Arcadia will fight to get its season back on track at home Friday night against Maricopa after suffering a tough 20-7 loss to Higley last week.
The Titans will have to get their running game back on track if they hope to avoid a second loss on the season. The Knights held Arcadia to a season-low 91 yards last week.
Arcadia should be able to improve upon that paltry performance against the Rams' weak run defense. Maricopa is allowing an average of 248 rushing yards per game this season, including a 414-yard game by Higley two weeks ago.
Thus far this season, the Maricopa defense has been vulnerable against quick and evasive runners like Higley’s Kelvin Fisher and Coronado’s Alex Buya. Titan running back Bradley Tefft has shown an ability to make tacklers miss and should exploit the Rams for several long runs.
Additionally, the emergence of versatile runners Ryan Fochtman and Sosaia Maafu should help the Titans rest Tefft and increase his explosiveness.
On defense, the Arcadia secondary needs to shore up its coverage. While the unit only gave up two completed passes to Higley, one of those went for 49 yards and a score.
Rams quarterback KJ Diehl struggles with accuracy but has shown the ability to complete passes down field. The Arcadia secondary cannot afford to waste another good performance by letting a sub-par passing offense put points on the board due to blown coverage.
The secondary should be aided by the defensive line and linebacking units, which have looked great in pass-rushing situations this season. If the team can force an already shaky Diehl to make sloppy throws, look for ball-hawking safety Brendan Satran or cornerback Kyle York to take advantage and pull down an interception or two.
Arcadia also needs to regain the focus that propelled the team to a 4-0 start this season. In last week’s loss, the Titans looked sloppy and lost several big plays due to penalties and mental errors.