Everything felt right for Santa Clarita Christian School on Saturday night.
The feeling was confirmed after a final buzzer that signaled a 36-12 win over St. Bernard of Playa del Rey.
“It was a little different not having guys like (former wide receiver) Jacob Moss and (former quarterback) Tristan (Miller) out there, but it was just great to go out there and have a core group of guys. … It feels right honestly,” said wide receiver Caden Brenner.
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Brenner himself was joining the Cardinals (1-0) for the first time after recovering from an ACL tear that removed him from play all of last season.
He came out with a bang, scoring a 45-yard touchdown off a pass from first-year starting quarterback Blake Kirshner in the first quarter.
“It was crazy,” Brenner said. “It was surreal, honestly. I’ve been out for so long and I’ve been dreaming of coming back since I’ve been out. To get the first touchdown of the season is something I can’t even put into words.”
Kirshner threw his second scoring pass of the evening to Carson Schwesinger for a 22-yard touchdown. The Cards completed their second two-point conversion afterward to set the score at 16-0.
The junior quarterback threw for four touchdowns and zero interceptions by the end of the night.
“You can practice all you want, but there’s nothing like game speed,” Brenner said. “For him to come out there and throw four touchdowns is really impressive.”
Kirshner closed the first half with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Josh Clark.
The Vikings (0-1) rushed for two touchdowns in the second half, but SCCS scored two of their own – both involving Blaike Orth.
Orth returned a kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown, then caught a 45-yard Kirshner pass for the final points of the game.
“Our linebackers Tommy Shields and Ethan Schwesinger were just controlling the whole game,” Brenner said. “I think we just have a lot of physical guys and our scheme is just incredible so we know what they’re going to do and when they’re going do it.”
The Cards play South Pasadena on the road on Friday.