20th century poet Leigh Mitchell Hodges once said, “Failure is often that early morning hour of darkness which precedes the dawning of the day of success.”
After an 8-3 record last season, Arcadia High School saw the early morning hour of darkness with five straight losses in the first half of the season. It looked as if the playoffs were already out of the reach, but the Titans are beginning to see the sun come up, winning back to back games on game winning drives.
Arcadia’s final three games won’t be easy ones. Next week they play at North Canyon, followed by Arcadia’s senior night against Notre Dame Prep, and then finishing the regular season against Chaparral.
The three opponents have a combined record of 10-6. If Arcadia can keep their momentum and win these next three games, they will surely be a tough team to face heading into the playoffs.
In order to achieve this, the Titans will have to keep on doing what they do best: running the ball.
They have been able to carry the pigskin all year, thanks to senior running back Ryan Alexandre. Before the winning streak, Alexandre was having a great season, but he has been taking his game to the next level during the Titans’ two game winning streak.
After running for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns last week, with one of the TDs being the game winner versus Apollo in last week’s victory, Alexandre ran the game of his life against Paradise Valley with a staggering 426 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns.
“I really wanted it tonight on homecoming,” Alexandre said. He only had 4 rushing touchdowns prior to the start of the game.
The star running back believes the chemistry in the locker room has never been better over these last few weeks.
“The atmosphere is great,” Alexandre said after the game. “Us just knowing we’re the Titans and going to play the best we can is the reason to our recent success.”
Quarterback Luke Ashworth is also beginning to look more comfortable in the pocket with wide receiver Reed Richardson being a big part of his recent success. Before Richardson joined the team on Sept. 16 when they played Arcadia, Ashworth had thrown only 2 touchdowns with 3 interceptions.
Since Richardson has joined the team, Ashworth has thrown 8 touchdowns with only one pick.
“We’re the duo,” Ashworth said about him and Richardson. “Teams should be scared. We can do great things.”
Richardson has been able to create a bit of spark on the defensive side of the ball too. Playing cornerback, Richardson has three picks in three games including the game clincher against Apollo for Arcadia’s first win of the season.
Arcadia head coach Lenny Abt credits his players for the way they have pushed through that tough first half of the season and beginning to build success.
“I think the kids are having fun,” said coach Abt. “You just get a one or two breaks, which we didn’t have in the first few games, and just the momentum from that creates a little fire in the team.”
Editor’s Note: Mr. Stolbof is a student journalist at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.