St. Bernard High School quarterback Anthony Fernandez helped boost the Vikings in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to overcome the Bishop Montgomery High lead in a 33-15 Del Rey League football loss at home Friday, October 29th.
St. Bernard (0-8, 0-3) put on a worthy effort in the second half after trailing the Bishop Montgomery Knights (3-5, 1-2) 21-6 at halftime, but the Vikings came up short and remain winless.
After an 8-4 record last year, the Vikings have struggled to earn their first victory this season, but coach Greg Dixon said the team is improving as the year progresses.
“We’re getting better each week, but we’re still a young and inexperienced team,” Dixon said.
The Vikings proved they were hungry for a first win and ready to challenge the Knights in their Homecoming game, by putting nine points on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.
“They came out with more fire in the second half,” Dixon said. “We did some good things and we ran the ball a lot better.”
Fernandez, who finished nine-of-26 for 163 yards passing, also provided the strength for the Vikings’ running game after he rushed 16 times for 73 yards.
Bishop Montgomery made the first scoring move in the second half when Mike Bruccoleri ran for a two-yard touchdown to increase the Knight lead to 27-6 late in the third quarter.
The Vikings were unable to respond in the third quarter when Fernandez was sacked by the Knight defense to end two offensive drives.
Jarred Frierson booted a punt 43 yards for the Vikings, but the Knights were able to convert on the drive with a high pass by quarterback Alex Stellatq to Bruccoleri for a 20-yard touchdown and a 33-6 lead at 9:41 in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings showed they were not ready to hit the showers when Fernandez connected with Marcus Mitchell for a 52-yard pass. Lisandro Jimenez ended the drive with a score after a 30-yard field goal.
The Vikings continued the charge in their next possession when Fernandez ran for 27 yards and passed to wide receiver Reginald Leslie for 20 yards, setting up their first touchdown.
A facemasking penalty by the Knights put the Vikings on the one-yard line, where Fernandez sneaked in for the touchdown. St. Bernard missed the two-point conversion attempt and trailed 33-15 with 3:22 left in the game.
The Vikings kept their effort alive when Demetrius Johnson recovered the onside kick at the 45-yard line, but Bishop Montgomery shattered any more scoring hopes after an interception by Fernandez.
“We were just trying to finish the game and execute everything without any mistakes,” Fernandez said. “We found our heart for the second half and put faith in what we had to do.”
St. Bernard picked up its first score of the game when Frierson blew past the Knights’ defense for a 34-yard touchdown run, putting the Vikings narrowly behind 7-6 with 3:20 remaining in the first quarter.
Bishop Montgomery jumped further ahead with a five-yard touchdown by Darren White, who had 21 carries for 176 yards rushing, and a four-yard running score by Joshua Jones, giving the Knights a comfortable lead before halftime.
As the season starts to tick away, the Vikings will head into their remaining two games against Serra and Crespi focused on “trying to get a win,” according to Fernandez, but Dixon said they mostly need to build up their confidence.
“We didn’t play the way we’ve been practicing and we didn’t execute our plays,” Dixon said.
“The offense is not controlling the ball long enough to keep the defense off the field. We need to start strong from the beginning.” In other football games:
Venice High School continued its victorious path through the Western League with a narrow 24-21 win over Fairfax High at home Friday, October 29th.
The Gondoliers (5-2, 3-0) remain in first place in the league and escaped with the victory after Chris Lewis recovered a fumble with 40 seconds left in the game to deny the hopes for Fairfax (3-5, 2-1).
Jonas Mouton scored two rushing touchdowns for Venice and Jonathan Ortega caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Robert Ambers, who completed seven-of-ten passes for 188 yards.
Juan Siguenza added a 38-yard field goal in a 17-point third quarter for Venice. Running back Ken Ashley had 13 carries for 110 yards in the game.
The Gondos will play at Westchester High in a Western League game at 7 p.m. Friday, November 5th.
The Westchester High School Comets picked up their second Western League victory with a 33-14 win over Hamilton High at home Friday, October 29th.
The Comet win came after a 16-8 loss to Fairfax a week earlier. Westchester (3-5, 2-1) now has a 3-2 record at home this season, and kept the Hamilton High Yankees (0-8, 0-3) winless this year.
A blocked point after touchdown kick for Santa Monica High School proved to be the difference for the visiting Vikings’ narrow 14-13 Ocean League loss to Culver City Friday, October 29th.
The Vikings (5-3, 2-1) suffered their first loss after racking up four consecutive victories this season.
Santa Monica scored first in the game after a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Kevin Poindexter, who finished four-of-11 for 55 yards passing and had two interceptions.
A touchdown by Daryl Forte put Culver City (6-2, 2-1) ahead 14-7 in the third quarter.
Running back Daniel Locke put the Vikings back in the game with a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, but the blocked kick kept the team down.
Michael Henley had 19 carries for 87 yards rushing in the game for Santa Monica.
The Vikings will play their two remaining league games at home, hosting Beverly Hills High at 7 p.m. Friday, November 5th.
The St. Monica High School Mariners are still looking for their first Camino Real League victory this season after being handily defeated 56-19 by visiting Mary Star of the Sea High School Saturday, October 30th.
The Mariners (2-6, 0-3) were behind 28-7 at halftime after Mary Star (3-5, 2-0) finished four drives in the first half with touchdowns.
St. Monica came closer at 28-13 with a 45-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Mitch Smith to wide receiver David White, but Mary Star went on a roll from there.
The Mariners will host St. Genevieve High in a league game at St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey at 7 p.m. Friday, November 5th.