A new field, new season and an old rival brought success for Arcadia, who defeated visiting Coronado, 22-0, in the teams' football season opener on Thursday night.
Arcadia was led by running back Sosaia Maafu, who had 138 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns while quarterback Cole Richardson had 84 yards passing and one touchdown through the air.
For the Dons, running back Trey Huff was the game plan all night long, but despite getting the ball early and often, Huff couldn't break free for any big plays and was held to 33 yards on 14 carries.
Huff, however, remained positive moving forward.
“We need to work on hitting the holes better, and a little blocking," he said. "There were holes but I just need to hit them faster. Our defense looked great though.”
An energetic crowd braved the heat of late August and watched the Titans get off to a quick start. A long first quarter drive set up a Maafu's 6-yard touchdown run. Richardson found Maafu for a 27-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, and, after a missed extra point, Arcadia led 13-0 at halftime.
The Titans (1-0) took a risk to begin the second half by going for an onside kick, and it paid off. Arcadia defensive back Alex Reynolds recovered the kick. Two plays later Maafu had his third touchdown of the night on a 16-yard run.
Defense, however, ultimately wasn’t the problem for Coronado (0-1). The Dons passing game never got started, as quarterback Reid Blakely didn't complete a pass in the first half, and finished the game with 51 yards.
The 60 yards of penalties were another part of what stalled the Dons.
“Our defense played much better than our offense," Coronado coach B.J. Pasquel said. "We had way too many mental mistakes on offense, whether it was penalties, missed blocks, or assignments.”
Eventually, it became a chance for both teams to take a look at their second-string guys. Arcadia drove the ball down field on the final drive of the game, but couldn't capitalize from the 2-yard line.
Titans coach Jim Ellison was happy to get a chance for backups to get some snaps, but he knows it won’t be easy from here on out.
“We have some issues on the line, like on Sosiah’s touchdown that got called back for a penalty," he said. "For game one it wasn’t bad but that is something we have to work on.”