Kofa falls late to Lake Havasu
On the potential game-winning drive with a little less than seven minutes left, Kofa quarterback Michael Torres threw a costly interception to Mitchell Kloewer that not only cost the Kings the ball but ultimately the game in a 31-17 loss to the Lake Havasu Knights.
Kofa trailed 23-17 when Torres threw his interception — the second of three in the game, all to Kloewer. The Knights cashed in for an insurance score on the ensuing possession, icing a game that Kofa had led 17-7 in the third quarter.
“When you get behind, you need to put the football up. Couple of balls get tipped and then anything can happen,” Kings coach Kevin Moore said. “Michael threw a good game for us.”
The Knights (3-4) struck first on their opening drive, marching 66 yards down the field before the drive was capped with sophomore Austin Stefick's bruising run up the middle from six yards out with a little under seven minutes left in the first quarter.
On the next drive, with the help of a flurry of Michael Klakulak runs and 20 yards in Lake Havasu penalties, the Kings (1-6) tied the game off a Torres pass to Kwame Blevins for 33 yards. As time expired in the first half, Kofa kicker Carlos Caratachea gave the Kings a 10-7 advantage.
“In the first half we were pretty even. Our hats go off to their seniors. They played great. Coach Moore had them ready. It was a great smash-mouth football,” Lake Havasu coach Carl Thompson said.
On the first play of the second half, Klakulak raced down the left sideline and scored a 60-yard touchdown for the Kings, giving Kofa the 17-7 lead. That would be the last time the Kings sniffed the red zone.
“After that touchdown (Klakulak) we knew it wasn't over. We knew we were going to have to play four-quarter football,” Moore said.
The Knights responded on their first play of the half with a Stefick 71-yard sprint down to the Kings nine-yard line. The Kings' stingy defense held Lake Havasu to three points despite facing a first-and-goal, making the score 17-10. The Knights scored 24 unanswered points in the second half.
The Kings had very little offense, with two punts and three picks in their five possessions in the second half. Dylan Morgan in the game-tying touchdown at the 4:44 mark of the third quarter from 7 yards out and a 57-yard run early in the fourth gave the Knights the lead for good.
“Lake Havasu ran the ball good in the second half. Their size up-front ran us down. They had some big boys in the O-line. We just need to improve a little more, work on running the ball and making cuts. We did a good job. We had a lot of guys flying to the football defensively,” Moore said.