The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

With Samohi advancing through the CIF football playoffs old grads have come back to watch the team. In attendance Friday night were former Viking sports stars Rod Allen, Tony Todd and Nick Satriano. Also on hand was Daniel Lewis, who covered Samohi sports for the now-defunct Outlook for 17 years. Lewis now lives in Newport Beach and works for agent Scott Boras, focusing on baseball arbitration cases...Todd is an actor who has a regular role on the Arliss TV show...Allen does commentary on the Arizona Diamondbacks' TV network...

The boys basketball season will open with a meeting of two Santa Monica high schools. Santa Monica will play St. Monica Monday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. in an opening round game of the El Segundo Tournament...

This Tuesday the Santa Monica High girls basketball team will play at Venice at 3 p.m...

The SMC mens' basketball team has a 2-1 record following a 71-64 victory over Trade Tech. Marko Mihailovic scored 15 points for the Corsairs, followed by Eric Norcross and Omosalewa Daramola with 13...

The USA Bank Beach Bowl will go on without SMC. After the Corsairs won last season's initial game they were expected to host the game and appear in it every season. However, the Corsairs are not bowl eligible due to their 1-9 season.

The sponsor decided the game will be held at Corsair Field Saturday night, Dec. 1, between Glendale College and Fullerton College, both with 6-4 records...

The Santa Monica College womens' volleyball team finished its season with a 3-9 record. The Corsairs were 1-5 in the Western State College and finished fifth. With the season concluded Coach Eileen Corliss is concentrating on recruiting...

Samohi Rolls to CIF Semis with Another Rout -- Furthest Playoff Advancement in 17 Years

By Mitch Chortkoff

Late Friday night, standing on Corsair Field after the crowd had departed, Samohi coaches Norm Lacy and Tebb Kusserow were answering reporters' questions about the 1980s.

The occasion was Samohi's 49-3 rout of La Canada and advancement into the CIF Division 10 football semifinals, the Vikings' best playoff performance since 1984.

In that season Samohi also reached the semifinals with a victory over San Gabriel High followed by a win over Muir, which had USC-bound Ricky Ervins at running back.

If Samohi is to advance further it will have to be at its best. Next Saturday night the Vikings will travel to Paso Robles for a semifinal game. In the other semifinal North Torrance will play Inglewood.

Three of the four semi-finalists are from the powerful Ocean League. The other team is the defending champion.

Last year, Paso Robles eliminated Santa Monica in the second round and then beat Inglewood, 43-40, in the championship game.

``We're on a roll,'' said Samohi quarterback James Cooper. ``I feel good about playing Paso Robles again. It's payback time.''

Some things have changed since Paso Robles dominated Santa Monica, 41-14, in last year's game.

``They're still very good defensively but they can't have the same firepower without their quarterback and star running back, who graduated,'' said Samohi coach Norm Lacy.

``In addition, we put Josh Smith at fullback two games ago. He's 285 pounds leading Derrick Davis.''

Lacy moved Smith from tight end after Samohi was beaten by Inglewood, which double-teamed three Viking receivers and took away the passing game.

``The next Monday we reasoned that we had to do something,'' said Lacy. ``If an opponent invests so many players on our receivers we had to boost the running game. Putting Josh there as the lead blocker gives them something to think about.''

Smith led Davis through the La Canada line and Cooper located Charles Gordon for three touchdown passes, the first for 55 yards.

It was set up by a couple of runs, then a fake to Davis. Cooper had Gordon open and didn't miss him, as the Corsair Field crowd cheered loudly.

The extra point kick was blocked and La Canada drove to a field goal, reducing the deficit to 6-3 and giving the impression this might be a close game.

But a bad snap out of the end zone on a punt attempt cost La Canada. The Samohi lead became 8-3 and on the first play following the free kick Davis ran 44 yards around left end for another touchdown. With 9:59 left in the first Samohi led, 15-3.

Another touchdown broke the game open just 20 seconds later. A pass by La Canada quarterback Eric Young was intercepted by Smith, who returned it 45 yards to a touchdown and a 22-3 lead.

Asked how Smith, a defensive end, could be in position to intercept a pass, Lacy explained.

``La Canada is a good team with the screen pass and we had worked on it,'' he said. ``Players had certain responsibilities. Josh was right where he should be and correctly read the play.''

At 285 pounds, Smith runs well enough that he was not going to be caught from behind once he had the ball.

In the second half Samohi used reserves and Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Clay scored touchdowns, but the latter one was called back due to a penalty.

Samohi has a 9-2 record and is 18-5 in the two years that Lacy has been the head coach and Tebb Kusserow his offensive co-ordinator.

Kusserow was the head coach when Samohi regularly did well in CIF playoff games in the '80s and has made a successful return to coaching following a nine-year retirement.
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