The Williams Vikings football team beat close rival Sedona 48-20 Oct. 18 in Sedona. The Vikings were seeded 12 and Sedona was seeded 13 in Power Point standings.
Coach Jeff Brownlee said it was a nice win.
"This was our best offensive performance through the whole year," he said. "We ran for a total of 516 yards on the ground, which was our best running effort through the season."
Joaquin Salaz ran the ball 12 times for 182 yards, Coty Baxter ran the ball 14 times for 130 yards and Kristian Holmes ran the ball 15 times for 200 yards.
The Vikes' offensive line came out and set the stage right away with strong blocking and continued throughout the game.
In the first quarter, Salaz ran 26 yards for a touchdown and also returned a 20-yard fumble for a touchdown.
"Our defense caused them tons of problems," Brownlee said. "We had several turnovers and deep in their area, which allowed us to score pretty quick as well."
After the first quarter the score was 14-0.
Baxter had a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Salaz had another 15-yard touchdown run, but Sedona managed to get in the end zone making the halftime score 28-6.
In the third quarter, Salaz had a 3-yard touchdown run. The Vikings ended the third quarter with a 35-6 lead.
Sedona started the fourth quarter by scoring six points, but the Vikes followed up by scoring themselves on a 1-yard touchdown by Aiden Grantham. Sedona came back and scored again and successfully completed a two-point conversion. But again, the Vikings answered with a final 4-yard touchdown run by Holmes, making the final score 48-20.
The Vikings allowed Sedona to score 14 points in the fourth quarter. Brownlee said the team may have allowed the score to influence their performance in the fourth quarter, but overall he was satisfied with a great team performance.
"We dominated the game from start to finish," Brownlee said. "When it is number 12 against number 13 and we go to their place and beat them 48-20."
Brownlee said the Sedona team is well-coached, but the Vikes went there and played hard and got the win.
Williams v. Kingman Academy
With a close win (20-13) on Oct. 25 against Kingman Academy at home, the Vikings moved to 7-2 for the season and number 10 in Power Point standings.
Brownlee said that Kingman Academy surprised the Vikings.
"They came out and played hard football," he said.
Both teams were hampered by turnovers. The Vikings had four fumbles and one interception.
"It's tough to win many football games that way," said Brownlee, emphasizing that the Vikings won because Kingman Academy struggled with the same issues.
"Was it the prettiest football game I've ever seen?" Brownlee asked. "But good football teams find ways to win when they are not working on all cylinders."
He said the game was a result of the Vikings not having a good practice week, with kids gone or sick, and that was reflected in their performance on the field.
"Kingman Academy came out, and at times, it looked like they wanted this football game more than we did," Brownlee said.
In the second half, the Vikes played better football and they came away with the win.
On the opening drive in the first quarter, the Vikings drove the ball clear to Kingman Academy's 1-yard line, but they could not get in the end zone because of penalties and missed blocks.
Kingman Academy had a hard time moving the ball and missed a snap on the punt, which allowed the Vikings to get the ball back at Kingman's 10-yard line.
Holmes ran for 8 yards to score a touchdown giving the Vikes a seven-point lead.
The Vikings endured more fumbles in the second quarter that prevented them from moving the ball as well as they wanted to and they could not capitalize when they needed to.
After the Vikes fumbled the football deep in their area, Kingman Academy took advantage of it and scored, tying the game headed into halftime.
Offensively, Brownlee said the team is young up front because of some key injuries to the offensive line. This has allowed freshmen to play a lot of football, but they are still learning and it has hurt the team a little bit. But, Brownlee said it was a pretty good defensive game up to that point.
"All year our defense has been a little better than our offense," he said. "Those kids hit and pursue the ball very well and we have a great group on defense."
The Vikings scored twice in the third quarter with Salaz running 26 yards for a touchdown and completing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Holmes making the score 20-7.
In the fourth quarter, the Vikings had some costly turnovers that allowed Kingman Academy to score, making the score 20-13.
Brownlee said the close score made the coaches nervous, but the Vikings played some good defense and got some key turnovers and they ended up walking away with a 20-13 win.
"Our performance wasn't very crisp due to the fact that we had kids missing at practice," he said. "Our kids play better than what they did that day."
Salaz ran the ball 13 times for 97 yards and was the team's leading rusher. The Vikings ended the game with 163 yards on the ground.
"If we hadn't had so many turnovers, our statistics would be a little better," Brownlee said. "But it was good to see the kids have a little heart and come out in the second half and win that football game for us."
The Vikings play their final game of the regular season against Greyhills Academy Friday in Tuba City. They expect to make the playoffs, which start on Nov. 8.