The LookOut sports
Santa Monica Sports Notes
Santa Monica College came back from an opening 19-18 football defeat to Antelope Valley to even its record at 1-1 with a 28-20 victory Saturday at Glendale College.

In the opener SMC had an 18-0 lead but couldn't hold it. Quarterback Chris Griffin from St. Monica High was 8-of-14 for 54 yards and running back Ariel Zeledon had 59 yards on four carries.

St. Monica High is off to an 0-2 start. In the opener the Mariners fell behind Venice, 41-0, but scored the next 20 points before losing, 56-40. Quarterback Ben Agatep, receiver Marcus Shelby and running back Tommy Irwin played well. On Friday night St. Monica lost another non-league game to Paraclete, 42-6. St. Monica gave up 420 yards on the ground.

In girls volleyball Santa Monica won a harrowing five-game match from North Torrance, 15-0, 6-15, 15-8, 9-15, 18-16, led by Aziza Bledsoe and Kelly Young-Wolff.

Also in girls volleyball New Roads lost a non-league match to St. Genevieve, 15-2, 13-15, 12-15, 15-11, 16-14.

Samohi Stops Serra on Final Play of the Game

By Mitch Chortkoff

There were five seconds left. Serra High was on the Santa Monica three-yard line Friday night.

One play to decide who wins.

The quarterback rolled out on an option play. He was smothered by the Samohi defense, preserving the Vikings' 21-16 victory.

The public address announcer at Serra High in Gardena then said:

``Let's hear it for both teams. That was a great football game.''

It was.

Santa Monica had cruised past University, 39-6, in its opener but knew this would be a much sterner test. Serra usually fields powerhouse teams and now has Austin Jackson, a linebacker coveted by USC and others.

But with Norm Lacy taking over as Samohi coach this season and bringing assistants Tebb Kusserow and Sam Anno the staff has worked hard to make sure the Vikings will be competitive with anyone on their schedule. Included was supervision of weight training with some dedicated players in the summer.

Among 115 youngsters hoping to win a berth on the three Samohi squads (junior varsity and frosh-soph also) was Jesus Valdovinos.

He was the fullback on the junior varsity last season and won the fullback job on the varsity this season. In the I-formation the fullback is a blocker who rarely carries the ball.

But there was No. 33 making some key runs against Serra. As they keyed on tailback Derrick Davis it was Valdovinos' blasts up the middle that made a difference in the outcome.

He carried the ball six times, which is six more than the opponent expected. He helped Samohi build a 21-7 halftime lead and helped them survive a second half rally by the home team with runs that controlled the ball.

Davis gained 121 yards on 27 carries and also played well as a defensive back. He had an interception in the fourth quarter. Quarterback James Cooper was five-for-nine, with Charles Gordon catching three for 50 yards and one touchdown.

Gordon also came through as a punter, getting off a good one down the stretch after Glen Hutchinson had fumbled the snap on the previous punt attempt.

Now Samohi is 2-0 in non-league games going into a high profile Westside game Friday night at Venice High. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

``Against Venice and in the Ocean League we'll have to step up our play,'' said Lacy. ``We had too many penalties against Serra and you can't do that against good teams. We were fortunate to get by.

``As for Valdovinos he came through in our physical double-day practices. We had three or four candidates but he emerged. In our system it was vital to find a fullback who could block.''

The last two years Samohi had 2-9 records and a porous defense. So it says a lot that they made a defensive stand on the last play to win this game.

Samohi was ahead, 14-7, when Gordon made an acrobatic touchdown catch of a pass from Cooper on a fourth-and-13 play just before halftime. But the TD didn't deflate Serra, which outscored Samohi in the second half, 9-0.

Serra hit on a pass three plays before the finish, gaining 30 yards to the three. They lined up quickly and the quarterback spiked the ball, leaving five seconds.

Last year an opponent would have been likely to make three yards against Samohi with the game on the line. But even with the Vikings wearing down they found a way to squelch the final play.

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