Fans of the Venice High football team will long remember Friday, September 7.
First, in the afternoon the Gondoliers’ season-opening 41-7 thrashing of host San Fernando was replayed on LA 36, the City Section’s television channel.
It was a convincing triumph over a highly-regarded opponent and supported the theory of Venice coach Angelo Gasca that this could be the best team he’s had at the school.
Then, in a home game at night, Venice built a 35-0 third quarter lead over Taft but had to hold on for a 35-28 victory.
The visitors scored four straight touchdowns and then recovered a fumble, giving them a chance to score again, but Venice met the challenge.
With a 2-0 record, Venice is assured of entering its high-profile game against Santa Monica September 28 undefeated as the Gondoliers have a bye this weekend.
Curtis McNeal, Venice’s star running back, scored three touchdowns against Taft.
Both McNeal, who has committed to USC, and receiver Jerry Johnson, who has committed to UCLA, scored second half touchdowns against San Fernando to break open a close game. All the early-season games are non-league. When Western League play begins, Venice is favored to win and go on to the City playoffs. Gasca and his players have a goal of reaching the championship game December 7 in the Coliseum.