By: K.J. Wylie/GCU Staff
While carrying momentum can often propel a team into greatness, it just wasn’t enough for the Grand Canyon University Men’s Flag Football team. Last Saturday the Lopes reached the championship game in the Scottsdale Men’s Flag Football League, but were downed, 20-6. The second-place finish marks the best in program history since joining the league three years ago.
In the first half, both teams struggled to move the ball, but GCU gained momentum with a huge interception that set them up for the first touchdown of the game. After missing the extra point, GCU’s opponent went on a last-minute drive to respond with a touchdown of their own right before the half ended, taking a 7-6 lead with the extra point.
The second half closely mirrored the first, since both teams’ offenses again struggled to put points on the board. The Lopes’ opponents struck first with 3 minutes remaining in the game to take a 13-6 edge. The Lopes’ offense sputtered on their final possession, and their opponents sealed the victory with a touchdown as time expired.
After winning back-to-back games in the first and second rounds of the playoffs a week ago, there was plenty of confidence surrounding the team’s chances on winning it all. And while the result wasn’t the desired one, Lopes Head Coach/Wideout Tre Stevens saw a huge upgrade from 2017-18.
“Last year, we lost in the first round,” said Stevens. “The scoreboard doesn’t show it, but it was a close game the whole way, and I’m proud of how much we’ve grown. (There were) a few plays here and there we could have executed better on, but that was a great team we were up against. Our chemistry was way better this year, and I know that it will only to continue to grow in the future.”