Templeton quarterback Tyler Kaschewski is averaging 237 yards rushing per game this spring.

Eagles running back Joshua Berna is averaging over 150 yards a game.

In last week's 49-12 win over Arroyo Grande, Kaschewski rushed for 372 yards and five touchdowns and Berna had 151 yards and two scores. 

The duo has combined for 16 rushing touchdowns as Templeton is off to a 3-0 start.

The Eagles bring that perfect record into Jay Will Stadium Friday night for a meeting with another 3-0 team: the St. Joseph Knights. 

Though Kaschewski and Berna have combined for nearly 1,200 yards in just those three games, St. Joseph coach Pepe Villaseñor points out that credit must be given to the Eagles' offensive line.

"The quarterback is dynamic. He has size and speed, his lateral movement in holes is fantastic," Villaseñor said Thursday, "but everything is based on the offensive line. The O-line does a good job of pulling, they read the defensive fronts properly. We have to neutralize the offensive line."

The Knights host the Eagles Friday night at 7 p.m. in the marquee matchup of the week. The game can be streamed live online at santamariatimes.com/live

Kaschewski has 713 rushing yards on 51 carries this spring. The senior has helped the Eagles beat Wasco 39-22, Morro Bay 42-0 and Arroyo Grande last week. Morro Bay and Wasco are a combined 0-6. Arroyo Grande though is a quality opponent, a team that consistently competes for Mountain League titles, though, in a COVID-19 impacted season, it's hard to gauge where programs are truly at.

The 2021 spring season is Templeton's first in the Mountain League after the Eagles won the Ocean League title in 2019. 

Still, Friday night's game in Orcutt still carries plenty of intrigue. The Knights beat Arroyo Grande 45-14 in their second game of the season, following a 44-0 blowout over Paso Robles in the opener. They then cruised past San Luis Obispo 41-6 last week.

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To contain the Templeton rushing attack, Villaseñor said his defense will employ a few different schemes. The third-year coach, who's won Mountain League titles in his previous two seasons, also said his players must stick to their assignments. If they don't, it'll create a ripple effect that leaves his defense susceptible to big plays.

"We’ll have different schemes we’ll use, but the bottom line is everyone has to be on their assignment," the coach said. "We need to have a great level of discipline, to close every gap that opens. If one guy doesn't take care of their assignment, Kaschewski or (Berna) can take it to the house. Everyone has to do their job. We can’t have someone trying to be a superstar out there and not do their job because that will force someone else to do that job."

St. Joseph linebacker Jayce Gamble will likely be following Berna and Kaschewski all over the field. Senior defensive back Tyler Williams also has plenty of athleticism to keep up with the speedy Kaschewski, a senior with over 2,600 yards rushing and 42 touchdowns in 25 varsity games. Anthony Moreno, Sebastian Ramirez and Dylan Spiess are also key St. Joseph defenders.

Templeton has been one dimensional on offense. Kaschewski is 9-for-21 passing for 125 yards. They average 43 yards per game through the air. 

The game will be the second start for freshman quarterback Caden Cuccia. Junior Mark Crisp, who was the starter at the beginning of the season, is out for the second straight week and will likely be out for the rest of the spring season after getting injured against Arroyo Grande.

"Caden may not have the entire offensive playbook to work with, but he's just focused on getting better and better every week," Villaseñor said. "He's a real student of the game. We've also got two running backs who aren't too shabby themselves."

Seniors Darien Langley, a UC Davis signee, and Brett Burress have been gashing defenses all spring. Langley rushed for 96 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns last week, a week after scoring three times at Arroyo Grande. Burress finished with 89 rushing yards and two more touchdowns against the Tigers last week. 

This is the first home game for St. Joseph, which has replaced its artificial turf field after a burst water pipe caused damage before the season started. 

"We’re excited, the boys are excited and I'm sure the community is excited to finally have a home game," Villaseñor said. "The field was completed in time and it was completed appropriately, we didn’t rush it. The field is 100%."

The Knights are scheduled to play at Righetti on April 16 in their final game of the spring. 


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