Late in the third quarter of Camp Verde’s blowout loss to the Kingman Academy Tigers, a Cowboy defensive assistant coach called for a replacement at linebacker.
The Cowboys, already thin at the linebacking spot because of the injuries to starters Ryan Allred and Isaiah McReynold, had just seen teammate Seyn King carted off the field on a stretcher after delivering a big hit at the goal line — and the score, a 41-6 deficit with just one quarter to play, had “lost cause” written all over it.
But when the call came, a dozen junior varsity players raised their hands and screamed because they wanted to go into the game.
“That is encouraging, that’s heart,” said Cowboys head coach Steve Darby. “That’s the young kids who are dying to get in on the varsity and play, and I’m excited for the future.”
It didn’t make much of a difference in the 54-14 loss for the Cowboys [2-5], who have seen their early season hopes take a hit due to a litany of injuries and a dearth of experienced players, but Darby is right — it does bode well for the future of the team.
The Cowboys put together perhaps their best drive of the game on their first drive of the game, helped by a muffed punt.
After failing to get a first down in their first three plays from scrimmage, the Cowboys elected to punt from their own 30-yard line. But punter Tyler Dickey bounced the punt off a teammate before picking up the carom and running 15 yards for a first down.
The Cowboys mixed runs by Dickey and juniors Jordan Reay and Curtis Corder to take the ball to the 40-yard-line of the Tigers, where freshman quarterback Dion Fortune hit King for a 24-yard gain down the right sideline to the 16.
Reay ran the ball to the 7-yard line, but the drive stalled there, as the Cowboys were unable to get one more yard to convert a fourth down.
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Oct. 16, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.