By Lynn Guerin
The defending State Champion Rancho Christian Eagles got back on track Friday night with a resounding 47-14 win over Whittier Christian. On a night with temperatures in the low 90’s,the only thing hotter than the air was Rancho’s quick strike running game and the dazzling moves of senior running back Jaden Schieberl.
Schieberl scored five of the 6 Rancho touchdowns with runs of 80 ,5 ,62 and 29 yards. He also caught a 22 yard touchdown strike from senior quarterback Carter Treadway. Treadway scored Rancho’s final touchdown of the evening on a 10 yard option keeper. Rancho placekicker Emma Baker was flawless adding 6 extra points and a 32 yard field goal.
Whittier Christian took the opening kickoff and marched right down the field on the strong right arm of quarter back Quinn Commons and his favorite receiver Noah Sanchez. They completed the 67 yard drive with a 9 yd TD toss on 4th down. The point after was blocked by junior corner back Joe Schumann, and Whittier had their only lead of the evening at 6-0.
After the kickoff, on Rancho’s first play from scrimmage from their own 20,Jaden Schieberl took the handoff ,darted through the line, broke to the sideline and raced 80 yards for the first of his five touchdown evening. P.a.t. was good by Emma Baker and Rancho had the early lead 7-6.
Not wasting any time, Rancho Head Coach Jim Kunau went to the trick bag early and called an onside kick. Colton Bulger made his first of many fine plays on both offense and defense,as he recovered the kick at mid-field. It didn’t take long with runs by Treadway and Schieberl and 2 receptions by Jo Jo Saatzer to take the ball to the Whittier 5 yard line, Schieberl ran it over from there .The point after was good and Rancho had a 14-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter it was all Rancho-scoring 23 points on 3 touch downs and a safety.
The Rancho defense led by Saatzer ,Bulger, Ryan Esposito,and Tyler Treadway pitched a shutout till late in the 4th quarter with a heavy rush, crisp tackling and lock down coverage on Whittier recievers. Numerous sacks ,fumble recoveries , even a safety on an errant snap over
the punters head, gave evidence that Rancho’ defense had improved greatly from their week one loss.
All in all it was a solid team win ,as Rancho now begins preparation for its battle against a very tough La Jolla Country Day team, who will travel to Rancho for week three of Friday Night Lights.
Photos by Erin Baker