LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — It was supposed to have inexperience issues and problems with having just two returners on offense.
On its first test, the youth and offense were just fine.
The St. Francis High football team dominated visiting Arcadia on Friday night, rolling up 483 yards of total offense in a 49-10 victory that could have been worse if the Golden Knights did not insert their substitutes at the end of the third quarter.
“We know we have guys who can play,” St. Francis Coach Jim Bonds said. “We have to figure out how to win together as a group. Tonight is a step in the right direction.
“It is a good start as a group.”
It was an uplifting start for running backs Daniel Kawamura and Joe Mudie, returning quarterback Jared Lebowitz, and the Golden Knights' defense.
Kawamura had nine carries for 109 yards and two touchdowns, including a 60-yard sprint in the second quarter that gave St. Francis a 14-0 lead.
With Lebowitz being off target with five consecutive incomplete passes, St. Francis continued to pound the Apaches (0-2) on the ground.
Mudie had a 68-yard touchdown run a minute into the third quarter, as St. Francis built a 27-0 lead. Mudie rushed for 101 yards in seven carries, as the Golden Knights amassed 352 rushing yards in 37 carries, an average of 9.5 yards per run. Lebowitz and Austin Finton each had one-yard touchdown runs, and Zachery Washington had a two-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
“We wanted to get our passing game going, but we misfired a bit,” Bonds said. “We went to the running game and that bailed us out. Daniel Kawamura had great vision, and so did Joe Mudie.”
Despite the string of incomplete passes, Lebowitz was effective when he needed to be, completing eight of 15 passes for 131 yards and a three-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Scheper.
The Golden Knight defense didn't let up with a comfortable lead.
St. Francis limited Arcadia to 38 yards of total offense until the Apaches connected on a 90-yard touchdown pass with eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter and the Golden Knights holding a 49-0 lead.
“[The defense] went out and played fired up football the entire game,” Bonds said.
The Apaches, who finished with 128 yards, knew they were overwhelmed.
“We had trouble running the ball,” Arcadia Coach Chris Long, who formerly coached at Hoover, said. “We pretty much had five new starters on the offensive line.
“They are bigger than us. They wore us down. [St. Francis'] depth and how big [its] line is took over.”