Turnovers doom Thunderbirds: Mohave falls 34-20 to Vols at Lee Williams in season finale
KINGMAN — The T-birds turned the football over three of their last four possessions to turn a tie game into a 34-20 loss to the Volunteers at Lee Williams High School on Friday night.
“Our margin of error is razor thin,” T-birds head coach Rudy Olvera said.
On fourth and 6 from Mohave High School’s 20-yard line during the final play of the third quarter, the T-birds lined up in punt formation. However, the snap sailed over the punter’s head and Lee Williams senior Michael Bathauer recovered the football at the 2 and ran it in, to make it 20-13 with no time remaining in the third period.
Then T-birds senior running back Will Robinzine, who rushed for 193 yards on 28 carries, bulled his way to a 30-yard TD run, which tied it at 20-20 with 9:33 left in the third quarter.
“That was a put-us-on-his-back run,” Olvera said. “He probably would have scored from 80 yards on that run.”
Five plays later, Volunteers senior running back Cameron Ott’s 6-yard TD run made it 27-20 at 7:19.
Two plays later, Mohave shot itself in the foot again, as Volunteers defensive lineman Jason Sharp recovered a fumble at the T-birds’ 35.
Lee Williams turned the ball over on downs at the T-birds’ 28 at 3:29.
Mohave then advanced the ball to the 50, but the potential, game-tying drive ended on Lee Williams junior Andrew Herrera’s interception at 1:36.
Ott’s 9-yard TD run completed the scoring at 38.9 seconds.
Junior running back Donnie Simms, who gained 201 yards on 19 carries scored on a 12-yard TD run to put the Volunteers ahead 6-0, PAT botched, bad snap, with 4:11 left in the first quarter.
T-birds senior quarterback Brent Moore’s 15-yard TD pass to senior wide receiver tied it at 6-6, PAT wide, with 5:25 left in the second period.
MHS junior Andres Silvestre kicked two extra points.
“Moore rolled his right ankle during his first series,” Olvera said. “That took away a major dimension of our game — not to take anything away from Lee Williams.”
Simms’ 1-yard TD run, senior Cody Ferrin’s PAT, made it 13-6 with 8:47 remaining in the third quarter.
The Arizona Interscholastic Association 4A Grand Canyon Region loss dropped Mohave’s record to 2-8 overall, 0-6 in region, and the victory improved Lee Williams’ record to 3-7 overall, 1-5 in region.
FOUR TURNOVERS: Lee Williams junior Kyle Garza recovered a fumble at the Volunteers’ 6 with six minutes left in the opening period.
PLAY-MAKERS: Senior running back Seth Perez-Velasco caught two passes for 43 yards and gained 53 yards rushing on two carries; Bay had two receptions for 56 yards, which included a 46-yard catch that helped set up Robinzine’s TD.
INT: Senior Atom McKay’s second-quarter interception ended a Volunteers’ drive in Mohave territory.
COACH’S PARTING WORDS: “I’m super proud of this group, even though we didn’t win as many games as I would have liked,” Olvera said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the teams we played do in the playoffs.”
Stats courtesy of MaxPreps.