Good as Gold: Havasu beats Mohave 35-21
For the sixth season in a row, the Lake Havasu football team hoisted the Golden Shovel after beating rival Mohave, topping the Thunderbirds 35-21 on Friday in the first home game in the refurbished Lee Barnes Stadium.
The Knights are now riding the longest winning streak against the Thunderbirds in program history.
“It was a tough, competitive game and it was exactly what we expected,” Lake Havasu coach Karl Thompson said.
“That is what games like this should be like. There was no animosity. It was two teams, going toe-to-toe and we got the best of them (Friday). Mohave is going to play some good football going forward and we hope they win the rest of their games.”
Havasu led the game 14-7 as the third quarter was winding down. Mohave turned to its power run game, using a long drive to get within inches of scoring. As time expired in the quarter, Mohave’s William Robizine rushed through the middle of the Knights defense to tie the game at 14-14 entering the fourth.
The Knights answered right away.
Havasu drove just inside Mohave’s 10-yard line on its next possession. Knights junior quarterback Brace Spencer handed the ball off to senior Johnathan Perez on a jet sweep, Perez sprinting around the right side of the field as a wall of Thunderbird defenders surrounded him, Perez diving just far enough to hit the end zone pylon for a 9-yard touchdown to put Havasu back on top.
“That was the touchdown we needed and when I brought it in, it settled things down,” Perez said.
“I just kept telling myself ‘I have to get there. I have to do it for the team, the shovel and the city.’ I’m just happy we won the shovel, on our new field and all in our senior year. This is what all of the seniors have been waiting for since freshman year.”
Even after Perez scored the go-ahead touchdown, it still was anyone’s game and the fans on the Thunderbirds side of the field let everyone know by chanting “It’s not over!”
However, about four minutes later after a couple of possession changes, senior Peyton Luzzi silenced the rival fans.
Mohave was in Havasu territory after running the ball up the field at the 39-yard line. After a botched snap by the Thunderbirds, the ball was fumbled and Luzzi managed to scoop it up and return it for a 61-yard touchdown.
Luzzi said when he saw the football on the ground, all he wanted to do was get it and run.
“Usually my first instinct would be to jump on it and play it safe,’” Luzzi said. “But, when it came down to it we had to score there. So I just picked it up and tried not to look back. When I made it to the 20-yard line I just kept telling myself ‘don’t fall, don’t fall.’ When I made it I knew we were in a good place. But we didn’t want to get too confident.”
No matter how safe Luzzi and the rest of his team wanted to play it, even with a two-touchdown lead, that touchdown gave the Knights the space to pull away for the win.
Mohave did manage to score again after Robizine ran up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown, his third of the night. But, the Knights scored yet again to put it away, this time Spencer punching it in with 2:14 left as he rushed up the middle for a four-yard touchdown.
Havasu is now 2-1 with the win and 36-14 all-time against Mohave in the Golden Shovel game. The Knights have a bye next week but then return to host Phoenix Moon Valley.
The matchup between the Knights and Rockets will be the first ever in football. Moon Valley (0-2) lost 43-0 to Prescott on Friday night.
Mohave 0 7 7 7 — 21 Lake Havasu 7 0 7 21 — 35
LH – Johnathan Perez 55 run (Perez kick), 10:33
M – William Robizine 18 run (Adrian Silvestre kick), 1:44
LH – Jacob Schafer 37 catch from Brace Spencer (Perez kick), 3:10
M – Robizine 1 run (Silvestre kick), :00
LH – Perez 9 run (Perez kick), 9:21
LH – Peyton Luzzi 61 fumble return (Perez kick), 5:04
M – Robizine 4 run (Silvestre kick), 3:31
LH – Spencer 4 run (Perez kick), 2:14