The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

St. Monica High won for the third time in four weeks with a 21-7 non-league victory Friday afternoon at University High. The star was 6-foot-6 receiver Marcus Shelby, who caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Ben Agatep.

``Shelby stepped up his game,'' said coach Randy Robinson. ``He caught two bombs and played very well in other areas. He had the game of his life.''

Robinson was disappointed that St. Monica didn't build on a 21-0 lead and gave up a touchdown late in the contest. ``We have to learn to put away teams,'' he said.

St. Monica has a 3-3 record and has yet to begin league play. It will be at Hamilton Friday at 3 p.m...

Naomi Dingley defeated Leala Shaw, 6-3 in Crossroads' 10-8 girls tennis victory over Buckley. However, Crossroads lost to league leader Campbell Hall, 15-3...

Coach Eileen Hiss-Corliss was so unhappy with officiating in Santa Monica College's home womens volleyball loss to Cuesta College she planned to make an appeal to the league office. SMC won the second and third games but lost the deciding fifth one, 15-11...

The Santa Monica High boys water polo team won two matches in the South Bay Tournament, defeating Calabasas, 7-6 in overtime and gettting a forfeit over the Mira Costa B team...

The Santa Monica College women finished third in the Bakersfield Invitational out of seven teams and the men finished fifth out of 18. Isaura Rodriguez of SMC finished fourth and her sister, Veronica was 14th...

The SMC football team had a bye last weekend and will resume play Saturday night at 7 in a home game against Ventura College...
Samohi Must Deal With First Loss of Season

By Mitch Chortkoff

After Santa Monica High lost a football game for the first time this season Coach Norm Lacy stood at midfield and offered his thoughts Friday night.

``The season we won the CIF championship at St. Monica High (1998) we were a third place team in our league,'' he said. ``I'm not saying that will be the case this season but if it happens we'll deal with it. You just have to take some trips at the start of the playoffs.''

Lacy won his first five games as the Samohi coach and had to lose sometime. But this defeat was unexpected because the Vikings, playing at home, had a 21-7 lead in the second quarter.

From there North Torrance quarterback Kenny Brown and running back Terrence Henry were nearly unstoppable. North Torrance rallied to a 35-28 lead, then halted Samohi's final drive with an interception.

As fans left Corsair Field the reality of the Ocean League race became apparant.

Not only does Samohi have to win its homecoming game from El Segundo Friday night, something they should be able to do, but they'll have to beat first place Inglewood on the road in two weeks or drop to third in the league standings.

Inglewood has already defeated North Torrance.

``We gave up too many big plays,'' said Lacy. ``North Torrance has some outstanding players and we didn't tackle well.''

``After the game I told the team we'll handle it. We're good but we have to
work hard and we haven't been practicing as well as we should.

``The loss was a wakeup call but I think we'll play well with our backs to the wall.''

Samohi shut out Centennial 54-0 and Morningside 35-0 in its last two weeks. Perhaps the Vikings felt this game would be easy too after they took a 14-0 lead.

Even when North Torrance scored Samohi matched the touchdown on a 35-yard scoring pass from quarterback James Cooper to running back Derrick Davis for a 21-7 lead.

However, North Torrance tied the game at halftime, 21-21. First Brown threw a 60-yard pass. Then Henry raced 84 yards around left end for a TD, and the visitors made the two-point conversion.

In the third quarter North Torrance kept the ball six minutes and scored again for a 28-21 lead. But Samohi tied the game in the fourth on a drive set up by Davis' interception. Cooper ran for 11 yards, passed to Terrell Maze for 15, ran for eight and handed off to Davis for a three-yard TD run. Jesus Fajardo's fourth consecutive extra point kick tied the game at 28.

Once more, North Torrance was not to be denied as Henry broke loose for his second long touchdown run, this one 71 yards, to give the Saxons a 35-28 lead with 7:28 left.

But the potent Samohi offense had a chance to get even and began a long drive. A pass interference call gave the Vikings the ball at their own 40. Davis gained 15 yards, then 16.

Here is where Samohi decided to pass. There were four minutes left, they were driving on the ground and one more TD would have given them a tie.

But they went for a big play and Cooper's pass to Chris Gary was intercepted at the goal line and returned 40 yards. From there North Torrance ran the clock down to 30 seconds, leaving Samohi with just a couple of unsuccessful desparation plays at the end.

Lacy explained the play call on the final pass.

``It's the play we ran for a touchdown against Venice,'' he said. ``James Cooper is very accurate and Chris Gary is hard to stop. But they made an athletic play and got the interception.''

Lacy paused a moment to reflect.

``It was good for us to be in a physical game where we were challenged,'' he said. ``This experience will help us down the road. We'll learn from it.''

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