In the final game of the 2008 football season St. Monica played at Salesian, with both teams trying to avoid last place. Salesian had already replaced its coach and St. Monica was about to do the same.
St. Monica won that game and ended a four-season, 37-game losing streak.
Both teams appeared significantly stronger this season and their meeting Saturday night at Corsair Field occurred under vastly different circumstances. Both figure high in the Santa Fe League now.
Salesian won, 41-18, breaking loose from a 27-18 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, sparked by a long punt return.
“We’ve improved and they’ve improved more,” said St. Monica coach Larry Muno. “Salesian had an undefeated junior varsity team last season and added five transfers.
“We had trouble with their speed and depth. As our program develops we’ll have the depth to keep up with teams of that caliber.”
It was also a factor that several St. Monica players couldn’t practice throughout the week, mostly due to the flu. The group included Jack Porter, Raul Ramos, Kyle Schwan, Jeremy White, and Ruben Ramirez.
“That’s football,” said Muno. “It’s not an excuse.
One Mariner highlight was a scramble by quarterback Matthew Partyka, who reversed his field several times on the play.
Muno also praised the play of Kyle Farber.On Friday St. Monica will play at Bellarmire-Jefferson, another strong league opponent.