better opportunities at the end of the game than we did.”
The Cougars did jump out to a fast start though – scoring 12 unanswered points on Debono’s nine-yard strike to Jaxton Mortensen and Debono’s 29-yard keeper. However, Kingman Academy scored three straight times, including two defensive touchdowns to take a 21-12 halftime lead.
Chino Valley responded in the second half on Gianfrancesco’s one-yard touchdown and a safety to inch within 21-20 before regaining the lead 26-21.
The Cougars (2-5, 0-1 3A West Region) travel to Kingman High (3-3, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday.