What the Indians learned Friday evening is they might have faced the best team they will square off against during the regular season, as host Canyon knocked off Burroughs, 42-14.
"Things don't get any easier for us after this either," said Knoop, whose team fell to 0-2. "We play Hart next week on this very field. We know that the Pacific League is going to be tougher this year than it has been in years past, and we want to get the experience against good teams."
This is the second straight season in which the Indians have played the same Santa Clarita-area teams to open the season. Last year, the strategy paid off. Although Burroughs did go 0-3 in its nonleague games, it went on to capture a share of the Pacific League championship.
But before the Indians can attempt that feat again, Knoop said the squad has to get over some of the problems that plagued it against the Cowboys (1-0) — ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division. Burroughs made its share of mistakes, had problems moving the ball on offense and suffered lapses on defense.
There was also some infighting with the players.
"We had some guys who were fighting in the huddle," Knoop said. "I've never had a team that did that. We have to grow up and we just can't have that kind of thing happening with the team."
While Burroughs was imploding, the Canyon offense — sparked by senior quarterback Jonathan Jerozal, junior wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky and senior running back Max Archuleta — was able to roll.
Archuleta led the ground attack, carrying the ball nine times for 164 yards and a touchdown.
Through the air, Jerozal completed nine of 17 passes for 179 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions and Wolitarsky had five catches for 109 yards. He also scored on a seven-yard run.
Knoop said the Indians had a plan to stop Wolitarsky.