By Matt Lechuga
For The Signal
For the second straight game, Santa Clarita Christian scored 56 points thanks to a monster night from senior quarterback Blake Kirshner, as the Cardinals beat Trinity Classical Academy 56-28 at Fillmore High School for its fourth straight Faith Bowl victory.
“We work really hard trying to be balanced in the run and pass and to be consistent,” said Cardinals head coach Mark Bates. “And Blake’s slinging it. We have some kids that can run routes well and they love to play together.”
Kirshner finished with 295 yards and six touchdowns through the air and added a rushing score for good measure.
The two teams found their offensive strides in the second quarter after a relatively slow opening period that saw SCCS (4-1) leading 7-0.
Trinity (1-3) took a brief 8-7 lead on a Kyle Fields 3-yard touchdown rush and successful two-point conversion. Kirshner came right back just two plays later, hitting John Keane from 11 yards out to give SCCS the 14-8 lead.
The Knights struck back and tied the game at 14 with a quick strike of their own, needing only three plays to score on a Phineas Yi 26-yard touchdown pass to AJ Horning.
Ethan Schwesinger gave the Cardinals a 21-14 lead after grabbing Kirshner’s sideline pass and breaking two arm tackles, running the rest of the way for a 32-yard touchdown.
The teams would trade scores again before entering halftime with SCCS leading 28-20.
“A lot of these games I know my receivers are outmatching the corners and safeties so I just have a lot of faith that my guys are going to go out and make a lot of catches,” said Kirshner. “It makes the game a lot easier for me when that happens.”
The game turned with Trinity’s opening drive in the third quarter when after being unable to move the ball the Knights fumbled a bad snap on the punt and allowed the Cardinals to take possession at the Trinity 8-yard line. The Cardinals only needed one play, a 7-yard rush from Kirshner, to score and start pulling away for good.
The Cardinals would go on to score three unanswered touchdowns before Trinity could answer in its final drive on a 4-yard pass from Yi to Carson Campuzano, providing the final score of 56-28.
“We feel like we could play with them but we had a bad third quarter,” said Knights head coach Les Robinson. “They’re a fine team, a playoff team, and we didn’t play up to our potential. But we needed that. You have to play a titan to beat one so it was good for us to play them and compete like we did.”
The Cardinals will take a week off before its next matchup at Rancho Christian. Trinity will look to get back in the win column when it plays at St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy next week.