La Verne — The Webb Schools of Claremont never gave back the momentum the second they took the lead in the first quarter. They also didn’t expect Santa Clarita Christian to make a big fourth quarter comeback in the Cardinals’ 35-23 San-Joaquin League victory on Thursday night at Damien High School.
Up 23-21, The Webb Schools punted with 5:45 left in the game. The Cardinals started on their own 13 yard line, but thanks to key runs by Seth Yu and short passes from Tristan Miller the drive eventually ended with a TD pass to Jacob Moss from 21 yards out.
A successful two point conversion pass gave SCCS a 29-23 lead with three minutes left.
The Gauls drove down the field and with less than 30 seconds left, and Nick Johnson ran for a 22-yard would-be touchdown, but it was called back for holding.
Webb had one more chance. Johnson threw to Adrian Alvarez, but a fumble on the 1 was recovered by SCCS’ Tyler Kalinske, who ran it back for a 99-yard touchdown to end the game and put the exclamation point on an amazing finish for SCCS.
“Our kids pulled it off,” said Santa Clarita Christian assistant coach Chazz Anderson, who was filling in for head coach Garrick Moss. “What great fight, what great courage. They did such a great job and really pulled it off as a football team. I’m really proud of our football team.”
What kept Santa Clarita Christian (2-4 overall, 1-0 in league) in the game was the performance of Yu, who rushed for 93 yards on 15 carries with three touchdowns while adding seven tackles on defense.
Teammate Tommy Shields had five sacks on the evening. Miller completed 17-of-32 passes for 226 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He found Moss for 81 yards on seven catches with a touchdown.
Down 23-14 at the end of the third quarter, Santa Clarita Christian began its comeback with a score from Yu from 9 yards out to make it a two point game with less than 11 minutes to go.
“We just told each other not to give up,” Yu said. “We started out with four losses this season and that felt terrible. We definitely didn’t want to go 1-5. We had to get a win. Coach Moss told us to never give up.”
Johnson completed 20 of 27 passes for 196 yards with a touchdown and an interception, Alvarez caught 17 passes for 159 yards for Webb Schools (2-5, 0-2).
On top of the fumble recovery for a touchdown, Kalinske also had two interceptions for the Cardinals, who will head on the road with momentum next Friday and face Capistrano Valley Christian.