St. Monica High School opened its season with a 50-36 defeat at the hands of Village Christian on Aug. 30. The Mariners picked up its first victory of the season with a 38-0 shutout win the following week against Malibu on Sept. 6.
Since that time it’s been tough going for St. Monica as the Mariners dropped games against Mary Star of the Sea (Sept. 14) and Mission Prep (Sept. 20).
On the road against Xavier Prep last Friday, St. Monica had an opportunity to turn that short losing tide into a victory lap. Thanks to the stingy play of its defense, particularly in the fourth quarter, St. Monica walked away with a 30-21 win in Palm Desert.
St. Monica jumped all over Xavier Prep early, scoring 21 points in the first quarter. Xavier Prep scored a couple of touchdowns of its own to fall behind by just seven points after the first period.
Xavier Prep then scored another touchdown in the second quarter to knot the game at 21 before the two teams went into intermission. Both squads went scoreless in the third quarter, so the fourth period became critical for the Mariners. After getting off to a hot start, St. Monica cooled down during the middle quarters.
But the Mariners did what they needed to do to get the win. Despite allowing nearly 400 yards in total offense, St. Monica blanked Xavier Prep 9-0 in the last quarter to record its second win of the season. A 10-yard touchdown by Jason Thomas and a field goal by Sammy Saldibar proved to be the difference in the final outcome.
Chase Bryan and Charles Heard also came up with big plays in the last quarter, coming up with interceptions in the period.