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Knights pass Lopez test
It was a blowout from the beginning as the Highland Christian Knights won 54-28 over the Lopez Lobos on Oct. 20. Highland came out strong right from the opening whistle and put Lopez in a deep hole early.
Danny Jahraus made a tackle of a botched Lopez punt on the Lopez 35-yard line to put the Knights in excellent field position early. Highland kept the ball on the ground with three straight running plays to advance the ball down to the 15-yard line. Vincent Kurtzenacker then tossed a 15-yard touchdown strike to Jon Enge. Enge blasted through a safety to fall forward into the end-zone.
It didnt take long for Highland to add to their lead. On their next possession a quick pass to Stormee Brown went for 12 yards over the middle. Brown managed to run over, through, and completely obliterate one would-be tackler on his catch and run. Kurtzenacker then found Jeff Kelly on a slant pass down to the Lopez 1-yard line. Kurtzenacker snuck in for a score on the following play.
Jeff Kelly hit an opposing return man so hard on the ensuing kickoff that the young mans helmet came loose.
In the second quarter Highland padded their advantage. Kelly and Kurtzenacker stuffed a critical fourth-and-one play on the Lopez 40-yard line. The defense refused to budge on a quarterback sneak, with the lineman holding position against a larger Lopez group. The turnover against Lopez put Highland back in control and Kurtzenacker capitalized a few plays later. He wove his way into the end-zone from 17 yards out on a designed quarterback run. The Knights led 20-0 and held complete control of the game.
Kurtzenacker added to his stellar night with another touchdown pass to Jeff Kelly midway through the second quarter. Minutes later, after Highland earned the ball back, Kurtzenacker broke free on a 40-yard run through the middle of the field. Lopez chased him down on the 15-yard line. On the next play Kurtzenacker threw a strike to Craig Crawford in the end-zone for a 32-6 lead.
The second half was more of the same as Caleb Brown rushed in from four yards out to give the Knights a 40-6 edge early in the third quarter. Highland would continue to tack on touchdowns even with their reserves playing a bigger role in the late third and fourth quarter.
The final result showed how much Highland has improved over the span of just a few weeks. Lopez took the Knights to overtime at Lopez but this time around Coach Joey Brown and his staff reviewed plenty of film on their opponents and snuffed out Lopezs chances of victory early.
We made some adjustments on the offensive line. Those guys played close to perfect football. They just clicked.
The line consisting of Cody Sorensen, Ryan Pruitt, and Josh Mani opened up big holes for the running backs all afternoon. Mani was getting his first start on the line and gave his coach plenty to feel good about.
We couldnt have done this without the o-line, said Coach Brown, adding 40-6 at the end of the third quarter is a big statement for eight-man football.
The win made Highland Christian playoff eligible in their first year of existence.
The team plays again Saturday Oct. 27 against Evergreen Lutheran in Tacoma.