NDP shuts out Arcadia during last game of the season

(File photo)

(File photo)

Senior Night is a special night for a high school player. For most, it’s one of the last times they will ever play organized football.

There’s an old saying that states that senior night can go one of two ways: your emotions can stir you up early and the team goes out flat, or you get fired up and come out hard and ready to go.

For Arcadia, the emotions got to them and the team fell flat as they lost to Notre Dame Prep 49-19.

Arcadia struggled right away giving up a 10-yard touchdown run to Jake Smith of the Saints. After being suspended from postseason play due to recruiting violations, Notre Dame came out angry and ready to play. They realized that the running game was a weak point in Arcadia’s defense and continued to attack it. The Saints finished the night with five rushing touchdowns.

Four of those touchdowns would come from senior back Drew Jackse. He finished the night with a season high 275 rushing yards.

It was only the second time this season where Jackse rushed for over a hundred yards.

The victory was bitter sweet for Notre Dame Prep. The win would have clinched a playoff berth for the Saints, but the team received a postseason ban after the team had been found to have committed a recruiting violation.

Head coach Mark Nolan said that the team’s “distractions” won’t stop them from celebrating their 7-2 record.

“We’re gonna do t-shirts and celebrate the heck out of being 7-2 and get ready to play next week,” Coach Nolan said.

Arcadia’s offense looked out of sync all night. Junior quarterback Luke Ashworth was had a difficult time throwing the ball. Ashworth’s passing woes began in the second quarter when he threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Ashworth had failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time since senior receiver Reed Richardson came back to the team against Sunnyslope.

Arcadia head coach Lenny Abt believes that turnovers spoiled the Titans’ senior night.

“If you don’t win the turnover battle, you’re gonna lose the game 99 percent of the time,” Coach Abt said.

The Titans had four turnovers while Notre Dame only had one.

Star running back Ryan Alexandre finished his last game at Arcadia with another strong performance. He ran for over 100 yards for the seventh straight time this year.

He was credited for all three of Arcadia’s touchdowns, including a 100-yard kickoff that was returned to the house. Alexandre said that he had a “fun last game with his brothers” despite the loss.

There are reports that Alexandre is receiving offers from schools including Phoenix College to play football next year.

Senior linebacker and tight end Mekhi Behler, a player who has played three years of Arcadia varsity football, reflected on his final game at Arcadia.

“I’ve been waiting for this night since I was a freshman,” Behler said.

Despite the tough loss, Behler said that this is a day that he won’t forget.

“We didn’t like how we ended, but it was still an emotional night and a special (night) for me,” he said.

Editor’s Note: Mr. Stolbof is a student journalist at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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