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Keoshian takes top honor again

SCCS running back is CIF-SS Division I 8-Man Player of the Year; several Cardinals

Posted: January 7, 2010 10:52 p.m.
Updated: January 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
Collin Keoshian has done it again.

After leading Santa Clarita Christian to a second straight CIF-Southern Section Division I 8-Man Football championship, Keoshian was recently named CIF-SS Division I 8-Man Player of the Year for the second straight season.

Keoshian dominated on both sides of the ball during his senior season for the Cardinals. He recorded nearly 100 tackles on defense and 2,369 yards from scrimmage on offense.

Now, he’s earned the CIF section’s top honor again, according to Cardinals head coach Garrick Moss.

Moss was recently contacted by a CIF representative, but the organization has yet to release the official list.

Keoshian, a BYU-bound linebacker who also took kicks, rushed the ball, threw the ball and caught four touchdown passes for SCCS, led a group of seven who were honored, Moss said.

Daniel Chaplin was named the section’s co-defensive MVP for his efforts on the defensive line.

Keoshian and Chaplin also earned player of the year honors for the Heritage League on offense and defense, respectively.

Moss said it was a fulfillment of one of Chaplin’s goals from last season.

“At the end of last year, (Chaplin) said, ‘I want to work really hard and be on that list,’” Moss said. “That’s a big accomplishment.”

Chaplin proceeded to lead the team in tackles with 129, and made several big plays that made the Cardinals’ second consecutive title push a success.

Perhaps no play symbolizes Chaplin’s toughness better than the sack that secured the team’s first outright Heritage League title in the regular-season finale on Nov. 7.

The Contenders were facing a third-and-24 while trying to mount a comeback drive when Chaplin’s second sack of the series gave Faith a fourth-and-36 and put a first down out of reach.

Moss will also miss Keoshian’s contributions from the sidelines.

Moss said it wasn’t just his athleticism that gave the team an advantage, but also his knowledge of the game on offense and defense.

Keoshian’s storied career as a Cardinal includes a Santa Clarita Valley-record 143 touchdowns, and he leaves as the state’s all-time leader in 8-Man rushing touchdowns and is second with 6,357 career rushing yards.

By the end of his career, Moss said Keoshian could read opposing schemes and make adjustments on his own. 

“He’s gotten to the point where he’s seeing things on the field that maybe I can’t see, and we’re always willing to listen and he’s always free to do that,” Moss said of Keoshian’s ability to lead.

Cardinals running back Colin Mayhugh was named to the first-team offense as a running back.

The speedy rusher also had a multipurpose role in the offense, throwing for 491 yards and gaining 148 receiving yards.

Mayhugh finished the season with 1,252 rushing yards, which was highlighted by his game against The Thacher School.

In the Cardinals’ first-ever win over Thacher, Mayhugh rushed for 203 yards on 12 carries, scored for a touchdown and threw a touchdown pass in a 62-22 blowout.

Ethan Espinosa earned a spot on the first-team defense as a senior defensive lineman who was an undersized but played a hard-nosed brand of football.

The 5-foot-9-inch nose tackle registered 92 tackles and five fumble recoveries for SCCS.

Brandon Harris and Adrian Mosley also garnered first-team nods due to their ability to swarm the ball.

In addition to being a solid lead blocker for Keoshian and Mayhugh, Mosley notched 113 tackles, a pair of sacks and forced a fumble.

Harris had four sacks, recovered four fumbles and forced three turnovers to go with 44 tackles.

Sophomore Ryan Espinosa, who was a 6-foot-1-inch shutdown corner for SCCS, grabbed two interceptions and defended nine passes despite missing four games with a badly separated shoulder. He earned a second-team All-CIF spot.

Senior offensive lineman Kirill Gillis, who played center, and Christian Gault, who played well all over the offensive line, took home first-team All-Heritage League honors on offense.

Mayhugh and wide receiver Chris Fechtelkotter, a sophomore, also earned first-team selections on offense. Fechtelkotter led the team in receptions with 23 and receiving yards with 368.

On defense, Harris, Mosley, Ethan Espinosa and junior Ryan Espinosa took home first-team All-Heritage League honors.

Zach Cronin, a junior, earned second-team All-Heritage League honors for his contributions all over the offensive line.

“He’s a big kid and going to be huge for us next year,” Moss said.

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