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Prep football: Costly miscues

Turnovers, more than 100 yards in penalties lead to defeat

Posted: October 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Santa Clarita Christian's Larue Nixon (9) weaves his way through the Saddleback Valley Christian defense on Saturday at Canyon High School. Saddleback Valley got the better of the Cardinals, though, winning 21-0.

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If the Santa Clarita Christian football team can’t finish the season strong and wind up missing the playoffs, they’ll likely look back on Saturday night at Canyon High School and think about what could have been.

What could have, and possibly should have, been was a win over conference foe Saddleback Valley Christian of San Juan Capistrano. What actually transpired was a bevy of Cardinals’ mistakes that ultimately lead to a 21-0 defeat.

On the opening drive of the game, Santa Clarita Christian (5-3 overall, 2-2 San Joaquin League) moved the ball all the way down to the Warriors’ 1-yard line, before a false start penalty pushed them back five, followed by a Jonathan Saavedra interception in the end zone on the next play.

The visiting Warriors (4-4, 3-0) answered on their ensuing possession, which was capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Forrest Lohman, who finished the night with 177 yards on the ground, the majority of which came in the second half.

The Cardinals looked as though they would respond on their second drive of the night, which once again stalled on the Saddleback Valley Christian 1-yard line. After Saavedra was sacked for a big loss, they were forced to attempt a short field goal, which floated wide right.

Despite all of the mistakes, Santa Clarita Christian trailed just 7-0 at the half and the defense had been impressive.

With the score still the same early in the fourth quarter, the tide seemed to be turning as running back Derek Lewis carried the Cardinals’ offense down the field. The junior fumbled the ball away inside the opponents’ 30-yard line on ensuing drives however, the second of which led to a Warriors’ touchdown, which stretched the lead to 14-0 with 3:56 left in regulation.

To add insult to injury, Saddleback Valley Christian recovered an onside kick following their second score of the night, which all but sealed the deal and eventually set-up another Lohman touchdown trot.

Despite the mishaps, which included over 100 yards in penalties and six personal foul calls, Santa Clarita Christian head coach Garrick Moss seemed upbeat after the game.

“We definitely outplayed them physically,” Moss said. “If we finished drives, it could have been 21-0 us.”

With two games left in the regular season, they’ll need to start finishing drives Saturday when they host Fairmont Prep.

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