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SCCS football gets on the board

Posted: September 13, 2013 10:28 p.m.
Updated: September 13, 2013 10:28 p.m.

It was a frustrating two weeks for Santa Clarita Christian football, as the Cardinals dropped their first two games of the season.

On Friday night at Frederick Douglass Academy, the Cardinals erased those frustrations with a 28-14 victory over the Lions.

Against what they believed to be a strong defensive secondary, the Cardinals turned to the ground game to take an early lead over the Lions.

“We knew throwing on this team would be a lot more of a challenge,” said SCCS head coach Garrick Moss. “Their secondary closes really, really well. Tall, athletic — we decided we would go right at them pounding the ball.”

Senior running back Derek Lewis was the main beneficiary of the game plan, scoring on touchdown runs of 1 yard and 3 yards and adding a two-point conversion.

The defense did most of the work from there, keeping Frederick Douglass off the board until midway through the third quarter when the Lions scored on a 42-yard pass from quarterback Charles Rachal to Khamren Davenport.

But by that time, the Cardinals (1-2) had already punched the ball into the end zone twice more to give themselves a 21-6 lead.

“It was a very well played game, very physical. We were in a pretty hostile environment as far as their team, it was quite an experience,” Moss said. “They play with a ton of heart and passion and they have some athletes that can definitely play at the next level.”

The Cardinals also received a 1-yard touchdown run by D.J. King and 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jonathan Saavedra.

Saavedra would finish with 50 yards on the ground, while Lewis had 145 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. Kamron Carroll added 52 yards on seven carries.

The Cardinals defense was strong throughout, with Sheppard Smith picking up 2.5 sacks and two quarterback hurries, King adding a sack and hurry and Jacob Nogle intercepting a pass.

The Lions (0-2-1) would crack through the SCCS defense once more, scoring midway through the fourth on a 5-yard pass from Rachal to Isiah Armstead before a 2-point conversion from Rachal to Quante Hayden set the final score.

“This was a tough road game against a very hungry team and I’m really proud of how the coaching staff prepared them and how the guys responded in that preparation and how they executed,” Moss said. “This could have easily been a third loss. This team was good enough to beat us if we didn’t play very passionate, very hard, very disciplined football.”


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