Arcadia High School lost to Kellis High School 54–27 Friday night, bringing the Titans to 0–5 on the year.
Even though the Titans lost, as the bestselling author Susane Colasanti wrote in her novel Take Me There, “Even in a bad situation, there’s always a positive side.”
Wide receiver/cornerback Reed Richardson was that positive side for Arcadia.
Richardson, who also plays basketball for the Titans, was dealing with a hand injury at the beginning of the season. Arcadia head coach Lenny Abt said Richardson had to decide whether or not he wanted to play Arcadia football this season or rest his hand and wait for basketball season. He decided to play football, and so far, it looks like Richardson made the right choice.
Richardson did it all, playing well on both sides of the ball. In only his second game this season, Richardson had three receiving touchdowns at receiver along with an interception while playing cornerback.
“He’s a nice addition (to our team),” Coach Abt said. “He’s an offensive player for us, but he really had to step in on defense and performed well on both sides today.”
Arcadia running back Ryan Alexandre performed well in the first half but slowed down in the second, totaling 70 rushing yards and a touchdown in the first but cooling off to 34 rushing yards in the second. Alexandre, for the second week in a row, had trouble holding onto the ball, fumbling twice, bringing his turnover count to four over the last two games.
Kellis High School continued to show they have one of the top offenses in all of the metro area. Kellis has failed to score under 40 points in a game so far this year.
Arcadia kept the game close for most of the first half with Kellis unable to make their lead any bigger than 13. However, the Cougars eventually pulled away on the last play of the half.
With the ball on Arcadia’s 11-yard line, senior quarterback Kimani Nelson fired a touchdown pass into the end zone. The ball was tipped all around the end zone until it eventually fell into the hands of senior captain receiver Kody Rhodes for the touchdown. This gave Kellis a 42–21 lead at halftime.
The Cougars never looked back after that, outscoring Arcadia 15–6 in the second half.
Nelson stepped up big as a dual-threat quarterback for Kellis. He showed off his arm, throwing for 240 yards with a pair of touchdowns, dialing his season total up to 10. Nelson used his feet to add 88 rushing yards and a touchdown for a total of three touchdowns on the night.
The Cougars brought in a solid running game against Arcadia. Senior running back Damien Campbell led the Kellis backfield, recording two touchdowns.
“He’s just rising to the challenge,” said Cougar head coach Shawn Copeland. “He’s been real impressive.”
Junior slotback Josiah Bailey came out of the gates running. Right away, Bailey began the game with a 49-yard kickoff return. Immediately after, Bailey began the first play of scrimmage with a 51-yard receiving touchdown, finishing off what he started. He ended the night with a pair total touchdowns along with a two-point conversion.
Even though Bailey had such a great performance on the offensive side of the ball, he decided to talk about his defensive work after the game.
“Offensively we’ve been a scoring team,” Bailey said. “On the defensive side of the ball, I brought something new.”
On defense, Bailey forced a fumble on Alexandre in the first quarter, which was recovered by the Cougars and returned for a touchdown by senior Josh Garza.
On Sept. 23, Arcadia will head to Glendale to take on Apollo High School for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Stolbof is a student journalist with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.