It was tough to tell which side of the ball enjoyed a better game Saturday night for Santa Clarita Christian School.
On one hand, the Cardinals defense was impenetrable in their 42-0 win over Capistrano Valley Christian, collecting three interceptions, a sack and three tackles for a loss.
But then there’s the offense, led by quarterback Blake Kirshner, who threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns, which afforded the defense to take the night off if it wanted.
That was all irrelevant to the Cardinals (8-0, 3-0 San Joaquin League), as they extended their best start in school history and collected their first shutout of the season on senior night.
Victory never looked to be in doubt for SCCS. Sophomore Lucas Pettee rushed for a 25-yard touchdown and Kirshner connected with Blaike Orth for a 77-yard score in the first nine minutes of the game on the way to a 28-0 halftime lead.
“We came out physical this time instead of the soft way we’ve come out the last couple games,” Orth said. “We had that mentality coming into the game that we’re undefeated and nobody is going to beat us.”
Orth did a little bit of everything on offense Saturday. He caught four passes for 146 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a 12-yard touchdown off a reverse to set the final score early in the fourth quarter.
Freshman Carson Schwesinger followed suit with Orth’s versatile stat line, catching seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown while picking off a pass as well. Wyatt Kennedy also had an interception and Tommy Shields added a sack and a tackle for a loss.
“It’s nice playing for the seniors and being able to get that shutout for them,” Carson Schwesinger said. “Tommy Shields really stepped up tonight and set up a bunch of plays for us.”
Carson Schwesinger was right in the middle of one of those setups.
Shields planted Capistrano Valley (3-5, 1-2) quarterback Zach Allesi while trying to make a rollout pass in the fourth quarter. The ball eventually made its way into the arms of Carson Schwesinger and Allesi didn’t return.
The Cardinals dealt with an injury scare of their own following a 26-yard touchdown pass from Kirshner to Caden Brenner to open the second-half scoring. Brenner was helped off the field after the catch with an apparent right leg injury. He ended the night with six catches for 95 yards.
Kirshner credited part of his big day to Pettee, who finished with 17 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore notched his fourth 100-plus yard rushing performance in his last five games.
“We’re traditionally a spread offense so it’s big to have a guy like him who can run the ball,” Kirshner said. “You’ve got to keep those guys honest and he’s huge with that.”