You can’t teach size, but you can prepare for it.
Santa Clarita Christian football (6-5) knows it will have to be ready for a much larger team when it takes on South El Monte on Friday in a CIF-Southern Section Division 13 quarterfinal.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at College of the Canyons.
According to Cardinals coach Garrick Moss, the Eagles (10-1) have the luxury of a big offensive line packed with players who don’t have to start both ways.
SCCS’s players often do.
“They wear you down (on defense),” said Moss. “Then your same guys go over on offense and might struggle with pass blocking and run blocking.”
Behind the Eagles’ O-line is running back Sal Tovar, who has rushed for 2,348 yards and 31 touchdowns this season, helping South El Monte to a runner-up finish behind Arroyo of El Monte in the Mission Valley League.
“Being able to stop the run is a huge key,” said SCCS receiver/safety Jacob Moss. “Being able to fill the box (is important) because we know they’re not going to pass much. Being able to make tackles is key.”
This season, Jacob has broken the program record for single-game receiving yards with 255 (last Friday) and is also the record-holder for career receiving yards with 3,506. The previous record was 1,756.
Consistency from players like Jacob, quarterback Tristan Miller (3,058 yards, 24 touchdowns) and running back Seth Yu (716 yards, seven touchdowns) will be crucial to overcoming the size differential.
“It’s going to come down to hopefully slowing them down without big explosive runs by the running back,” said Garrick Moss. “And then we have to score every possession; or if not score, use some clock and play the field-position game and make them drive the field. We can’t turn it over.”