Looking to celebrate homecoming with a key victory against a division foe, Arcadia instead found itself on the receiving end of a 35-7 rout at the hands of Maricopa on Friday night.
The Titans (3-3, 1-2 in Division III), who entered Friday one spot behind Maricopa in power points, spent most of the game unable to find even a scintilla of momentum. It started with play one – a first-down run by running back Steven Moala that was called back for holding – and continued shortly thereafter when quarterback Payson Kendle's first pass was intercepted by Maricopa linebacker Franshua Avila. Maricopa took advantage of Avila's interception when quarterback Caleb Buck connected with receiver Kendric Garcia for a 24-yard touchdown reception.
As the game progressed, the Titans kept finding their offense idled, whether it was through turnovers – six in all – or penalties deep in Maricopa territory that erased one touchdown reception and repeatedly placed Arcadia in unenviable situations.
“Anything that could've gone wrong went wrong,” said Arcadia coach Lenny Abt. “They threw us out of our game plan.”
Much of the Rams' success in the game came on defense, as Maricopa forced turnovers, chased after quarterbacks Kendle and Pete Campbell throughout the game – Maricopa sacked Arcadia's quarterbacks six times – and shut down the Titans' rushing attack. The Rams did a particularly effective job against Moala, whose nine carries for 31 yards was boosted by a 23-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
With a “rough road” ahead for the last four games of the season, Abt said the team will review the tape from the loss in hopes of correcting what went wrong before next Friday's game against Paradise Valley.
“We're just going to go out there and perform better,” he said. “All we can do is get better.”
Score by quarter:
Maricopa: 7 21 0 7 – 35
Arcadia: 0 0 0 7 – 7
First downs: Maricopa 6, Arcadia 11
Rushes-yards: Maricopa 18-36, Arcadia 27-159
Passing yards: Maricopa 224, Arcadia 57
Comp-Att-Int: Maricopa 12-23-2, Arcadia 7-20-3
Fumbles-lost: Maricopa 0-0, Arcadia 4-3
Penalties-yards: Maricopa 12-130, Arcadia 6-50
M – Garcia 24-yard pass from Buck (Staehs kick)
M – Coleman 10-yard run (Staehs kick)
M – Avila 19-yard pass from Buck (Staehs kick)
M – Avila 17-yard pass from Buck (Staehs kick)
A – Moala 23-yard run (Kendle kick)
M – Byrd 72-yard pass from Buck (Staehs kick)