Arcadia Titans open section play vs Seton Catholic High School

Arcadia defenders making a tackle against Marana, who Arcadia defeated 41-35 last week. Pictured is Nick Sandler, a junior. (Photo credit: Jennifer Turelli)

Arcadia defenders making a tackle against Marana, who Arcadia defeated 41-35 last week. Pictured is Nick Sandler, a junior. (Photo credit: Jennifer Turelli)

The Arcadia High School football team will begin section play Friday, Sept. 18 as it takes on Seton Catholic High School.

The Titans (2-1) will face the task of defending the Sentinels’ passing attack.
The Sentinels (1-3) are led by senior quarterback Garrett Boyd, who is 69/111 for 974 yards and six touchdowns through the first four games of the season, according to MaxPreps.com.

“We’ve just emphasized that in practice this week, defending the pass,” Arcadia head coach Lenny Abt said in a Sept. 16 phone interview. “We’re just working extra hard and paying a little more attention to stopping that and different coverages and different looks for them.”

The Sentinels enter Friday’s matchup on a three-game losing streak, but the Titans are making sure they do not overlook their opponent.

“Every week is going to be different,” Coach Abt said. “They’re trying to get their season turned around; We’re trying to keep momentum going off the victory. We’re not worried about our record right now. This starts section play for us so we’re motivated to come out and continue the success we had last week. We don’t concentrate on what their record is or who they played.”

Through three games, the Titans are averaging nearly 28 points per game, thanks to a balanced attack on offense.

Sophomore quarterback Luke Ashworth is 40/64 for 567 yards and six touchdowns.

The top recipient of Ashworth’s passes has been senior wide receiver Riley Erickson, who has 16 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns on the season.

The passing game has been able to operate thanks to a consistent leading rusher in junior running back Ryan Alexandre.

“I think it’s a lot of the work that I put in over the offseason,” Alexandre said in a Sept. 16 phone interview. “I was doing the drills that most people don’t usually do because you’re in high school, you’ve got other things to do. When other people are out hanging around, I’m usually in the gym doing my running back drills, doing everything I can to be the best I can.”

On the season, Alexandre has rushed for 351 yards on 51 carries (6.9 yards per carry), according to MaxPreps.com. He has also scored four touchdowns on the ground for the Titans.

“Our linemen are doing a good job opening up the holes for him,” Coach Abt said of Alexandre. “He’s a running back that runs real hard and keeps his feet churning. He hits the holes hard and then makes moves on the defensive backs and linebackers. He controls the ball well and our line’s doing a good job opening the hole for him.”

The Titans defense is coming off of a two-week stretch where they allowed a total of 92 points and went 1-1. Senior middle linebacker Dylan Turelli says this week, against a pass-heavy offense, it will be important for the defense to practice well.

“We’re going to, hopefully, do our job up front with the front seven stopping the run,” Turelli said. “We just need to be balanced and have our guys play well in the secondary because it’s going to be very important this week.”

Like Coach Abt, Turelli says the Titans cannot overlook the Sentinels.

“We just need to worry about ourselves and we’re going to play against (Seton Catholic),” Turelli said. “If we start overlooking people then we’re going to come out slow and they’ll win against us.”

Scottsdale Independent Sports Correspondent Justin Maskulinski can be contacted at jmaskulinski@newszap.com. Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/Maskulinski.

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