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West Ranch stops Knight cold

West Ranch defense allows just 99 yards of total offense to Knight

Posted: September 12, 2013 11:27 p.m.
Updated: September 12, 2013 11:27 p.m.

PALMDALE — The Knight Hawks football team made several key plays in the second half on Thursday night against the West Ranch Wildcats.

The Hawks had a huge interception by Marcel Lacy and a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter by senior Daylon Figueroa, who almost added an interception in the final quarter.

But when the Hawks needed just one yard twice in the fourth quarter, once on the West Ranch 7-yard line, Knight failed to convert.

It left the Knight rally fell short in a 20-13 loss against West Ranch at Knight High School.

“Fourth and a yard,” Knight coach Corey Guilfoos said. “I think we got stuck with our running back out.

“We were handcuffed offensively. We couldn’t do what we wanted. We had trouble throwing the ball.”

The Hawks (0-3) struggled offensively, but especially after senior Bobby Franklin left the game in the second half.

Knight finished with just 99 total yards in offense. Franklin finished with 38 yards on 16 carries.

Knight completed 4 of 16 passes for 43 yards and two interceptions.

Senior running back Kalem Williams finally put the Hawks on the board early in the third quarter, scoring on a 10-yard run with seven minutes and 29 seconds remaining in the third.

The touchdown capped a 10-play, 53-yard drive by Knight to seize the momentum in the game.

West Ranch (3-0) easily controlled the game in the first half, taking a 20-0 lead on 239 yards in total offense.

West Ranch quarterback Chase Killingsworth completed 9 of 13 passes in the first half for 103 yards, including touchdown passes of 7 and 36 yards to Joey Lau.

The Wildcats immediately took control of the game, scoring on the second play of the opening drive.

West Ranch running back Christian Parrish scored on a 58-yard run. Parrish finished with 167 yards rushing on 21 carries.

“In a weird way, we needed this game,” West Ranch coach Jan Miller said. “I think they got in a comfort zone. We made some mistakes. I think we’ll get stronger from this.

“Knight has a lot of athletes. They have athletes everywhere and they are a dangerous team.”

After Knight scored its first touchdown to open the second half, West Ranch fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Knight junior Julio Munoz recovered the ball deep in West Ranch territory.

Knight started with the ball on the 11-yard line, but needed to convert on fourth-and-one at the 2-yard line. Knight senior Kalem Williams got the Hawks the first down and a play later, senior quarterback Joseph Cochran ran the ball in for a 1-yard touchdown run.

Later in the third quarter, Lacy had a 77-yard interception return, putting the Hawks on the West Ranch 15-yard line.

Knight was unable to convert on fourth-and one at the 7-yard line, turning the ball over one downs.

The Knight defense held West Ranch on the following drive, forcing the Wildcats to punt after a three-and-out.

Then the West Ranch defense stepped up, sacking Cochran on back-to-back plays to start the next drive at midfield.

The Knight defense forced another turnover as senior Daylon Figueroa recovered a fumble at the Hawks’ 30-yard line with 1:36 remaining in the game.

West Ranch’s Chad Luepke intercepted a Dwight Davis pass at midfield to seal the victory.

“We want to run the ball, control the clock and play solid defense and special teams,” Guilfoos said. “We got away from that tonight. Hopefully it’s a learning experience. We have our work cut out, but we have an extra week to work on it.

“We have a lot of guys get dinged up tonight.”

Knight has a bye next week and will open Golden League play against Littlerock on Sept. 27 at Knight High.

West Ranch will host Thousand Oaks next week.


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