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Keoshian is in select company

The achievements of the Cardinals’ talented running back make a claim for him as one of the SCV’s gr

Posted: December 5, 2009 10:34 p.m.
Updated: December 6, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Santa Clarita Christian running back Collin Keoshian dives for his second touchdown against Faith Baptist on Saturday in Canoga Park.

 

CANOGA PARK — Collin Keoshian’s star shone bright in his four-year high school football career, capped by his Santa Clarita Christian football team’s 38-22 victory Saturday in the CIF-Southern Section Division I 8-Man championship over Faith Baptist.

There was a story that came out earlier this year that made its way from this newspaper to Los Angeles’ biggest paper to the TV news — rehashed and rehashed so more people could get to know the big kid from the little school.

The story told about how Keoshian earned attention from BYU recruiters by way of a YouTube video.

Keoshian proved that it doesn’t matter who you play for, if you’re good, you will be found.

But he proved a lot more in his four-year high school career.

In a valley filled with high school history, Keoshian became one of the best football players to ever play in it.
Ask his coach.

“I feel he is as talented as any player,” said Santa Clarita Christian head coach Garrick Moss. “There are guys you think of who have more speed or better jumping ability, but he makes up for it in drive and determination. With his heart and determination, he’s right there, and we’ll see when he’s playing at BYU how good he can be.”

When the discussion of the greatest football players in this valley’s history is brought up, the names of Hart’s Ted Iacenda, Kyle Boller, Matt Moore and Delano Howell are brought up.

So are Canyon’s Chuck Osborne and J.J. DiLuigi.

Valencia can boast Michael Herrick and Shane Vereen.

But dare it be said that an 8-Man football player be lumped in with the bunch.

The answer is yes.

Keoshian may just be the greatest 8-Man football player in California history.

His 6,357 career rushing yards are second all-time in 8-Man state history.

His 102 career rushing touchdowns are first all-time in 8-Man state history and first in Santa Clarita Valley history.

He accounted for 143 touchdowns in his career — rushing, receiving, passing, kick returns and defensive.

Add to that the fact that he won two CIF titles, made just over 560 tackles on defense, had two 2,000-yard plus rushing seasons (and likely would have had another this season had he not missed four games with a shoulder injury) and won a Division I Player of the Year in 2008 and will likely win this year’s award.

And if you never saw him play, you missed body-slam tackles, tackler-dragging runs, leaps into the end zone and over opponents and a million-dollar smile that could not be removed.

His coaches, teammates and father/SCCS defensive coordinator, Craig, talk about his character as his best quality.

While his teammates readied in a locker room filled with music before Saturday’s game, Keoshian sat quietly in the corner and read the Bible.

Then he went out and made the big plays on the field — three rushing touchdowns, a touchdown pass and a forced fumble.

Between plays, he’d pat opponents on their helmets,

Before the last play of the game, in which he would take a knee to run out the clock, he pointed with two fingers to the sky, then took the snap.

“Honestly, I play because the Lord allows me to play,” he explained. “I want to give all the glory to the Lord. I see football as a tool for that. Every time I put my finger up, it’s for him.”

The highest compliment paid to Keoshian was by opposing quarterback Matt Rasmussen.

The Faith Baptist junior, clearly fighting off tears after the loss, reflected on playing Keoshian — which he has done four times in the last two years.

Last season, Keoshian ran for 266 yards and scored five touchdowns in a 50-28 championship game win against the Contenders.

This year, it was 118 yards.

“He’s a great player,” Rasmussen said. “He makes us want to work harder in the offseason.”

Moss would later say: “He helped people realize (8-Man football) is legit. It’s not flag football. ... He gave it some respectability in Southern California.”

Point proven.

 

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