Santa Clarita Christian School football enters tonight’s game against Rio Hondo with a Prep League title on the line. With a win, the Cardinals can do no worse than a tie for first place in league.
“We have been mentally geared up for this for weeks,” said SCCS coach Mark Bates.
The team is coming off a win against last season’s league champions, Polytechnic of Pasadena, a team that featured what Bates considers to be a “finesse” offense that had multiple weapons in the backfield.
Rio Hondo will be different.
“Rio Hondo is more power,” Bates said. “They’ll just come right at you and try to knock you off the ball.”
Evan Foor commands the Kares’ offense and has been 63-of-92 passing this season with 1,097 yards, 16 touchdowns and two interceptions. Seven different receivers have caught at least one of his passes for a touchdown this season.
But it’s the run that the Cardinals are focused on shutting down. One of SCCS’s only flaws this season has been its struggle to make tackles when facing teams with a solid ground game.
“They do a bunch of dives so we’re focusing on the run right now,” said linebacker and tight end Ethan Schwesinger. “It’s our first priority because we haven’t been as good at that weekly.”
Schwesinger had six catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns last week against Poly.
His brother, Carson, also had two touchdowns against Poly. The tandem makes up just two parts of a solid receiving corps that is backed up by a reliable running back in Lucas Pettee, who has 120 carries for 691 yards and eight touchdowns.
“Just the array of weapons we have,” Schwesinger said of the strongest part of SCCS’s offense. “Everyone is always ready to step up and make a play. I think that’s what separates us.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Oaks Christian High School.