SCCS football’s quest starts tonight

Santa Clarita Christian School's Blaike Orth (3) takes the ball into the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter against South Pasadena at Canyon High School last season. Dan Watson/The Signal

There are a lot of new elements that will be tested for Santa Clarita Christian School tonight when they take on St. Bernard of Playa del Rey in their season-opener.

In addition to Chazz Anderson making his debut as head coach of the Cardinals, Blake Kirshner will be starting at quarterback for the first time.

“He’s going to bring an understanding of the offense and what’s expected of him within the offense,” Anderson said. “He’s worked extremely hard and he’ll be really looking forward to the opportunity.”

Receivers Caden Brenner and Ethan Schwesinger are returning to game action after sitting out last season due to ACL tears. After watching the Cards catch fire late last season, they’re itching to get back out there.

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“I’ve been waiting for this for so long,” Brenner told The Signal last week.

Brenner caught 80 passes for 1,036 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2015, while Schwesinger had 37 catches for 542 yards in that same year.

We could see multiple faces at running back for the Cards, who said that they would be using a “running-back-by-committee” strategy for games.

St. Bernard is coming off a tough 2016 season in which they went 1-9 overall and 0-4 in the South Catholic League.

But a fresh coaching staff and a new season makes Anderson hesitate to dismiss them as an easy win.

“Sometimes you have seasons where the ball bounces your way and sometimes you don’t,” Anderson said of the Vikings’ performance last year.

“They’re big, they’re fast, they’re extremely athletic and I got an opportunity to meet with some of the coaches last night, just really good men,” he continued.

They also have a young team this year, with five seniors on a roster of 25 players, according to MaxPreps.

The Cardinals had nearly the opposite results last year. After a bleak 1-4 preleague, SCCS went on to lose only one game in San Joaquin League play to make their first playoff run in 11-man football.

SCCS will play the Vikings at 7 p.m. tonight at Canyon High.

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