How one-sided was Santa Monica High’s 48-6 victory over St. Monica Friday night? The clock ran throughout the second half instead of stopping on incomplete passes and timeouts. High school football games that start at 7 p.m. normally end at 9:30. But this one was completed a couple of minutes before nine.
Occasionally, coaches will agree on using running time in the second half. The coach of the trailing team must recognize that his squad is hopelessly beaten. The coach of the team that’s ahead must agree.
“I approached [Samohi coach] Mike Burnett and he agreed,’’ said St. Monica coach Jason Strouse. “The officials are happy to do it, too.
“We’re a good team when healthy but we’ve had considerable injuries. We tried an aggressive defense against Santa Monica, hoping we could pressure them into mistakes. But they didn’t make any, and scored five touchdowns in the first quarter. “That’s a sensational team that might go far in the playoffs.”
Burnett said he agreed to let the clock run upon recognizing St. Monica’s plight.
“The concern is injuries in a one-sided game,’’ he said. “I had no problem with the request.”
Santa Monica led after one quarter, 34-0, and Burnett’s starters were out of the game before halftime.
Lewis Adeyemi scored two touchdowns in 20 seconds to give Samohi a 14-0 lead. The first was on a run and the second on an interception.
A 35-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Katz to tight end Christoff Neuman set up the third touchdown, which Neuman then scored on a one-yard pass. On both plays he split out wide and used his speed and reach to make the plays.
Neuman is 6-foot-4, 200 lbs, and his speed and receiving ability, plus his work as a defensive end have made him a Division 1 college prospect, perhaps the heaviest recruited player on the Viking squad.
A five-yard run by Adeyemi accounted for the fourth touchdown, but Samohi missed the extra point.
Then, with eight seconds left in the quarter, Keith Kilgore scored on an eight-yard run.
Cameron Collins, Samohi’s backup quarterback last season who was moved to wide receiver this season, got in considerable work at quarterback in relief of Katz.
St. Monica scored its first points in three weeks near the end of the first half when Tommy Marrone, who was returning from an injury, threw a 45-yard pass to Kevin Lew and Ricky Valdez followed with a one-yard scoring plunge.
The game’s final touchdown came when Carlton Fortenberry returned the second half kickoff 80 yards to the end zone.
Vince Valdez, St. Monica’s star tailback, sat out his third consecutive game with a kidney ailment. He was in uniform but wasn’t called upon. Strouse said Valdez is likely to play Friday against Palisades.
“He was cleared to play but wasn’t 100 percent,’’ said Strouse. “As much as we wanted to win the game we thought it was best to keep him out as long as necessary.
“If the game was close in the fourth quarter we might have put him in.”
The game wasn’t close, and Burnett recognized Samohi’s much larger enrollment (3,500 to 5000) gives it a big advantage over St. Monica.
“Jason hs been extremely unlucky with injuries this season, ’’ said Burnett. “Five of his players who play on both offense and defense have been out. That’s like losing 10 starters and he has a small talent pool.
“By contrast, we have 40 to 50 youngsters who can play.”
Although the game wasn’t competitive, the series is likely to continue. The teams have played the last three years and Samohi has a 2-1 lead.
“We’re only two years removed from losing to them,’’ said Burnett. “What I liked about this game was the way we responded after a tough loss.”
Santa Monica absorbed its only defeat of the season on the previous Friday, also at Corsair Field. It was a 20-17 loss to Venice in a meeting of the Westside’s two strongest teams.
Burnett and his wife, Kim, became parents for the second time during the week. The couple now has two boys.“He had a much better week than I did,” Strouse said.