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SCCS suffers deceptive loss

Missing multiple key players, shorthanded Santa Clarita Christian’s coaching staff finds positives

Posted: October 17, 2009 11:37 p.m.
Updated: October 18, 2009 4:55 a.m.
OJAI - It was quite the contradiction.

After Santa Clarita Christian football lost 48-16 to The Thacher School in Ojai Saturday, the Cardinals coaching staff threw out a bouquet of positives.

Yet the game was ugly.

Key players got injured.

Others didn't even suit up.

The Cardinals (2-4) fumbled the ball numerous times and were blown out early.

But near the south end zone after the game, the coaches complimented the players for their hard work and told them they played well.

"We have a lot of work to do, don't get me wrong," said SCCS head coach Garrick Moss. "But this week, losing to Thacher by 32 points, people are going to wonder why we didn't get (mercy-ruled)."

The Cardinals were forced to shuffle the deck before the game even started.

Reigning CIF-Southern Section 8-Man Division I Player of the Year Collin Keoshian missed his second consecutive game with a slightly separated shoulder.

Senior starter Ryan Espinosa also was out a second straight week with a dislocated elbow.

Early in the second quarter, SCCS's remaining biggest offensive producer, Colin Mayhugh, was knocked out of the game with a head injury.

The game's microcosm came late in the second quarter when senior Adrian Mosley, who moved to the backfield from the offensive line after Mayhugh's injury, ran for 31 yards, dragging Thacher defenders most of the way.

Near the end of the run, he fumbled.

Thacher (4-1) recovered.

Mosley laid on the ground for nearly five minutes after the wind got knocked out of him.

Then the Toads knocked the wind out of the Cardinals for the game.

On the very next play, Thacher's Cole Ryder ran 61 yards for a touchdown.

After a two-point conversion, Thacher was up 24-0 going into halftime.

Turnovers were the story early on for SCCS.

The Cardinals turned the ball over three times in the first half.

The Toads scored touchdowns and converted two pointers off each miscue.

Quarterback Austin Krause scored the game's first touchdown on a 26-yard run with 5:52 to play in the first quarter.

A fumble led to the score.

"We got some momentum with those turnovers," Krause said. "The one thing we stress is turnovers."

Thacher's Brandon Tate returned an SCCS fumble 25 yards for a touchdown with 4:37 to play in the second quarter, which put Thacher up 16-0 after a two-point conversion.

The Toads scored two touchdowns in the third quarter - a 69-yard run by Krause and a 24-yard pass to Stephen Yih - which gave Thacher a 40-0 lead.

This was the point where the positives began to show for SCCS.

The backfield of Mosley, Ethan Espinosa, Daniel Chaplin and freshman quarterback Connor Harvey started to click.

Mosley scored on an 11-yard touchdown run with 4:36 to play in the game.

A two-point conversion made it 40-8.

Chaplin scored two minutes later when he scooped up a Thacher fumble in the end zone.

Another two-pointer made it 40-16.

Krause would run in a 20-yard touchdown with a minute to play to give Thacher the 48-16 lead.

Yet SCCS, which has relied so heavily on Keoshian over the past couple of seasons, did show that contributions could come from other areas.

Freshman Christian Broadbent and sophomore Chris Marquez picked off passes in the game.

Ethan Espinosa ran for 106 yards on 25 carries, though 66 of those yards came in the fourth quarter.

Mosley had eight carries for 72 yards and made two catches for 43 yards.

"It shows we can actually work without Keoshian," Mosley said. "Our whole team can fill in spots if we need them."

On top of all this, Keoshian and Ryan Espinosa are expected to play next Saturday when the Cardinals open up Heritage League play with Heritage Christian.

"We feel really good about where we're at," Moss said.


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