11/14/2012 3:16:00 PM Kodiak playoff run ends in Royal City
Photo by Bill Forhan
Cascade defenders wrap up the Royal ball carrier in action last Friday in Royal. The Knights ended the Kodiak’s season with convincing 70-14 victory. Cascade finished the season 7-3 overall.
By Bill Forhan Publisher
Friday night's playoff game against the Royal City Knights was disappointing, a 70-14 loss. Although Cascade had experience against this team earlier in the year where they experienced a similar result.
"This is by far the best Royal team I have ever seen. I would like to think we lost to the eventual state champion," said Elia Ala'ilima-Daley, Cascade head coach.
It all began on a hopeful note as Senior Fabian Alvarez took the opening kickoff and returned it 81 yards for a touchdown. It was a classic run with blockers setting up a lane and Alvarez using his speed to just outrun the Knight defenders.
It took the Knights 2 minutes and 15 seconds to engineer a response in a 72-yard, 4 play drive that seemed to have the Kodiak defense confused.
The Knights scored once again with only three minutes left on the clock giving them the lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter dealt the Kodiak hopes a crushing blow as the Knights scored three more times before the Kodiaks were able to put any more points on the board. With only 46 seconds left in the half Fabian Alvarez took the ball on the 2-yard line and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown.
"We've gotten better, but they got better as well. We would like to have played better, but we lost to a better football team. Not much you can do to match their skill," he said. "It didn't help when Dennis Merritt got hurt first series of the second quarter when we were down 21-7 with the ball. Then, Elijah Nash got hurt our second series on offense. So we were without two running backs. We had to put kids in positions they weren't used to."
It looked like the Kodiaks would go to the half only down three scores as the Kodiaks were able to pin the Knights back on the seven yard line with only 46 seconds left to play in the period. But the Knights were able to respond driving the length of the field and ending the half with a 47-yard TD pass with no time left on the clock.
The second half was owned by the home team who added four more touchdowns while shutting down the powerful Kodiak running game.
Turnovers were a problem as the Kodiaks fumbled the ball four times and were intercepted twice. One of the fumbles was picked up and returned 54 yards for a touchdown.
At the end of the game the powerful Kodiak offense had only produced 113 yards of offense Duncan Scott had four rushes for 35 yards. Dennis Merritt, one of the Kodiaks leading rushers during the season, was injured early and only had four rushes for a total of 15 yards.
"I am not taking anything away from our boys. They accomplished a lot this year. We got a lot of great things from our seniors," he said. "There was a lot of leadership that will hopefully propel us into righting the ship again, where we are always making a run at state. I look to back in the hunt with the players we have coming back."
The Kodiaks had a good season and have a number of returning stars whose contributions promise to keep the team at the top levels of competition in the Caribou Trail League for years to come.
"I really have to hand it to our seniors, their leadership throughout. We were rewarded well on the all league team, and we had four guys nominated for the all state game," he said.
Nominated to the All State game are Fabian Alvarez, Jose Hererra, Derek Darlington and Elijah Nash.
Bill Forhan can be reached at email@example.com or 548-5286.