Lopes find positives as freshmen deliver standout performances
By: Zach Melcher/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
New year. New season. New players.
The Grand Canyon University Flag Football team is now 0-1 in the Scottsdale Adult Flag Football League after losing their first game to the Hurricanes. Despite losing, 12-6, Lopes’ Head Coach Dylan Sanchez is focusing on the positives.
“Overall, I am impressed with the team’s performance,” said Sanchez. “Even though this was the majority of the current team’s first flag football game, we were able to keep a multi-divisional team to only 12 points.”
In the first half, the Lopes were the first to put points on the board as Lopes’ freshman quarterback Sam Martin connected with freshman counterpart Paul Tennell, Jr. on a touchdown pass. The following Hurricanes’ drive was interrupted by GCU’s freshman Mark Harimoto’s interception, but the Lopes couldn’t convert the turnover and ended the first half trailing, 6-0.
“The freshmen have brought a lot of spirit,” said Sanchez. “They really needed to see the tempo and game play firsthand.”
The majority of the second half was a defensive stalemate until the Hurricanes scored late on back-to-back possessions. The Lopes thwarted both of the Hurricanes’ extra point attempts to stay within six points.
With time winding down, the Lopes had the final possession of the game but couldn’t find the end zone.
“With a young team, it is important that they get experience early,” said Sanchez. “I am excited to see how the loss and practice this week will drive the team as we prepare to face the ‘best team’ in the division.”
GCU (0-1) is back in action tomorrow (Saturday) with a game at 10 am at Vista del Camino Park in Scottsdale.
Interested in joining GCU Men’s Flag Football? Check out the team page to learn more!