The structure of the Ocean League football race has had a dramatic change, meaning that Santa Monica High will have challenging games the next three weeks.
While Samohi improved to 6-0 with a 51-0 romp over Morningside High Friday night, Inglewood upset two-time champion Culver City and Beverly Hills had an impressive win – its fourth straight following losses in its first two games.
So, instead of pointing to one tough test, its annual showdown with Culver City, Samohi faces the following:
First, a Corsair Field game against Beverly Hills Friday night, October 24 – the biggest game in the league thus far.
Then, a week later it will be the game against Culver City, which remains a showcase event.
And, finally, a trip to Inglewood on the third week to face the surprise team of the league. Inglewood features receiver Shaquelle Evans, who is ranked among the top 25 prep players in the nation. Before beating Culver City, Inglewood also upset Palos Verdes in a non-league game.
Samohi Coach Zach Cuda is keeping his players focused on each week’s task. Although Samohi won all five non-league games, Cuda talked to the players about the future, not the past.
“We haven’t done anything yet that will have a bearing on the playoffs,” he told them. “Nobody remembers 5-0.”
Now the record is 6-0, and the league record is 1-0 because Samohi overwhelmed Morningside from the outset and was never threatened.
As Morningside was held to 100 yards of total offense, Samohi put the game away early and was able to give the starters considerable rest.
Samohi scored on its first possession, striking quickly when Garrett Safron threw a short pass to Christian Ross, who eluded one tackler and raced 60 yards into the end zone. It was Ross’ first of four touchdowns. Two others were scored by fullbacks Chyenne Jones and Keelan Malone.
Samohi received favorable news during the week when it was determined that Vince Lawrence will not require surgery for a collarbone injury. Lawrence won’t play for several weeks but there is a possibility he could return later in the season.
Receiver Terry Wilson didn’t play after the first quarter due to a foot injury, but it isn’t considered serious.
Drew Hammond, who excels at middle linebacker and fulback, didn’t play due to an injury but is practicing this week and it will be a game-time decision whether he returns to oppose Beverly Hills.