In a season full of dominating wins, Santa Clarita Christian School saved something special for its regular-season finale.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 48-point halftime lead on their way to a 62-6 win Thursday over Southlands Christian at College of the Canyons, finishing out the first undefeated regular season in the school’s 11-man football history. They also won their first-ever San Joaquin League title.
Junior quarterback Blake Kirshner connected with Blaike Orth on touchdowns of 24, 22 and 43 yards within the first five minutes of the game. Orth set up the Cardinals’ first touchdown of the night with one of the Cardinals’ three interceptions.
“It’s a tribute to their hard work all season,” said Cardinals first-year coach Chazz Anderson. “Really, since January, they’ve had that mindset that they’re just going to work. They’re in love with the process.”
Injuries casted a shadow on the historic win, though, as Orth, running back Lucas Pettee and freshman Dylan Rowsey all exited with second-half injuries.
The team surrounded Orth, who suffered the injury while trying to make a catch in the fourth quarter, as his leg was propped up on a bench after the game.
“We got to up the ante as coaches and put kids in position to be successful no matter who is out there,” Anderson said. “It’s tough. You never want to see anybody hurt but you don’t want to play timid or scared.”
Kirshner finished the first half, which ended with a running clock, with five touchdowns. He’s thrown for 12 touchdowns over the team’s last two games. Pettee sandwiched an 11-yard rushing touchdown amid Kirshner and Orth’s scoring frenzy.
The sophomore entered the night 296 yards shy of reaching 1,000 on the season. He looked on his way to the benchmark in the second half before exiting the game with an apparent leg injury.
Pettee was helped off the field after an 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter after taking a hit in the end zone that garnered a personal foul penalty. He finished with 106 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries.
Kade Kalinske was the beneficiary of Kirshner’s final two touchdown strikes of the first half, hauling in two 8-yard touchdown passes in the second quarter.
Ethan Frields finished out the first-half scoring with a 32-yard pick-six. Frields also collected 2 ½ sacks while Wyatt Kennedy added two interceptions as well.
Southlands Christian (2-8, 1-4) tackled on its only points with a 2-yard rush from Bryson Smith in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals (10-0, 5-0 San Joaquin League) went into the game with the No. 1 ranking in CIF-Southern Section Division 13. They’ll likely be without Caden Brenner for their postseason run. Brenner had leg surgery Thursday but still showed up to his game in his jersey and watched from a wheelchair on the sideline.