The Hanks Knights defeated the Irvin Rockets in all three phases of the game by a score of 70 to 21 before a capacity homecoming crowd at Excalibur Stadium.
The Knights never trailed as junior quarterback Marcus Porras, senior running back Xavier Johnson, junior wideout Jude Blanco, and junior safety Andrew Castillo led the way.
The Knights wasted little time in the first quarter as Johnson found the end zone on a 22 yard run with 11:09 remaining. The Rockets would answer with an 8 yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Damian Jaquez to senior wideout Jonathan Chairez with 5:17 remaining. Johnson scored again for the Knights with 2:45 remaining giving Hanks a 14-7 lead.
The rest of the first half belonged to the Hanks Knights. Junior wide receiver Abram Acosta and senior wideout Erik Folkedahl caught touchdown passes from Porras and Castillo returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Blanco found the end zone twice in the second quarter on an 80 yard kickoff return and a 40 yard scramble. The Rockets scored their second touchdown on a 76 yard catch and run from Jaquez to Kaelii Briones. The first half ended with the Rockets trailing the Knights by a score of 56 to 14.
The Rockets fumbled on their first possession in the second half. The Irvin defense held the Knights in check on their first possession of the second half, ending in a 40 yard field goal attempt that failed. The Rockets took over and kept the ball until the end of the third quarter. A time consuming 14 play drive ended in the Rockets turning the ball over on downs. Irvin managed to keep Hanks out of the end zone for the entire third quarter.
The Knights slammed the door shut in the fourth quarter. Casillas scored on a 22 yard touchdown reception with 10:27 remaining and Blanco found the end zone with 6:01 remaining on a 13 yard run. Playing for pride at this point, the Rockets scored the final touchdown of the contest on a Chairez 8 yard touchdown catch with 31 seconds left.
Hanks quarterback Marcus Porras completed six passes for 113 yards and three touchdowns. Xavier Johnson led all running backs with 7 carries for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Irvin quarterback Jaquez completed 5 passes for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns; he was intercepted twice.
Story by Ryan Adams