St. Monica High School football team used a balanced offensive attack to overcome Windward 42-8 on Oct. 9. The game was at St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey, where St. Monica plays all of its home games.
Seven players scored six points apiece for the Mariners, including linebacker Ronald Gibson, who also registered two sacks. It was Gibson’s first time playing on offense – and may not be the last.
“We put him in the backfield in a wildcat formation,” said St. Monica head coach Larry Muno. “He just got the ball, made a lot of people miss and ran for a touchdown.”
The play came at the end of the game, in which wide receiver Jamal Young returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and Chris Corbally, Sean Martinez and quarterback Matthew Partyka rushed for more than 50 yards each.
“It’s kind of the basis of our offense to try to distribute the ball as much as possible,” Muno said.
Partyka completed six of 12 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. But, he was intercepted twice, bringing his season total to 11 interceptions and 12 touchdowns.
“The two picks he threw were screen passes that he didn’t read properly,” Muno said. “I’m working with him more and more. My philosophy is the more he throws interceptions, the less we will throw the ball. We are going to run the ball more.”
That should hardly worry Partyka, who has rushed for 311 yards in six games this season.
“That’s a great thing about Matt, he’s a dual threat,” Muno said.
Windward (3-2) was a formidable opponent that “came out and just stoned us in the beginning,” Muno said. But, the Mariners (4-2) recovered and Windward “just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
Muno is satisfied with his team’s progress but is keeping the rest of the season in perspective one game at a time.
“We’ve already met our goal and now our goal is to win the next game and that’s Salesian,” Muno said. “They won our league last year, they are the top team and they’re going to be a big challenge for us. We don’t want to look at anything past that. They’re legit.”
After a bye this week, St. Monica plays Salesian (4-2) on the road on Friday, Oct. 22. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.