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Cardinals lose second straight

Playing without Keoshian, Santa Clarita Christian takes opportunity to build experience in prepara

Posted: September 27, 2009 12:03 a.m.
Updated: September 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.

To say that Santa Clarita Christian football was shorthanded Saturday would be an understatement.

Without the services of team leader Collin Keoshian, the Cardinals fell behind early and could not recover against Maranatha Christian of San Diego, losing 50-38 at Maranatha Christian for their second straight defeat of the season.

With Keoshian feeling “under the weather,” SCCS head coach Garrick Moss said he decided to rest the senior running back/linebacker in order to give other players more experience heading into a tough three-week string of games before opening Heritage League play.

Keoshian had amassed 302 rushing yards and six total touchdowns through SCCS’ first two games.

“Even without Keoshian, if we didn’t turn over four times, that’s a team we beat today,” Moss said.

The Cardinals (1-2) threw one interception and put the ball on the ground three times, including a costly one on the Eagles’ 4-yard line early in the fourth quarter.

“You can’t make mistakes like that and beat a good team,” Moss said.

Maranatha (2-1) graduated only three players from last season’s 10-0 squad.

After falling behind 28-8 in the first quarter and 36-16 at half, SCCS rallied to within four points with six minutes remaining in the game when Cardinals quarterback Colin Mayhugh ran the ball in from 15 yards out to cut the lead 42-38.

On the ensuing possession, Maranatha got a key first down on third-and-10 with three minutes to go, and was able to post one more touchdown.

Mayhugh finished the game with 22 carries for 214 yards and three rushing touchdowns, while completing 4-of-9 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown to sophomore Chris Fechtelkotter.

Fechtelkotter had three catches for 74 yards and the score.

SCCS also turned to Ethan Espinosa to help fill the void left by Keoshian’s absence.

The senior carried the ball 15 times for 89 yards and a touchdown.

According to Moss, the game was essential in adding depth heading into league.

Up next, the Cardinals play Hesperia Christian, followed by Windward of Los Angeles and Thacher of Ojai, before opening league play with Hillcrest Christian of Granada Hills.

Entering Saturday, Hesperia Christian was ranked ninth in the CIF-Southern Section Division I 8-Man polls, with Windward second, Thacher third and Hillcrest Christian eighth.

“We view preseason nonleague games as a way to evaluate where we are,” Moss said. “We try to schedule tough.”
Moss said that Keoshian could have played, but after missing a full week of practice, decided to hold him out.

“We want to get better as a team and get ready for games that really matter,” he said. “We told him don’t even bring your pads, because we’ll be tempted to put you in to win the game.”



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