Santa Clarita Christian Cardinals quarterback Cayden Rappleye got his revenge on Saturday.
After two losses to Coast Union last season, SCCS pounded the Broncos, 44-6, at Valencia High School.
Rappleye was part of nearly every point, with six total touchdowns, 226 offensive yards, while also leading his team with 12 tackles.
The Cardinals (4-1) sparked from the get-go behind 29 unanswered points in the first quarter. SCCS marched right down the field but suddenly faced fourth and long. Rappleye escaped pressure on the fourth play and found Wyatt Waldron in the end zone for the opening score of the game.
Cardinals senior Noah Butler forced a Coast Union (1-3) fumble on the team’s opening drive, setting up Rappleye and company back inside the red zone. SCCS continued to run wild and didn’t give up a score until later in the second half, when the Cards were up 37-6.
Cards head coach Austin Fry saw his team show strong physical and mental performances for the first time together this season.
“We installed something new that I think helped us get a good quick start,” Fry said in a phone interview. “I think the guys just executed really well both mentally and physically. This season so far we’ve been physically able to make plays but mentality we haven’t been locked in, but everything clicked on Saturday and we were able to do both.”
Rappleye and Butler both had monster days on both sides of the ball. Butler, a defensive tackle, constantly moved the line of scrimmage and finished the day with 10 tackles and one fumble recovery.
“We put Noah Butler right in the middle, and wanted to reset the line of scrimmage and disrupt it,” Fry said. “Noah played a huge part in that. He reset the line almost every play.”
Cardinals junior receiver Eli Duhm is nursing an ankle injury, but still managed to reel in three catches for three catches for 68 yards and two TDs.
SCCS has been hammered with injuries, especially in the backfield. The team has lost five players for the season but Fry has been impressed with his underclassmen stepping up into bigger roles. One of those players is freshman Mason Rappleye, who has taken on the starting running back role. Mason is not a natural running back, as the freshman resembles his older brother as a quarterback and linebacker, but Fry saw his potential running the ball.
“It was easy to put Mason back there. He knows the offense really well and he’s just a good football player,” Fry said. “As a freshman you’re not as developed as everyone else but with his physicality and mind, he can do what we need him to do. I’m not worried about it.”
Mason has made an impact and has similarities to his brother. As a freshman, each was entrusted with a crucial position that they weren’t quite familiar with. However, as “good football players,” Fry has had no issues throwing in his Rappleyes.
“Two years ago when we started we needed to find a quarterback,” Fry said. “(Cayden) had a good arm, he was a good runner and he knows football. To start a football team, you want a good football player leading that team. He was just a ninth grader, but I committed to him because he can do the things we needed. He’s not naturally a quarterback but we invested in him because he can do what we need on both sides of the ball.”
SCCS has put up some big numbers this season. Now averaging over 35 points a game, the Cards will head into the bye week ahead of their non-league finale with Flintridge Prep.
The Cardinals will remain home after the bye and host Flintridge on Saturday, Oct. 7, at College of the Canyons at 7 p.m.