Can anything positive come from being trounced in a football game?
“Absolutely,” says Santa Monica High coach Travis Clark. “It already has.”
The day after Samohi lost to Valencia Friday night, 63-7 in a non-league game Clark said the players were focused during a three-hour film session and he expects their play to improve considerably, possibly even this Friday night in a game at Capistrano Valley.
“The game was a good experience for my boys,” said Clark. “I used it as a learning opportunity.
“Valencia is one of the better teams in Southern California and they played like I want my team to play. They’re disciplined. They play football correctly.”
Samohi hasn’t done that in a 1-3 start to the 2009 season, Clark’s first as head coach.
“But we haven’t played a league game yet and there’s a long way to go,” said Clark.
Samohi’s problems began early in the road game as they fell behind, 21-0 and the deficit grew to 35-7 at halftime.
“We went into the game with some injuries but we didn’t have any more,” said Clark.
As usual, Clark praised quarterback Garrett Safron, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 145 yards and ran for 125.
However, Clark was unhappy that running back Brandon Taylor fumbled twice, giving him five in four games.
“I can’t live with that,” said Clark, who indicated he may have others at the position this week.
Samohi’s defense is about to receive a boost as defensive end Jose Perez is close to playing, Perez has missed all but one game with a knee injury.
A standout in defense was Keenan Malone, who had several tackles and sacks and recovered a fumble.
“The defense grew as the game went along,” said Clark. “I was much more disappointed after the Venice game (a 31-28 loss) because we had a chance to win that one.”
It wasn’t a good night for the Ocean League as three-time league champion Culver City, which had a 3-0 record, lost at home to Crenshaw, 48-7.
Crenshaw is favored to win the LA City Section championship, but the one-sided score didn’t help the Ocean League’s reputation.