A week of planning against the defending league champions, a thrilling football game that was undecided with 14 seconds to play came down to Ryan Katz’ bootleg run Friday night, October 19 at Beverly Hills High.
Katz was stopped 1/2 yard short of the goal line on a two-point conversion try as Santa Monica High lost, 28-26.
As a result, Samohi will take a 1-1 Ocean League record and 4-3 overall mark into a game Friday night, October 26 at Culver City, which has a 7-0 record.
Beverly Hills had gotten off to a slow start this season but is back in top form now.
“They’re healthy and they ran their I-back set, featuring power running, like last year,” said Samohi Coach Zach Cuda. “We prepared for it even though they hadn’t been running it in other games. But they’re very good.”
All-league back Raymond Judkins scored three touchdowns as Beverly Hills scored first, gave up the tying touchdown, scored again, saw Samohi catch up again, and scored a third time.
When Samohi scored its third touchdown on a short run by Katz, the Vikings missed the extra point kick.
So, after Beverly Hills scored its fourth touchdown on a pass and kicked the conversion, Samohi was eight points behind.
Katz then threw his second touchdown pass to Taylor Wright, setting up the two-point conversion attempt that came so close.
There wasn’t much wrong with Samohi’s offense. Vince Lawrence ran for 90 yards on 16 carries, Christian Ross gained 89 on five, and Katz passed for 203 yards and ran for 66.
However, the Vikings now must do well in their final three regular season games in order to make the CIF playoffs, something they didn’t do a year ago.
They’ll go against a high-powered Culver City offense led by quarterback Darius Banks, the state’s leading passer last year. Culver City operates primarily from a shotgun offense and uses four wide receivers. Banks has done more running this season than last.
The game will be Samohi’s second straight on the road following six home games.
In its three defeats Samohi has been handled only by Venice. It had a 26-13 second half lead over Los Alamitos before losing and was in the game against Beverly Hills to the finish.
Last season’s Viking team that didn’t qualify for one of three Ocean League playoff berths had a 6-4 record.