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Prep football: Cardinals still alive

Prep football: SCCS stays in striking distance of automatic playoff berth

Posted: October 28, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 28, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Santa Clarita Christian's Derek Lewis (39) falls into the end zone to score after breaking a tackle at Canyon High School on Saturday. SCCS defeated Fairmont Prep 35-12.

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Santa Clarita Christian kept its hopes for an automatic playoff spot in the CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division playoffs alive with a 35-12 win over Fairmont Prep on Saturday night at Canyon High School.

A loss would have meant the Cardinals (6-3, 2-2 San Joaquin League) could finish no better than fourth in the San Joaquin League, with the top three finishers earning automatic berths.

“Our goal from the beginning was to try to make playoffs, but our guys stepped up to the challenge against a good team,” said SCCS head coach Garrick Moss. “They want to make playoffs bad.”

The Cardinals took an 8-0 lead over the visiting Huskies with 2:49 remaining when running back Derek Lewis punched in the ball with a 1-yard run.

“I was fired up and ready to play,” Lewis said. “This game was for the playoffs so I was ready and I gave everything I had for the team.”

SCCS wasted no time putting more points on the board. After the Huskies (4-5, 2-2) turned the ball over on downs, the Cardinals took possession on the Huskies’ 30-yard line. Quarterback Jonathan Saavedra took over, running for 20 yards on the next two snaps, which resulted in a 3-yard rushing touchdown to put the Cardinals up 15-0 with 10:23 left in the second quarter.

Saavedra finished 8-for-16 for 85 yards and one touchdown through the air and 80 rushing yards.

In the second half, Fairmont Prep quarterback Bobby Varnadoe put the team on his back and completed a 12-play, 68-yard drive with a rushing touchdown from 2-yards out. Varandoe ran or completed passes on 11 plays on the drive.

A turnover on downs, followed by a questioned fumble by the Cardinals on their own 7-yard line, led to the next Huskies touchdown by Varnadoe to pull within 21-12 of SCCS.

SCCS quickly shut the door, though, as Lewis scored two more on the ground to put the game away.

He finished the game with 121 yards on 26 carries for three touchdowns on the ground and one through the air.

The Cardinals will close out their regular season next week with a game at Animo Leadership of Inglewood on Friday at 1 p.m.

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