In high school football playoff games:
Intimidation was not a factor for the host St. Bernard High School Vikings, as they picked up a stunning 48-45 upset victory in overtime against top-seeded Morro Bay High School Friday, November 23rd, to stay alive in the Southern Section playoffs.
After finishing second in the Del Rey League this season, the Vikings (8-4) have risen to another level in the playoffs. They earned a convincing 38-14 victory over North Torrance High in the first round and then handed Morro Bay its only loss of the season to reach the playoff semifinals for the first time in nearly a decade.
St. Bernard will play at Nordhoff High of Ojai in the semifinal game at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 1st.
Morro Bay had made it through the regular season untouched but when the Pirates made the long trip to St. Bernard, running back Adam Long and the Vikings were ready to show that they weren’t impressed.
Long punished the Morro Bay defense with two long touchdown runs of 69 and 68 yards, as well as the game-winning score on a three-yard run in overtime. The running back led St. Bernard with 17 carries for 214 yards and four touchdowns in the game.
The Vikings took a 14-7 lead in the first quarter and didn’t trail in the game until Morro Bay kicked a field goal in overtime.
Senior quarterback Ryan Simpson finished eight-of-11 passing for 177 yards and three touchdowns and Gregory Walker added 68 yards rushing for St. Bernard.
Venice High School’s quest for its first Los Angeles City Section Championship has once again come to an end in the second round of the city playoffs.
For the past few years, the Gondoliers have sailed to the Western League Championship and have then had no trouble getting through the first round of the City Section playoffs.
But the second round is where they have run into problems and their journey to the city crown has been halted. This season, it was a 48-26 loss to visiting sixth-seeded Dorsey High School Wednesday, November 21st, that ended the playoff run for Venice (10-2).
It was a promising season for Venice, which suffered only one regular season loss to Banning High and then went undefeated in league play to capture the league title.
In the game against Dorsey, third-seeded Venice seemed to be in good shape early in the third quarter after senior running back Curtis McNeal returned a punt 48 yards to give the Gondos a 19-7 lead.
But Dorsey had seen enough and went on a scoring roll by grabbing five consecutive touchdowns to go ahead 41-19 in the fourth quarter. The Gondos were able to add one more touchdown in the quarter to trail 41-26 but it was too late to stop the Dons.
McNeal, who is headed to USC next year, finished with 103 yards rushing in the game.
Dorsey will next play second-seeded Carson High School in the playoff semifinals Friday, November 30th.