Lopes’ early mistakes costly in 12-7 loss
By: Mack Drake/GCU Staff
When describing his team’s first game of the season, Grand Canyon University coach Justice Guerrero had two words:
In its first contest of the fall flag football campaign, GCU couldn’t overcome small mistakes in a 12-7 loss to AKSHUN FIGURES Saturday morning at Chaparral Park in Scottsdale. It was the Lopes’ first game of the year in the Scottsdale Adult Flag Football League, which features 10 teams and seven weeks of regular season games.
“We had a few dropped passes and a couple of overthrows on offense,” Guerrero said. “If we make those, they go in for a score instead of incomplete.
“There were a lot of positives, though. The line did a great job on both sides of the ball. Our quarterback had a lot of time to throw, and we caused a lot of pressure defensively. We’ll clean it up and be ready to go for our next game.”
AKSHUN FIGURES opened the scoring with a touchdown pass in the early going. GCU’s Kalani Inez intercepted the extra point try, taking it back to the house for the Lopes’ first point of the game.
“We were in the end zone and I knew my guy was going to run a slant,” Inez said of his extra point interception return. “As the play developed, our middle linebacker tipped the ball up and I picked it behind him. Once I got my hands on it, I knew I was going to be able to run it back for a point.”
AKSHUN later added another touchdown before GCU closed the gap to 12-7 with a 60-yard touchdown strike up the sideline from Dylan Sanchez to Nathan Murrell.
Inez intercepted another pass in the end zone to give the Lopes a chance to tie the game in the late stages, but AKSHUN played solid defense down the stretch to hold on. Inez finished the game with two interceptions, earning player of the game honors.
“He (Inez) kept us in the game all day on both sides of the ball,” Guerrero said. “He did a great job.”
GCU (0-1) is back in action on Saturday with a game at 10 am at Chaparral Park.
Interested in joining GCU Men’s Flag Football? Check out the team page to learn more!