Camp Verde's football team can keep struttin'.
David McDonald scored on both sides of the ball, and Charlie Baca intercepted two passes as the Cowboys defeated Williams 27-18 on Friday night.
McDonald, a junior, galloped for a 20-yard touchdown in the second quarter and sealed the game with a 40-yard interception return for a TD in the fourth quarter. Baca, a sophomore, now has five interceptions on the season.
Camp Verde improves to 2-0 heading into this Friday's West Region opener against Wickenburg. Williams dropped to 1-1.
"Our kids played a tough game," said Cowboy coach Luke Steege. "They have a different attitude this year – they are intense about playing football. Everybody hits hard, and there is a lot more aggression out there. We are more complete."
McDonald has definitely been the statistical leader for the Cowboy offense thus far. He finished with 101 yards on 19 carries Friday and had 146 yards and two scores in last week's opener against Mayer.
But other Cowboy offensive players started to get untracked at Williams. Baca finished with 65 yards rushing on 13 carries. Fullback Joey Jasman plowed for 50 yards. Chase Armstrong turned a scramble into a 30-yard gain and recorded a 3-yard TD run.
"Joey got going, and that was nice," Steege said of his 225-pound sophomore. "We really need him to run the football."
Armstrong also had a more banner night throwing the ball. He completed four passes for 99 yards, including a 33-yarder to Travis Dixon for a touchdown in the third quarter. He also hit tight end Brandon Ream for 38 yards on another play.
"We passed the ball extremely well, and we didn't have any interceptions," Steege said. "(Williams) had trouble stopping David, and that helped set up the pass."
Camp Verde's defensive game plan worked well most of the time. The Cowboys wanted to stack up against the run, and Williams had trouble getting its ground game going. The Vikings did complete a couple long-yardage passes and scored both of its TDs through the air.
Cowboy Demetri Baca caused a big fumble in the third quarter with his team leading 21-6. The freshman popped the ball loose with Williams driving around the Camp Verde 10-yard line. A Vikings' TD on that series could have changed the momentum of the game.
"Our defense stepped up, and we had a huge stop," Steege said.
On the minus side, Camp Verde wracked up another large dose of penalties. A flag on the first play of the game brought a 60-yard pass play back. Another 60-yard run by McDonald came back because of a flag.
A third quarter brawl between the two teams also interrupted play. Three Camp Verde players were ejected, Steege said, and two from Williams. The Cowboy players, two starters and a reserve, must now sit out this week's game against Wickenburg.
"It was pretty ugly," Steege said.
The suspensions will leave the Camp Verde coach short-handed as his team prepares for Wickenburg, traditionally one of the top West Region powers. The Wranglers improved to 2-0 on Friday with a 21-12 triumph against visiting Payson.
Still, Steege is confident.
"I think we've got a really good shot," he said. "If we can get Wickenburg, it will be a good month."