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Thu, Feb. 20

Williams tames Wildcats with 44-14 homecoming win

Kurtz added the two-point conversion run to put Williams ahead, 24-6, with 4:36 left in the first half.

Williams wasn't finished just yet. After the team's traded a few possession, the Vikings put together one last drive before the intermission.

Juaquin Ortiz gave WHS good field position with a 20-yard punt return to put the ball at the Mayer 44. Williams immediately went to the air and there was an incomplete pass, but the Wildcats were called for a roughing the quarterback penalty.

Two plays later, Loxterman scrambled out of the pocket for 29 yards and another touchdown. Kurtz added another two-pointer to put the Vikes up 32-6 with just 21 seconds before the half.

Big interception for TD

Mayer went into the locker room at halftime with a 26-point deficit. The Wildcats had played close games with the likes of Camp Verde and Mogollon only to fall apart late. This time, Williams did damage early.

In the third quarter, Mayer wanted to come out and put points on the board to try to get back into the game.

On a third-and-eight from his own 30, Bassett went back to pass and was picked off by Juaquin Ortiz, who returned the ball 53 yards for a touchdown. The conversion failed, but the Vikes had now taken a 38-6 lead and thoughts of a game ending early on the mercy rule seemed possible.

But after taking that 32-point lead, Williams cooled off a little bit. The defense still came back to force another Mayer punt thanks to tackles for losses, both by Kurtz.

Williams put together another drive deep into Wildcat territory. Mayer held this time, though, and took over on downs at the 11-yard line.

The Wildcats took up the rest of the third quarter with a drive than ended with another interception by Juaquin Ortiz. There were plenty of other defensive highlights during this Mayer drive, including a wicked hit by Loxterman on Kevin Passmore to force an incompletion and another sack by Kurtz.

Sloppy in the fourth

Williams got the ball back to start the fourth quarter but the Vikes were at their own 1-yard line. Kurtz and Loxterman got the ball out a little to give the punter room to kick.

Special teams took a hit, though, as Soriano had a 34-yard return to set up the short field at the 11. Mayer seemed to have life, albeit down by 32.

On a third-and-eight, Williams forced another fumble. The Vikes fell on it and found themselves at the 2-yard line.

Loxterman got caught in the end zone for a safety to give Mayer two points. WHS had to punt, Mayer's Jackson had a good return and the Wildcats appeared to be in business.

Again, the Viking defense forced a fumble. Kurtz fell on the ball.

A few plays later, Mayer lineman Micah Leonard intercepted Loxter-man and lumbered 47 yards to the end zone for a TD.

Williams wanted to come back with one final strong drive. Mayer attempted an onside kick, which was covered up by Paul Mallett. Kurtz then took over the game.

Wanting to get the hard-running senior a TD, Kurtz carried the ball seven straight times with the last one being a three-yard TD run with 1:17 left.

"Sometimes it's hard to bounce back after a 45-point defeat," Shipley said. "I thought we should've won that game (vs. Mayer) last year. A lot of seniors wanted to prove themselves."

Kurtz finished with 154 yards on 27 carries. Pacheco had 132 yards on four receptions. Loxterman threw for 136 yards.

Williams (1-1, 2-2) will host Pinon Friday at 7 p.m., in a nonconference game.

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