The St. Bernard High School Vikings battled to keep El Segundo High School from taking off for most of the first half, but they couldn’t keep the Eagles from soaring in the second half of a non-league game Friday, October 3rd.

After taking a comfortable 21-6 lead into halftime, the El Segundo Eagles shut out host St. Bernard and cruised to a dominating 49-6 victory.

The Eagles (2-2) more than doubled their margin of victory over St. Bernard from last season, when they won the contest 24-11. The defeat for St. Bernard (1-3) this season came after the Vikings picked up their first victory of the year 35-21 over Brentwood High School in a non-league game September 26th.

After St. Bernard was forced to punt in its first drive against El Segundo, the Eagles turned their first drive into a score. A pass interference penalty by the Vikings put the ball on the St. Bernard ten-yard line, and Eagle senior running back Gage Mortesen finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown.

Mortesen led El Segundo with 12 carries for 116 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

El Segundo capitalized on another punt by the Vikings in its ensuing drive, when sophomore quarterback Grant Palmer helped lead his team down the field with four pass completions. Palmer, who finished 12-of-19 passing for 154 yards, gave El Segundo a 14-0 lead with 2:33 remaining in the first quarter on a one-yard touchdown run.

The Vikings got their first big play of the game at the start of the second quarter, when junior Daniel Pipkin recovered an Eagle fumble, but St. Bernard was unable to capitalize.

St. Bernard got its only score of the game in its next drive, as senior quarterback Malcolm Mitchell helped take his team down the field with four pass completions.

Mitchell, who finished eight-of-19 passing for 47 yards in the game, completed the drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Steven Wilson. The Vikings cut the deficit to 14-6, after their extra point attempt was blocked.

But El Segundo thwarted any Viking comeback by answering in its next drive. The Eagles used a fake-punt play to continue the effort and extended their lead to 21-6 before halftime on a three-yard touchdown run by Mortesen.

The Eagles carried their momentum into the second half, scoring in their first drive on a Palmer pass, and intercepting a pass by Mitchell.

After El Segundo made it a 35-6 game on a 14-yard run by Kyle Yatabe in the middle of the second quarter, the troubles continued for St. Bernard with another interception by Mitchell.

The Viking quarterback then got injured on a running play early in the fourth quarter, giving St. Bernard another complication as El Segundo managed to add two more touchdowns to take the win.

Senior running back Ryan Richard finished with ten carries for 42 yards rushing for the Vikings.

In its last game before Del Rey League play begins, St. Bernard will play at host Verbum Dei High School at 7 p.m. Friday, October 10th.

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