Knights Show Improvement in Loss

Scottsdale Christian defeated ACP 72-0 on Friday night.


Amber Butler
On Friday night at Andersen Jr. High, ACP students and families filled the bleachers to watch their Knights take on the Scottsdale Christian Eagles. The Eagles came into this game confident after a blowout win last week, while the Knights were looking to bounce back from their blowout loss in their first game.

The Knightmare student section was loud and rowdy the entire game, never quieting down as a once close game turned into a blowout.

There are still some kinks to work out

  • Tackling, or lack thereof, played a key role in the Knights defeat on Friday. Missed tackles allowed for the running backs to break off larger runs than they should’ve had, and allowed their quarterback to avoid a few sacks. The boys in purple appear in need of some extra tackling practice in the coming weeks.
  • Judy Kernen
    The Knights had a great opportunity to get back into this game late in the first quarter. Down 17-0, with the Eagles offense driving for another score, freshman DB Joel Diaz made a great play on a pass play, intercepting the pass and returning it to the 47 yard-line. The Knights offense was set up for a great drive to try and score and give themselves some momentum for the rest of the game. However, the drive ended with an interception returned for a touchdown and a 24-0 Eagles lead early in the second quarter. The Eagles never looked back, scoring 41 more points in the quarter, taking a 65-0 lead into the half.
  • There were still some inaccurate passes from Freshman quarterback Mark Chavez. However, not all of these over and under throws are necessarily the quarterback’s fault. It appeared that the receivers had trouble running their routes on a couple of plays, which led to bad passes and even a pick-six.
  • The 2nd quarter appeared to get away from the Knights. What was once a 17-0 game after the 1st quarter quickly became a 65-0 blowout at halftime. There are many reasons for this 2nd quarter collapse. One of which was turnovers. The Knights committed five of their eight turnovers in the 2nd quarter, including 2 pick-sixes. These turnovers, combined with the offense’s inability to move the ball in the 2nd quarter, forced the defense to be on the field more than one would’ve liked to see. Special teams also played a role in the 2nd quarter collapse. The Eagles returned 2 punts for touchdowns, both in the second quarter. The first punt return touchdown was a result of great blocking by the Eagles punt coverage team. The second return, however, was a different story. The returner had four Knights wrapped around him but was able to break free and reverse fields. By this time, there weren’t enough Knights defenders left to bring him down. In both of their games, the Knights have had one bad quarter that they couldn’t recover from. If you recall from the first game, the Knights gave up 31 points in the first quarter last week, but only allowed 3 touchdowns the rest of the game. This will be an interesting trend to watch going forward.

New Issues presented themselves on Friday

  • Last Friday, the Knights did well in the penalties category. The same could not be said this week. In total, the Knights compiled 12 penalties compared to only six for the Eagles. Penalties were not an issue last Friday, but this week, there were many penalties on both the offensive and defensive lines for false starts and offsides, as well as a questionable defensive holding penalty on the Knights in the first quarter.
  • The Knights appeared to have issues with substitutions. There were a couple of situations where the offense had to signal to the sideline that they were missing a player and had to rush them onto the field before being called for delay of game. This also occurred on a couple of punts. These issues led to delay of game penalties on offense as well as an illegal substitution penalty on defense for having 12 men on the field.

Improvements for the Knights

  • The Knights defense played a much better game this Friday. The defensive line was able to penetrate the Eagles offensive line, pressuring the quarterback into many incompletions. The defense was also able to hold the Eagles running game in check, for the most part.
  • The Knights made a change at the center position this week, and it paid off. There were only a few low snaps and no fumbles this week compared to last week where low, fumbled snaps cost the Knights offense many drives.
  • The Knights had a few great kickoff returns to set up their offense with good field position. However, the offense was unable to take advantage of these kick returns.

Positive takeaways

  • For the second straight game, the Knights continued to fight until the final whistle despite facing a large deficit. Following their rough second quarter, the Knights only allowed seven points in the entire second half of the game.
  • In two games, junior RB Habi Ortiz has shown himself to be a capable running back who can pound the ball through the opposing defense. In two games, Ortiz has rushed for a total of 121 yards, which is about 61 yards a game. Moving forward, a strong running game will play a key role in the success of the Knights offense.

Minor Sidenotes

  • There were a couple of questionable calls made by the referees on Friday night. The first questionable call was a defensive holding call on the Knights in the first quarter. The play was a run to the left side that the RB broke for a 15 yard gain. Typically, on a play like this, an offensive lineman will be called for holding the defensive lineman trying to create a running lane for the back. However, the Knights defense was called for holding, giving the Eagles an extra five yards and a first down. There was also a penalty called on the Knights on an Eagles scoring play. The referee signaled that the penalty was declined, however, the penalty was then enforced on the kickoff after the referee signaled for a declined penalty. The third questionable move made by the referees came after a missed field goal by the Eagles. Instead of placing the ball at the spot of the missed kick, the ball was placed at the 20 yard-line, as if there was a touchback.
  • In the second half, with the Knights trailing 65-0, the clock operator kept the clock running, stopping only for timeouts. This dramatically shortened the game, which could help in explaining only seven points being scored by the Eagles offense in the second half.
  • Sophomore quarterback Benito Canales came into the game late in the second half and was able to keep the offense moving, completing 2 passes for 23 yards.
  • The Eagles kept their regulars in for most of the game despite holding a large lead. This was surprising in that usually in a situation such as this, the team will substitute in the backups and 3rd-string players to give them some game reps.

The scoreboard may not have said so, but the Knights showed some improvement in their game on Friday.  Overall, the Knights were defeated by a well-rounded team but were able to keep their heads up and fight until the very end. This young first-year football team will have some bumps in the road, but the dedicated coaches will continue teaching their team to persevere and never give up.

The Knights will play their next two games on the road against Camp Verde and Scottsdale Prep. Their next home game is the Homecoming game on September 22nd against Glendale Prep. Be sure to come out and cheer on your Knights!