Santa Clarita Christian football coach Garrick Moss couldn’t help but chuckle.
“Well, they’re extremely big,” Moss said with a light laugh as he talked about his team’s opponent on Saturday, South Pasadena High. “… Their right tackle is (6 feet, 6 inches, 350 pounds), and then they have guards who are (270) and the left tackle is (huge). And it’s legit weight. It’s not inflated.”
The Cardinals, though, have added size of their own since last week. Noah Nnabuo, a 6-4, 255-pound offensive/defensive lineman, is an international student from Germany who moved to the Santa Clarita Valley before SCCS’ 20-13 season-opening loss to Horizon Christian Academy in San Diego.
SCCS opted to hold Nnabuo out to make sure the CIF cleared him and that he racked up the proper number of practice hours. But the Cardinals’ level of excitement over their new player may be harder to hold back.
“He’s the real deal,” Moss said. “… He has played line both ways, and he’ll instantly add to our O-line and our D-line just a physical force.”
Moss believes Nnabuo and 6-2, 225-pound defensive lineman Brandon Phillips give the Cardinals a chance to stop the Tigers’ run-heavy attack.
“We’ll have at least a little size now,” Moss said.
South Pasadena’s base set is five linemen with a tight end and a wing on the same side. The Tigers counter, trap and “have their big bodies just moving all over.”
“You have to commit so much to the run because they are so big,” Moss said. “The play-action pass, when you see them do that, it’s wide open.”
The Cardinals are hoping senior receiver Jacob Moss will be open like he was last season against South Pasadena. Moss caught eight passes for 201 yards. SCCS quarterback Tristan Miller threw for 363 yards in that game as a junior, but SCCS still fell, 31-28.
“Tristan is going to have to have a great game,” Garrick Moss said. “We’re going to have to be able to run the ball some, and defensively we have to wear them down … without them gashing us for big chunks.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Canyon High.