Something is going to have to give Saturday night in the third annual Faith Bowl at College of the Canyons.
Trinity Classical Academy (2-2) has allowed just six points overs its last two games. Meanwhile, Santa Clarita Christian School (4-0) is coming off a season-high 42 points in last week’s win and has dropped 35-plus points in two if its four victories.
Knights coach Les Robinson is rightfully confident in his defense, but he borrowed some wisdom from boxing legend Mike Tyson to keep things in perspective.
“Like Tyson used to say, everyone has a plan until they get hit,” Robinson said. “We won’t know what to expect until we get hit.
“We know we can play defense, but this is not your average offense that we’re facing. They’re lighting it up and they could do it with a bunch of guys in a bunch of different ways.”
The Cardinals, ranked sixth in the CIF-Southern Section Division 13 polls, lit up The Webb Schools last Saturday to the tune of 42-16. Junior quarterback Blake Kirshner had his finest performance in what’s been a superb year, throwing for a season-high 347 yards to go with six touchdowns.
“It’s really been just sticking to the game plan,” Kirshner said. “If we do that, we don’t have to do anything crazy. We know we can trust in it.”
Kirshner has thrown for 300-plus yards in back-to-back games and has accumulated 10 touchdowns in that span.
While the rivalry is still in its incubation stage, it’s already taken hold with current players. The Cardinals have won both games, outscoring the Knights 84-20.
“It’s definitely a big deal to us,” Kirshner said. “It’s probably the biggest crowd either team is going to have either season, except for like a deep playoff run, and you get those bragging rights until next season.”
Kirshner’s stellar performance in last week’s win was mirrored by Trinity on the defensive side of the ball, as the Knights shut out Southlands Christian, 36-0. Southlands Christian never made it as far as the Knights’ 30-yard line in the loss.
Trinity was unable to scrimmage before their season-opener and Robinson believed that correlated with the team’s two losses to open the year.
“It’s taken us a few weeks to get to that game speed,” Robinson said. “But now we’re starting to round out pretty well.”
No matter how rounded out the Knights are becoming, Saturday will certainly provide the biggest test to its vaunted defense.
“You try to do your best to stop them, and if not stop them, try to contain them,” Robinson said.
“There are some teams that have that firepower and you have to deal with it. And you have to respect it. We definitely respect them.”