Like Christ on the football field | Saints finish season with a win

Posted on 31. Oct, 2015 by in blog, Christian school in Santa Monica, education, high school football

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Like Christ, he hazarded his life to help his buddies win.

And the Saints won 54-15 against Concordia High School of Sylmar, their first win of the 2015 season – thanks to a 200-pound senior who was already injured.

The Cougars were the first to score.

“They were just moving the ball. We couldn’t stop them,” said Coach Zach Scribner. “I don’t know what it was. They had too many beefy guys. They just kept pushing the line. Rob (Ashcraft) basically stepped up and said, ‘I’ll go in, and I’ll play on the line.’ And we stopped them.”

Santa Monica sports | Lighthouse Christian AcademyRob – named after Lighthouse schools’ founder Pastor Rob Scribner, the former LA Rams kickoff returner – had been injured on Sept. 11 in a game against Rolling Hills Academy. The risk of further injury was high to step out of the field.

But this was his senior year, a last chance to grab glory and make memories – and his team needed him. So Rob, with a torn ACL, gave it all. He made one touchdown reception and threw as quarterback another touchdown pass.

In the third quarter, his leg gave out, and he collapsed.

“Fuuuuudge!” he shrieked in pain.

Rob's touchdown.

Rob’s touchdown.

No really, that’s what he said — no substituting a silly euphemism. Teammate Justin Berry grinned sheepishly at the tame language. He’s heard other Christian football players slip up with their language for far lesser injuries.

By then, the Lighthouse Christian Academy was winning 32-16. They had the momentum and the enthusiasm. They scented victory and yearned to seal it.  Coaches eased Rob off the field, and the rest of team went on to complete the victory.

Breakout star Caleb Zerihun, a freshman, made his first touchdown and dedicated it to Rob. “I felt so happy,” Caleb said. “I made that touchdown for Rob. He kept fighting even after he tore his ACL. It kind of inspired me.”

Fellow senior and friend Tex Hagoski agreed. “The fact that Rob came out and played knowing it was risk was highly courageous,” he said. “Rob always inspires me in general. But the fact that he did this inspired me even more. He was always a huge part of our defense. So when he came back in, he made a huge difference.”

For his part, Rob is not singing his own praises. “I just played because I wanted to play for me,” he said. “It wasn’t so much for the team.”

From the start, Lighthouse’s chances of making it to playoffs were improbable, with only three seniors, none of whom were truly football players (who have trained through Pop Warner leagues). But when Rob got injured and Tex suffered lesser injuries in his knees and ankle, the season sank. It basically became practice for next year.

But a win at the end of the season – matched against a similarly non-winning team – gave a satisfaction  and a reward to all the players who have trained hard and given their best effort.

“I’m proud of my team and the performance, their output today,” said Quarterback Adrian Brizuela, a senior. “I couldn’t ask more of them. To win today felt amazing. I’m thankful we have a teammate like Robert who whould sacrifice anything to help his teammates and his friends. We’re praying for him. God is on his side. God will lay His hand over Robert and heal Robert.”

It was a great conclusion of the season for freshman Justin Berry, who asked God before the game to be able to make at least one catch. Instead, he got two, one of which was a touchdown.

“It’s been frustrating year because I never played football in my life. It’s been tough,” Justin said. “Getting that touchdown was the funnest time I’ve had in football.”

Justin also caught an extraordinary 30-yard pass in which he jumped up over two defenders to snag the ball. Then he pushed and shoved his way for another 10 yards upfield.

He too admired Rob’s sacrifice.

“Honestly, I think Rob was the toughest guy on the team,” Justin said. “That he would come on the field injured was crazy. He’s awesome. I feel really bad for him that he got injured again. He’s a beast.

“He literally sacrificed his body,” he added. “He was like Jesus. That was a God-given strength he had. He inspired me in my Christianity. I think I’m gonna not be ashamed of being a Christian. Most of the kids listen to rap at our school, and they say, ‘Oh, you listen to Christian music.’ I’m gonna keep working to get people to be Christian.”

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5 Responses to “Like Christ on the football field | Saints finish season with a win”

  1. […] “Fuuuuudge!” he shrieked in pain. To continue reading click varsity sports Santa Monica. […]

  2. […] Saturday, Rob finished tearing the ACL. But he made a touchdown, threw a touchdown pass and helped his team to their first […]

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  4. […] *Second Note: This is the second time I publish Peter Hitchens’ testimony. The prior version was a reprint from the UK Daily Mail. This one was written by my journalism student at the Santa Monica Christian high school Lighthouse Christian Academy. […]

  5. […] Gutierrez is a student at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa […]

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