For the second straight week, the Village Christian football team
didn’t have an overwhelming first half in its CIF Southern Section
Division XII playoff game.
However, the Crusaders seem to get stronger in the second half,
and their smashmouth style of play does a lot of damage to opponents
late in games.
That was the scenario Saturday, as Village Christian wore out
North Hills L.A. Baptist to win the division championship, 42-20, at
Granada Hills Kennedy High.
The title was the Crusaders’ first in football in the 54-year
history of the program.
It was also Village Christian’s second win this season against the
Knights, a team it beat in an Alpha League game Nov. 14, 54-14. The
victory gave the Crusaders the league championship.
The Crusaders relied on a punishing running game to take care of
the Knights (10-3). Leading the way was senior running back Jason
Christensen, who carried the ball 30 times for 280 yards and five
Christensen ends the season with 2,131 yards and 35 touchdowns.
The Village Christian defense also came up big, getting two
second-half turnovers that helped turn the tide.
After L.A. Baptist tied the score at 20 midway through the third
quarter, Village Christian -- which includes 11 Burbank residents --
outscored the Knights, 22-0, to cap its season.
In their 49-29 semifinal victory Dec. 6, the Crusaders outscored
Ontario Christian, 35-9, in the second half.
Ending the season with a 12-2 record, Village Christian can take
solace in the fact its two losses came against eventual CIF champions
-- Oaks Christian (Division XI) and Flintridge Prep (Division XIII).
Village Christian wasn’t the only team with local ties to win a
Brothers and residents Josh and Nate Cordray helped Sherman Oaks
Note Dame capture a Division III crown on Saturday with a 31-7
victory against Palmdale at the Home Depot Center in Carson.
Nate is a senior wide receiver and Josh is a junior lineman.
It is the second consecutive title for the Knights (12-2), as they
began the season 4-2. However, after a 24-21 Mission League to Santa
Fe Springs St. Paul on Oct. 16, Notre Dame rolled off eight straight