ARLINGTON – The Highland Christian Knights faced the Tulalip Heritage Hawks at Haller Middle School on Friday, Sept. 21, in a game that ended with 88-22 loss for the Knights.
The Hawks scored 38 points in the first quarter of the game to set up a pretty tough situation for the Knights, who had trouble battling the offensive strength of the Tulalip team.
First-year coach Greg Torell said that defense is where they have struggled.
“Our weakness is our defense and a lack of experience,” said Torell. “And we played the whole game short one player. Every game we’ve played we start with eight and drop to seven, so that’s been pretty tough.”
Due to the small size of the school, they have trouble attracting enough experienced players for varsity and spend a large amount of time in the beginning of the season working on the fundamentals.
“We started out working on the basic things, like routes and tackling. Even with the players who have played football before, we have such a small team that we have everyone go over the basics in the beginning,” said Torell.
The five returning players helped lead the team, both by providing extra experience and guiding the younger players. “Tim Matthews, Colten Wold, Tommy Torell, Sean Ferrill and Mick Boe are all doing a really great job,” said Torell.
Despite the strong lead that the Hawks took in the beginning of the game, with 50 points scored in the first 14 minutes on the clock, the Knights didn’t give up. They battled back to score three touchdowns before the game was out.
“The first half wasn’t pretty,” said Torell. “But our strength is in our offense. We throw the ball really well and we run the ball really well.”
That strength was simply not enough to overcome the Hawks on Sept. 21, and the team lost by a 66-point margin. Each time Tulalip gained possession of the ball and set up a run, the Knights defense couldn’t stop them.
“Things are looking better. They just need more experience,” said Torell. “They are practicing really hard and playing really well. The score doesn’t always reflect how they are playing. I think by the end of the year, we will win a game.”
The Knights face Easton at Haller Middle School at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28.