Santa Clarita Christian football (4-3, 1-2) dropped its league matchup on the road against Leadership Military Academy (2-5, 2-0) on Saturday.
The Wolf Pack won the game, 60-42, thanks to the dynamic running attack of J’wan Wilson and Carlos Ayala. The running back tandem was able to take advantage of SCCS being short three starting linemen and ran wild.
Wilson finished with 18 carries for 201 yards and a score while Ayala took 22 reps for 153 yards and four TDs. Wilson also led the defense with two sacks.
SCCS sophomore Eli Duhm found the end zone four times. Duhm returned two kickoffs to the house as well as hauling in two receiving TDs.
Quarterback Cayden Rappleye was also great for the Cardinals. The sophomore led the offense down the field throughout the first half as well as starting at defensive end.
“Cayden, he’s a dog,” said SCCS head coach Austin Fry. “He’s giving it 100% the whole game. He had a couple of moments where he tried a little too much but with a player like him, I was OK with the risks he took.”
The shorthanded Cardinals kept it close throughout the first half. Both offenses kept firing and the Wolf Pack went into the half up 38-35.
Fry knew his team was tired from working a hefty first half of running.
“The conversation all week and at halftime was, ‘You’re going to be hurting and tired but that’s just the reality of football and this game. I’ll get you subs when I can but I need you to be tough,’” said Fry.
The worn-down SCCS kept fighting throughout the game and kept it close with a tough opponent. Linebacker Jude Patton finished with 18 tackles. Sophomore Timmy Taddler registered 14 tackles and one pick.
“I don’t think I ever saw them quit. They just got worn down over and over again,” said Fry. “Our depth wasn’t there with the injured. Considering all that, we played well with a team that can compete with anyone.”
SCCS is still in good shape heading to the final two games of the year.
The Cardinals will look to bounce back on the road Thursday when they play Milken at Birmingham. The Wildcats and Cards kickoff Thursday at 7 p.m.