Cardinals will face San Luis Obispo Classical in CIF-SS Division 2 first round
Santa Clarita Christian (6-3) won its non-league home matchup with the Frazier Mountain Falcons (4-5) on Saturday.
Head coach Austin Fry was proud of his team’s strong finish to the season in one of its most unprepared games of the year.
The program had a late JV game on Monday and with a handful of players out sick, varsity wasn’t able to have a full scout team until Thursday.
Fry was hoping to utilize more of the depth chart in the regular season finale, and the bench players came through.
Cardinals quarterback Cayden Rappleye was as active as ever, throwing 16 passes and taking 20 rushes in the win.
Rappleye totaled up 106 yards and two TDs through the air on eight completions while rushing for 68 yards and two scores.
The sophomore quarterback has rushed for two touchdowns in three straight games.
SCCS was able to capitalize on a few big plays and score, but couldn’t pull away until late in the game. The Cards would go into the halftime break up just 14-12.
Frazier Mountain was able to score in each of the opening quarters on two 50-yard runs.
“They’re a gritty team with exceptional athletes,” said Fry. “We were hoping to go in and do what we do well.”
Running back Timmy Tadler was heavily involved in the run game as well. Tadler took his 14 carries for 39 yards against a tough Falcon defense but his coach was pleased with his and Rappleye’s hard running.
“We tried to keep the ball on the ground a lot to keep as much possession as possible,” said Fry. “We had a lot of 4-yard runs at a time. I was really happy with that.”
SCCS went on to pitch a shutout in the second half while the offense totaled up two more scores.
Rappleye rushed in for his second score, then later hit senior wide receiver Carter Aispuro for a 31-yard TD pass to put the game out of reach.
The Cardinals will now head back into the 8-man CIF Division 2 playoffs. SCCS will host San Luis Obispo Classical (2-4) on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hart High.
SCCS is riding high into the playoffs as winner of three of its last four with two shutouts.
SLO Classical is a newer team, but Fry knows not to underestimate any opponent.
“I don’t want us to overlook this game just because we’re higher seed,” said Fry. “It’s easy to look at the bracket and look ahead. I just want us to look at this game as the most important game of the year.”
The Cards were knocked out in the first round last year, so a win on Saturday would be the first playoff win for the program since its restart.