Samohi Vikings Football Team Fall To Culver City In Overtime

Vikings' late rally comes up short

Saturday, 26 Oct 2013, 7:39:00 AM

Dennis Freeman

Samohi defenders get ready for some action against Culver City.
Photo by Dennis Freeman
Samohi defenders get ready for some action against Culver City.

The Santa Monica High School football team had an opportunity to close the deal on the

Ocean League title by defeating Culver City on the road Friday night. The

Vikings would have controlled their own destiny should they have came away with

their third win in Ocean League play this season.

However,

that didn’t happen. Santa Monica now has to watch and see what Culver City does

for the remainder of the regular season to see if they will still have an

outside shot to tie for the league crown at best.

Samohi fell behind early, rallied late, but

ultimately lost to Culver City 17-14 in overtime. The Vikings fell down 14-0 at

halftime. But in the second half it was a different story. Led by the inspired rushing attack of running back Kwame

Duggins, the Samohi squad fought back to tie the ballgame with just over 10 minutes

remaining in the fourth quarter.

The game

would remain knotted up in regulation, forcing the overtime scenario. Samohi

got the ball first but couldn’t do anything with their opportunity. Instead of

pounding the ball inside to Duggins, Santa Monica coach Travis Clark went to

the passing game a couple of times with junior quarterback Nico Basile.

That effort

came up short as Basile just missed on a couple of throws that could have given

Samohi the lead in the extended period. The Vikings also missed a field goal opportunity

after that sequence of plays.

That left

Samohi’s defense with a tall order to shut down the Centaurs and their

playmaking quarterback Armani Rodgers.

For the last

two quarters, the Vikings’ defense were able to do that, bottling up Rodgers

with a ferocious pass rush and outstanding play on the perimeter and locking up

the Centaurs’ outside weapons. Overtime would prove to be a much different

barometer with both teams getting the ball at the 25-yard line to score.

Samohi couldn’t

make it happen when the Vikings had their chance. Rodgers and Culver City made

the best of their opportunity. The Centaurs took the ball from the 25-yard line

and drove it to the 2-yard line to set up the game-winning, 21-yard field goal

by kicker Nico Melendez.

That was the

ballgame. A slow start in the first half cost Samohi a golden opportunity to all

but lock up the Ocean League with a victory over their league rivals. On this

night, however, it wasn’t meant to be.

After tying

the game early in the fourth quarter, Samohi’s offense stalled and went nowhere

on its last three possessions in the period. Clark thought his team played a

much better game in the second half than the effort they gave out through the

first two quarters.  

“I just told

the kids to settle down,” Clark said after the game. “I’m really proud of the

effort they gave in the second half. Everybody played their hearts out. I

thought we had a great game plan in the second half.”

As far as

the loss, Clark said the team can’t dwell on it.   

“You keep

moving,” said Clark. “You just keep moving. That’s life.” 

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