Venice High annually has one of the best football teams in the L.A. City Section. The Gondoliers can be counted on to do well in the Western League and make a strong showing in the city playoffs.
This season, Venice’s championship bid ended in the second round. Venice, which was seeded third, lost to sixth-seeded San Pedro, 27-26, last week.
Venice, playing at home, had a 20-7 lead in the second quarter. But San Pedro, which has had several comeback wins this season, went ahead 27-20. Venice then scored but failed on a two-point conversion attempt with three minutes to play and San Pedro ran out the clock.
Venice finishes with a 9-3 record.
The team’s two stars were juniors who will be back next season. Quarterback Richard Ragland threw for 240 yards in this game and running back Curtis McNeal gained 98 yards.
San Pedro, which annually has a solid running attack, had 305 yards on the ground and stuck to its plan even after falling behind.
Venice averaged 42 points per game this season.
A highlight of Venice’s season was a non-league victory over Santa Monica. It was the second consecutive year Venice has prevailed in that game, and the teams are scheduled to meet again in the third week of next season.
Venice also defeated perennial CIF power Loyola, which didn’t have one of its better teams in 2006.
The only other Western League still alive in the playoffs, University High, lost in the second round of the Invitational Bracket tournament, 14-0, to Verdugo Hills.