Santa Monica High Vikings Football Team Ready For The Playoffs

Running game key for Vikings in postseason

Thursday, 14 Nov 2013, 6:57:00 AM

Dennis Freeman

The Samohi Vikings play Channel Islands at home this Friday night.
Photo by Arlene Karno
The Samohi Vikings play Channel Islands at home this Friday night.

This much is

true about the Santa Monica High School football team: win or go home. That’s pretty

much the mantra for every team now engaged in the playoffs. The first season is

officially over. Now the real fun begins for the Vikings.

And that

starts with its CIF Southern Section Western Division playoff game against

Pacific View League’s third seed Channel Islands at Santa Monica High School.

Samohi (6-4), which claimed the second spot in the Ocean League, have a steep

mountain to climb to get to the title game.

The way

things are set up now, the Vikings will eventually have to go through Mission

League runner-up Chaminade. But the tough running of running back Kwame Duggins

may help Coach Travis Clark and his teammates to get there. This is where the

Vikings’ strength lies.

For Samohi

to have sustained success throughout the postseason, all channels must go through

Duggins, a big-time runner capable to taking the team on his back and carrying

them deep in the postseason. As far as talent goes, Duggins is the real deal.

He’s big,

fast and has a nose for the goal line. In 10 games this season, Duggins has

rushed for 1,208 yards and scored eight touchdowns on the ground. As a team,

Samohi has rushed for 2,128 yards. After Duggins, the dropoff is pretty steep

for the Vikings in the run game department.

With junior

quarterback Nico Basile 51 of 115 passes for 775 yards this season, it is

pretty obvious to opponents who they will have to stop in order oust Samohi

from advancing in the postseason. Dual-threat

signal-caller Jordan Detamore should cause havoc for Channel Islands and help

lift the running burden off of Duggins, a senior.

Duggins’ biggest

game of the season thus far was against Ocean League rival Beverly Hills where

he rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries.

His second

biggest output took place against Culver City. Duggins nearly lead Samohi to a

win against the eventual Ocean League champions, rushing for a game-high 163

yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.  

Out of the

team’s 10 regular season games, Duggins has rushed for 100 yards or more eight

times.

But the

Vikings are far from being a one-man show. Defensively, Samohi has one of the

better squads around. The Vikings’ defense has certainly played up to par this

season. That probably is not more evident than in the secondary where the

Vikings have picked off opposing quarterbacks 13 times.

Samohi’s defense, which produced eight sacks

in a defeat to Valencia, can also get after the quarterback. The Vikings have

recorded 40 sacks on the season. More important than statistics is momentum. After

a crushing 17-14 loss to Culver City, Samohi seemed to have rebounded quite

nicely, securing shutout wins against Inglewood and Hawthorne to close the

regular season out.

In those two

games, Samohi outscored their opponents 63-0.      

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