On Saturday night, the Santa Clarita Christian School football team stood on the field at College of the Canyons, surrounding the Faith Bowl Trophy.
“Three’s up!” one voice shouted from the group.
The Cardinals beat Trinity Classical Academy for the third time in as many Faith Bowl games, 27-18.
“It’s tough to beat anybody three times,” said SCCS coach Chazz Anderson. “They took it to us. Hats off to Trinity. Just well prepared, they played extremely hard.”
The Knights wanted to make the win as complicated as possible.
The Cardinals (5-0 overall, 1-0 in San Joaquin League) got on the board early, scoring on their first two drives of the game. Quarterback Blake Kirshner threw to Caden Brenner for the first and to Ethan Schwesinger for the second.
They encountered their first setback when Trinity’s Ryan DeMarois snatched a Kirshner pass and returned it for a touchdown.
The scored once more in the first half when Phineas Yi executed a one-yard touchdown toss to DeMarois to bring the score to 13-12 heading into halftime.
“He’s getting a chance to show himself this year,” said Trinity coach Les Robinson of DeMarois. “…He’s a great player, he always plays well, he competes hard.”
Lucas Pettee made a four-yard touchdown rush with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter, but the Knights (2-3 overall) weren’t rolling over quite yet.
Yi sent a nine-yard pass to Tyler Lee to cut the deficit to 21-18.
Pettee stepped up the offense’s game in the remainder of the game, scoring a 20-yard touchdown to seal the win.
“They were trying to throw us off and we’ve just got to stay in our game plan and that’s it,” Pettee said.
The Cardinals were pleased with the win but knew that the handful of false starts and other offensive errors could have made the victory a bit smoother.
“We could do a lot better,” Pettee said. “We have to get ready for next week.”
Kirshner completed 29 of 38 passes for 267 yards with three interceptions. Pettee had 115 yards on 16 carries.