By Lonnie Stevenson
After a tough stretch of four straight losses, the Lake Havasu Knights were able to get back to the win column Friday night with a hard fought 28-14 victory over the visiting St. Mary’s Knights.
Head coach Karl Thompson decided to move some personnel around including moving senior Tyler Thompson from the quarterback position and putting him out at wide receiver. That opened the door for sophomore Halo Jump to direct the Havasu offense.
After winning the coin toss and deciding to kick off to the visitors, Havasu defense held St. Mary’s on their first series to then turn things over to the Havasu offense and quarterback Jump.
The sophomore showed no nerves and led the offense all the way down to inside the 5-yard line. Junior running back Gavin Briggs then took the ball and appeared headed for a touchdown when suddenly St. Mary’s was able to strip the football from Briggs and recovered the ball at the 1-yard line.
On the very next play, a high snap went over the head of St. Mary’s quarterback and was recovered in the endzone by sophomore Kyle Crowe for a Havasu touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Jump was able to connect with sophomore Carson Lockman for a nifty nine-yard catch on the center of the end zone. Then again later with a well-placed high toss to the lanky Thompson at the goal line for a 27-yard touchdown and a 21-0 halftime lead.
Havasu then took the opening second half kick off with a time consuming 7-plus minute drive highlighted by a six-yard touchdown run by sophomore Tristin Andrade and a 28-0 lead.
After graduating 22 seniors from last year’s team, many of this year’s younger players are starting to put things together and making bigger and bigger contributions to the team.
St. Mary’s was able to put a touchdown drive together late in the third quarter and again late in the fourth quarter for the final 28-14 score.
Havasu was able to avenge last year’s 28-14 loss to this same team.
After the game, Coach Thompson praised his team and their discipline to keep working, improving and trusting the process, “I’m really proud of the effort tonight,” Thompson said. “We moved some people around and tried to put our playmakers in better positions to make plays and we did a really good job for three quarters.”
“Now we need to learn how to do that for four quarters,” Thompson continued. “But we’ll get there and we when do, this is going to be a very good football team”.
With the win, Havasu improves it’s record to 2-5 with a couple of road games next up on the schedule. Next week, the Knights travel to Tempe for a game against Marcos de Niza then the following week for a rematch of last years thrilling playoff game against Yuma Catholic.
“Each week, I tell the team we’re 0-0,” Thompson said. “We’ll continue to work on improving and cleaning up things from the previous game. We really like Jump at quarterback and moving Tyler out wide. That’s opening up the middle more for Briggs and Andrade to run the ball.”
Havasu’s next home game is the final game of the season, Senior Night, Nov. 3, against Buckeye.