Santa Clarita watches the 2020 College Football Playoffs

Kerri and Mike Spurlin, second and third from left, and a group of friends cheer on the Oklahoma Sooners as they watch the opening kickoff of the Peach Bowl College Football Playoff game against the LSU Tigers as they watch the game at Schooner Patio Grille in Santa Clarita on Saturday, December 28, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

And then there were two. 

College football fans filled sports bars throughout the Santa Clarita Valley Saturday to see who would be advancing to the college football national championship on Jan. 13. 

Earlier in the day, The University of Oklahoma Sooners and Louisiana State University Tigers played one another in a match called the Peach Bowl.

Prior to the game starting, fans were seen watching the end of the Memphis Tigers and Penn State Nittany Lions. The game drew additional local interest because Brady White, alumni of Hart High School football, was quarterback for the Tigers. 

OU fans in jerseys began to fill Schooners Patio Grille, a new American restaurant on Soledad Canyon Road, well before game time. 

Mike and Kerri Spurlin cheer on Oklahoma during the Peach Bowl College Football Playoff game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the LSU Tigers as they watch the game at Schooner Patio Grille in Santa Clarita on Saturday, December 28, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

“Our connection to Oklahoma is through my husband’s family, they are all from there,” said Kerri Spurlin, of Newhall.

Spurlin and her husband Mike were waiting on a group of about 20 of their friends to watch the game. The couple met a good amount of the group watching OU games in the past at Schooners.  

“We met them through watching OU games and we became really good friends,” said Spurlin. “Now we meet here for the games because it is both our watching and lucky spot. The food is good and the beer is cold.” 

Schooners has become home to friendship and unity in the community, according to Schooners owner Teri Ledesma.

“We want people to meet new friends and run into old ones and have a great time,” said Ledesma.

Sitting at a table adjacent to Kerri, Justin, her son, sat with friends to watch the game. He is currently in the military and drove down the previous night from Oregon to see his family and watch the game.

Members of the College of the Canyons Football coaching staff watch the Peach Bowl at Buffalo Wild Wings in Canyon Country on Saturday, December 28, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

A few minutes down Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country, Buffalo Wild Wings was hosting another watch party on their televisions for the playoff games. 

“We try to create a fun, upbeat, and family-oriented environment,” said Jesus Mendoza, manager of BWW. “It gets pretty exciting here. We are expecting a full house tonight.” 

During a big sporting event, like the College Football Playoffs, it is hard to secure a table at this establishment. 

At 5 p.m., the second playoff game, the Fiesta Bowl, was played between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Clemson University Tigers. Last year, Clemson won the championship and has returned to defend the title. Up until this point, both teams were undefeated. 

In BWW, passionate fans waited for the game to begin as they snacked on chicken wings and beer. 

“I’m just here to watch some good football,” said Ryan Hykes, of Canyon Country. “Ohio State has been arguably the best team all year, but Clemson are the defending champs so you can’t count them out. It should be a lot closer than the OU and LSU semifinal.” 

Once both the games concluded, two teams remained. The LSU Tigers and Clemson Tigers will battle it out on Jan. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the national title.

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