The SCCS football team is coming off a huge 47-14 win last week over Northgate behind a spectacular display from quarterback Blake Kirshner.
Kirshner and the Cardinals offense will look to repeat their strong performance tonight at 7 p.m., when they take on Morningside at Caroline Coleman Stadium in Inglewood.
The senior quarterback went 18-for-26 for 362 passing yards last week. He threw four touchdowns and also ran in a score. Kirshner has 879 passing yards and 10 total touchdowns in three games so far this season.
“He’s an outstanding, one-of-a-kind talent,” senior wide receiver Kade Kalinske said about his quarterback. “I think he will play D1 football. I see that in his future. He’s a great player and it’s been an amazing year so far with him.”
It helps that Kirshner has a plethora of weapons to throw to, including Kalinske, John Keane and brothers Ethan and Carson Schwesinger. Between the two of them, the Schwesinger brothers have amassed 477 receiving yards and five touchdowns in the team’s first three games.
Another weapon the Cardinals added this year is junior running back Lucas Pettee’s newfound catching ability. Pettee had eight receptions for 54 yards last season and has already surpassed that total this year with 11 catches for 194 receiving yards plus three touchdowns.
“I’ve watched him throughout the whole offseason train like a receiver. His hands are better. He trained with us and he grew into a receiving running back,” Kalinske said. “It’s been so helpful because now we can go five-wide, we can go empty in the backfield and they can’t cover five of us with our skill.”
Morningside is 1-2 on the season, losing their first two games without scoring a point. They won their last game against Centennial 15-0 behind a strong defensive performance. They’ve demonstrated that they can get after the quarterback, forcing two sack fumbles in their last game.
The Monarchs also boast a talented running back, who Cardinals linebacker Ethan Frields believes will be the focus of their offense.
“What we’ve seen from film is that the biggest challenge will be their running back,” Frields said. “They run a simple offense, but they have a pretty good running back. We have to be able to play the run well as well as finishing tackles.”
With SCCS having played on Saturday and now tonight, they had to practice on an unusually short week.
The Cardinals utilized the services of the Performance Lab of California to help them with stretches and rehab throughout the season. It definitely came in handy this week.
“Me personally, I’ve stayed in the ice tub all week,” Kalinske said with a laugh. “As a team we try to be as physical as we can throughout practice without getting anybody hurt. With the quick turnaround it’s kind of tough, but I think we’re ready.”