The quick progression of the American Leadership Academy Queen Creek (ALA-QC) football program in 2021 will have its rewards for years to come.
But for one night it was a little too much.
ALA-QC was the surprise participant in the Arizona Interscholastic Association's football showcase, The Open, and its reward was playing the top-seed Hamilton, ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation.
Considering the program is 10 years old and in the first year under coach Ty Detmer it is a great accomplishment, but they were overwhelmed facing a program the size of Hamilton in Friday night's 38-14 loss in the first round of The Open at Hamilton’s Loper Field.
The Huskies are the biggest school in Arizona and one of the more storied programs in Arizona football history. The roster size is almost twice as big as ALA-QC’s group of 50.
“We were surprised to make The Open, just like everyone else was,” Detmer said. “No one is August thought we’d be here, but we made it and we (wanted) to make the most of the experience.”
The game got out of hand in the second half as the Huskies (11-0) led only 14-7 at halftime. ALA-QC (9-2) did its best to stay in the game but too many two-players were going up against fresher Huskies all game and couldn’t come close to matching the talent level, especially since they were missing starters.
“We don’t have the depth they do,” Detmer said leading up to the game. “Hamilton has a huge roster, and we dress as many as we can, but they have so many players and the talent level doesn’t drop off two or three deep.”
Hamilton scored 17 straight points in the second half to push out to a 31-7 lead to put the game away and remain the favorite to win it all.
While the season ended in defeat the Patriots had a terrific season behind the play of senior quarterback Logan Hubler, junior running back/linebacker Mitch Jensen, who missed the game against Hamilton, junior wide receiver, and defensive back Ryan Meza and so many others that saw the Patriots outscore opponents 478-240 including an eight-game win streak.
“We didn’t change much after taking over,” Detmer said. “A lot of the coaching staff was the same. We will start adding more of our ideas and fingerprint over time.”