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Blythe-Palo Verde Valley kicks late field goal to beat Kofa
The Kofa defense was limiting the Blythe-Palo Verde to just 69 yards through the first 42 minutes of Friday's game.
One play not only more than doubled that total, but also led to the erasure of the Kings' lead for good.
Yellowjacket quarterback Ryan Galvan connected on a 71-yard pass that set up the winning field goal in a 13-12 win over the Kings at Kofa.
Kofa security prevented access to the field and to both coaches after the game — which started late at 7:59 p.m.
Kofa (1-5) trailed 10-6 in the fourth quarter. After a pass-heavy first half, the coaching staff simplified the offense and leaned more on running backs Michael Klakulak and Haden Beaty. Taking over with 10:11 left, the duo ran all seven times on Kofa's drive, started with a 17-yard run by Beaty and ended with a 12-yard run up the middle by the senior with 7:29 left. For the second time in the game, the Kings missed the extra point and went ahead 12-10.
The defense started the ensuing drive strong, forcing a third-and-8 at the Yellowjacket 19-yard-line. Galvan found his receiver, who eluded a double team and was brought down from behind by Dion Merriweather. Four plays later, Felix Ruiz connected from 29 yards out on a field goal for the 13-12 lead with 5:08 left.
The Kings took over with two time outs left on their 20. They converted a fourth-and-2 on a 6-yard run by Klakulak, but on the following set of downs Michael Torres threw his third interception of the game — Kofa also lost two fumbles — and that effectively ended Kofa's comeback hopes.
Beaty had 131 yards on 22 carries, while Klakulak had 54 yards on 12 carries. Kofa outgained Palo Verde 195-154 and the Kings allowed just 26 first-half yards to the Yellowjackets (3-2), although trailed 10-6 at the break.
Palo Verde fumbled on its first play when DeShannon Bryant lost control of the ball at the end of a 10-yard run. But three plays later, he got a bit of redemption when he intercepted a Torres pass at the goal line, returning it 99 yards for a score less than 2 minutes into the game.
Torres tossed a touchdown pass to Kwame Blevins two possessions later for the Kings from 30 yards out, but the kick — like it would be in the fourth quarter — was no good.
Ruiz's first kick of the night came from 42 yards out with 1:53 left in the first half, pushing the Yellowjacket lead to 10-6. Ruiz had a chance to add another — two chances actually, thanks to a penalty — and both were blocked by the Kings.