First 11-man football playoff win in the Cards?

By Haley Sawyer

Last update: Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Santa Clarita Christian football switched its practice location to West Ranch High on Tuesday night.

The team wanted to rehearse under the lights, since its usual practice field at Canyon Country Park has none.

It’s a slight change, but the Cardinals are willing to try anything to help them get their first-ever playoff win in 11-man football.

MORE SCCS: Season ends for Cardinals volleyball

In a CIF-Southern Section Division 13 first-round playoff game Friday, SCCS will visit a 7-3 Sierra Vista of Baldwin Park team that finished second in the Montview League.

SCCS (5-5, 4-1 in the San Joaquin League) is also entering the contest as a second-place team, but coach Garrick Moss still sees the Dons as a challenge. SCCS (5-5, 4-1 in the San Joaquin League) is also entering the contest as a second-place team, but coach Garrick Moss still sees the Dons as a challenge.

“They’re a huge school,” he said. “This team has close to 60 guys on the roster as opposed to our 25. It’s a huge test for us to play a school like that.”

Santa Clarita Christian School's Jacob Moss (2), left, and Logan Eagle (55) bring down South Pasadena running back Jalen Ross (1)  at Canyon High School on Saturday.  Signal photo/Dan Watson
Santa Clarita Christian School’s Jacob Moss (2), left, and Logan Eagle (55) bring down South Pasadena running back Jalen Ross (1) at Canyon High School. Signal photo/Dan Watson

The Cards know they can’t give Sierra Vista any opportunities but need to give themselves as many avenues to score as possible.

Extra plays have been added on offense, most of which involve running backs Seth Yu (547 yards, nine TDs) and Jacob Moss (375 yards rushing, 942 receiving), whose main position is receiver. Yu, Jacob and quarterback Tristan Miller (2,671 yards, 22 touchdowns) have all been receptive to the changes.

“(We’ve) got a lot of different looks,” Garrick Moss said. “(Jacob)’s done everything. We’ve put him at different spots at the field. Tristan has done well with adding that. Tristan has definitely led us, and for us to win, he’s got to take care of the ball.”

Sierra Vista’s leading rusher is Jonathan Gaona with 617 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also plays defensive end and has notched 72 tackles on the season.

Santa Clarita Christian School's Lucas Pettee (25), left, takes a handoff from SCCS quarterback Tristan Miller (12)  against Campbell Hall at Canyon Country.  Signal photo/Dan Watson
Santa Clarita Christian School’s Lucas Pettee (25), left, takes a handoff from SCCS quarterback Tristan Miller (12) against Campbell Hall at Canyon Country. Signal photo/Dan Watson

“He’s a big kid that can really run. He’s just a playmaker,” Garrick Moss said. “They give him the ball. We definitely have to make sure we know where he’s at at all times.”

The front seven will also be on high alert for dual-threat quarterback R.J. Pimentel. He’s the team’s second-leading rusher with 280 yards and four touchdowns on 69 carries. Through the air, he has 1,783 yards and 14 touchdowns.

SCCS has come a long way from their 0-4, injury-plagued preleague start, but a handful of its games have come down to the wire. It’s counted on late comebacks throughout the season, something that can’t happen this Friday.

“Start fast and end strong. Can’t start slow,” Garrick Moss said. “We have to start fast on both sides of the ball. Take control early and keep the gas pedal down. No brakes. You don’t want to give a team like this any momentum.”

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First 11-man football playoff win in the Cards?

Santa Clarita Christian wide receiver Blaike Orth looks to haul in a pass during a game earlier this season. The Cards open postseason play Friday. Signal photo by Dan Watson

Santa Clarita Christian football switched its practice location to West Ranch High on Tuesday night.

The team wanted to rehearse under the lights, since its usual practice field at Canyon Country Park has none.

It’s a slight change, but the Cardinals are willing to try anything to help them get their first-ever playoff win in 11-man football.

MORE SCCS: Season ends for Cardinals volleyball

In a CIF-Southern Section Division 13 first-round playoff game Friday, SCCS will visit a 7-3 Sierra Vista of Baldwin Park team that finished second in the Montview League.

SCCS (5-5, 4-1 in the San Joaquin League) is also entering the contest as a second-place team, but coach Garrick Moss still sees the Dons as a challenge. SCCS (5-5, 4-1 in the San Joaquin League) is also entering the contest as a second-place team, but coach Garrick Moss still sees the Dons as a challenge.

“They’re a huge school,” he said. “This team has close to 60 guys on the roster as opposed to our 25. It’s a huge test for us to play a school like that.”

Santa Clarita Christian School's Jacob Moss (2), left, and Logan Eagle (55) bring down South Pasadena running back Jalen Ross (1)  at Canyon High School on Saturday.  Signal photo/Dan Watson
Santa Clarita Christian School’s Jacob Moss (2), left, and Logan Eagle (55) bring down South Pasadena running back Jalen Ross (1) at Canyon High School. Signal photo/Dan Watson

The Cards know they can’t give Sierra Vista any opportunities but need to give themselves as many avenues to score as possible.

Extra plays have been added on offense, most of which involve running backs Seth Yu (547 yards, nine TDs) and Jacob Moss (375 yards rushing, 942 receiving), whose main position is receiver. Yu, Jacob and quarterback Tristan Miller (2,671 yards, 22 touchdowns) have all been receptive to the changes.

“(We’ve) got a lot of different looks,” Garrick Moss said. “(Jacob)’s done everything. We’ve put him at different spots at the field. Tristan has done well with adding that. Tristan has definitely led us, and for us to win, he’s got to take care of the ball.”

Sierra Vista’s leading rusher is Jonathan Gaona with 617 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also plays defensive end and has notched 72 tackles on the season.

Santa Clarita Christian School's Lucas Pettee (25), left, takes a handoff from SCCS quarterback Tristan Miller (12)  against Campbell Hall at Canyon Country.  Signal photo/Dan Watson
Santa Clarita Christian School’s Lucas Pettee (25), left, takes a handoff from SCCS quarterback Tristan Miller (12) against Campbell Hall at Canyon Country. Signal photo/Dan Watson

“He’s a big kid that can really run. He’s just a playmaker,” Garrick Moss said. “They give him the ball. We definitely have to make sure we know where he’s at at all times.”

The front seven will also be on high alert for dual-threat quarterback R.J. Pimentel. He’s the team’s second-leading rusher with 280 yards and four touchdowns on 69 carries. Through the air, he has 1,783 yards and 14 touchdowns.

SCCS has come a long way from their 0-4, injury-plagued preleague start, but a handful of its games have come down to the wire. It’s counted on late comebacks throughout the season, something that can’t happen this Friday.

“Start fast and end strong. Can’t start slow,” Garrick Moss said. “We have to start fast on both sides of the ball. Take control early and keep the gas pedal down. No brakes. You don’t want to give a team like this any momentum.”

About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and primarily covers Football, boys basketball, girls soccer and girls golf for The Signal.