Big night for Beler helps Arcadia football to 2-0 start

Arcadia junior Kadin Beler throws a pass during Arcadia’s 40-21 win over Deer Valley Friday, Aug. 24. (Special to the Independent/Ralph Freso)

The multi-legged attack of juniors Kadin Beler and Paxton Earl got Arcadia High School to 2-0 on a Friday night where even the team bus breaking down wouldn’t slow their speed.

Beler, the team’s do-everything junior quarterback, rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another in Arcadia’s 40-21 win over Deer Valley High School Friday, Aug. 24. The Titans are 2-0 after going 0-10 last year.

The game plan turned a 21-21 halftime tie on the road into a runaway as the Titans scored 19 unanswered points over the third and fourth quarters on a night Beler would surpass 100 yards both passing and rushing.

“(He) had to be our Cam Newton. That’s what he does. He’s the best dual-threat quarterback in the state,” Arcadia head coach Kerry Taylor said, sizing up the contributions afterward of Beler and Earl. “We had to get the ball to our two best playmakers and put it in their hands.”

The Titans fed the ball to Earl early and watched Beler take control late.

Earl got loose for a 78-yard touchdown sprint with just under three minutes left to play in first half for his second score of the period.

Then it was Beler Time.

Beler scored three touchdowns in 12:08 of game time over the third and fourth quarters, starting with a 39-yard keeper with 5:08 left in the third. In the fourth, he went in from four yards out before the Arcadia special teams forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. The Titans recovered at the Deer Valley 36-yard line, and minutes later Beler was in the end zone again, this time from two yards.

Arcadia junior Paxton Earl evades Deer Valley defenders during Arcadia’s 40-21 win over Deer Valley Friday, Aug. 24. (Special to the Independent/Ralph Freso)

“We needed more runners,” Beler said. “Paxton was doing a great job, we just needed more legs. Coach said to go and help out the run game.”

Beler finished the night unofficially with 112 yards rushing on 14 carries with those three scores. He also was 10-of-20 passing for 132 yards and a touchdown, and he didn’t throw a pass in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 7-0 early on, the Titans tied things up when Beler hooked up with junior SaMaury Alexander on a scoring play that covered 16 yards through the air to knot the game 7-7 after one period.

Earl did his thing with two second-quarter touchdowns, including a 15-yard scoring run midway through the period.
Deer Valley answered each time, though, as 6-foot-4 senior speedster Dez Melton scored two touchdowns of his own in the quarter, including a 62-yard gallop with 7:02 left before halftime.

Earl and Melton, in fact, at one point scored two touchdowns apiece in a span of four and a half minutes to boost the pace of the game and bring energy to both sides of the bleachers.

That energy soon caught up with Deer Valley, though.

The second half featured a number of Skyhawk players, including Melton, cramping up and unable to maintain the hurried pace.

“At one point there we had no running backs left,” Deer Valley head coach Dan Friedman said. “You’re trying to figure out who can do this.”

The Skyhawks went quietly with just six yards of offense in the fourth.

“Honestly we probably need to improve on conditioning,” said Melton, did go over the 100 mark with an unofficial tally of 118 yards on 13 carries while also catching five balls for 50 yards, but who carried the ball just four times in the second half. “We have skills and we have enough people to do it, just conditioning would probably be a bigger part to help us obviously for the game.”

The Titans had a lot to overcome even before they arrived on the west Valley campus.

Their team bus broke down on the highway on the way to Glendale, and stranded the team on the side of the highway in the heat for 40 minutes.

Undaunted, Coach Taylor liked what he saw from his guys during the mess.
“We were fired up. We knew that nothing was gonna stop us from coming out and playing hard tonight and getting a win,” he said.

The win marked twice in two weeks that Arcadia scored 40 points, following the Titans’ 49-0 win over Coronado to open the new season Friday, Aug. 17.

“The first week everything came easy,” Taylor added. “This week we were battle-tested.”

The Titans return home Friday, Aug. 31 to welcome a Washington team that won big, 54-6, over Sierra Linda in its season-opener.

Editor’s Note: Steve Stockmar is a News Services Editor for Independent Newsmedia in the west Valley. 

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