The Sage Hill School football team did not have much of a running game Friday night. Unless one counted senior quarterback CJ McCord running for his well being most of the evening.
McCord found enough relative safety to throw for 173 first-half yards to help keep the Lightning within 14-7 at halftime against visiting Santa Ana Calvary Chapel.
But the Eagles scored on five straight possessions, spanning the first and fourth quarters, to pull away for a 42-7 nonleague victory.
McCord really never had the luxury of displaying his drop-back skills, since he was rolling right, rolling left, or being flushed up the middle trying in vein to find any space unoccupied by one of many Calvary pass rushers.
McCord, a first-team All-Academy League selection as a junior, when he threw for 1,504 yards and 13 touchdowns despite missing more than 25% of the season with injuries, finished 17 for 41 for 234 yards and one touchdown passing Friday.
The touchdown came on a triple-pass, flea-flicker on which Vince Wetmore took a lateral pass from McCord, then returned the favor, allowing McCord to launch a 60-yard spiral that Zach Burns caught in the end zone just behind a retreating defender.
Sage's lone score, set up when punter Gordon Strelow picked up eight yards and a first down when he drifted to the right for a potential rugby punt, but found no defensive resistance to extend what turned out to be an eight-play, 80-yard drive, tied the score, 7-7, with 13 seconds left in the first quarter.
Lightning junior Liam Tenney recovered Strelow's pooch onside kick that followed the touchdown and the hosts drove to the nine-yard line before a bad snap lost 20 yards and the possession ended with an interception.
After Sage forced the Eagles' second and final punt, McCord connected with Wetmore for a 65-yard catch-and-run to the Calvary two-yard line midway through the second quarter. Three plays later, a would-be touchdown pass was nullified by an illegal receiver downfield, and a subsequent 36-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Calvary sophomore Joshua Iskander.
The Eagles, led by junior quarterback Patrick Glasgow, then drove 80 yards on eight plays to take the lead for good and proved virtually unstoppable the remainder of the game.
Glasgow completed 18 of 25 pass attempts for 253 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed 11 times for a game-best 62 yards and one touchdown.
Glasgow, throwing primarily underneath coverage, connected 10 times with senior receiver Joey Cox, who finished with 128 yards and one touchdown.
Luke Thompson caught four passes for 97 yards for the winners, who compiled 172 yards on the ground to complement Glasgow's efficiency through the air.
There was no such balance for the Lightning, who finished with minus-six yards rushing on 18 attempts and produced just one first down on the ground. Sage had 10 rushing attempts stopped behind the line of scrimmage, including three McCord sacks. Five other running plays combined to net just 11 yards.
Strelow's fake punt matched the biggest gain of the night and allowed him to join junior DJ Henry as the team's leading rusher, both with single attempts.
Calvary Chapel, which has now won seven straight season openers and snapped a three-game losing skid that ended last year's 7-4 campaign, blitzed relentlessly to penetrate an inexperienced and undersized Sage Hill offensive line.
Iskander, listed a 6-foot-1, 195, was clearly a mismatch for Sage blockers. He had two sacks, on one of which he wrestled away from McCord a bobbled snap. And he leveled McCord on a handful of other pass attempts, most of which saw McCord throwing while rolling out.
Wetmore finished with 117 receiving yards on four catches, while Burns had six catches for 73 yards.
Braeden Stack, who had the interception for Calvary Chapel, had two rushing touchdowns and added a third with his only reception.
Calvary Chapel 42, Sage Hill 7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Calvary 7 – 7 – 21 – 7 — 42
Sage Hill 7 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 7
CC – Foster 6 pass from Glasgow (Serrato kick), 7:43.
SH – Burns 47 pass from C. McCord (Strelow kick), 0:13.
CC – Glasgow 3 run (Serrato kick), 1:55.
CC – Stack 9 run (Serrato kick), 9:45.
CC – Stack 2 run (Serrato kick), 7:02.
CC – Stack 19 pass from Glasgow (Serrato kick), 1:10.
CC – Cox 13 run pass from Glasgow (kick), 8:23.
CC – Glasgow, 11-62; Stack, 6-45, 2 TDs.
SH – Strelow, 1-8; Henry, 1-8.
CC – Glasgow, 18-25-0, 253, 3 TDs.
SH – C. McCord, 17-41-1, 234, 1 TD.
CC – Cox, 10-128, 1 TD; Thompson, 4-97.
SH – Wetmore, 4-117; Burns, 6-73, 1 TD.