Venice’s speed on defense stopped St. Francis early in the game, but St. Francis’ size took the smaller and quicker Venice defenders for a ride in the second half. Photo by Jason Lewis
By Jason LewisSentinel Sports Writer
Venice gets worn down by St. Francis Venice High School’s speed looked like it would be too much for St. Francis this past Friday night, but turnovers kept the game close in the first half, and St. Francis wore Venice down in the second. The Venice Gondoliers are known for their speed and a high scoring offense, but it was their speed on defense in the first half that dominated, as St. Francis’ only score came after a Venice fumble.
Venice opened the game with a 10-play touchdown drive, but in the second quarter their three drives ended with a missed field goal, an interception, and a fumble.Even though Venice’s offense was unable to finish off a drive, their undersized and speedy defense was too fast for St. Francis, and Venice led 7-3 at halftime.The second half was drastically different, as both teams lit up the scoreboard in the third quarter.Venice sophomore running back Alijah Lee had a 69-yard run, setting Venice up at the seven yard line, but they had to settle for a short field goal, making the score 10-3.On the ensuing kickoff St. Francis wide receiver Christian Hess ran back the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, making the score 10-9 in favor of Venice.Venice wide receiver Gabriel Marks had a 49-yard run before catching an eight-yard touchdown pass, giving Venice a 17-9 lead. But from that point on the wheels fell off, or the Gondolier lost his stick, as big plays and a grind it out running game by St. Francis buried Venice.St. Francis’ Hess got behind the Venice defensive backfield and was wide open for a deep pass, and he raced to the endzone for a 68-yard touchdown, which tied the game at 17-17. After a Venice punt, their smallish defensive line, which played very fast in the first half, was no match for the much bigger St. Francis offensive line. St. Francis marched down the field on the ground with ease, ending their drive with a field goal, giving them a 20-17 lead. After another Venice fumble, St. Francis was set up on the Venice 27 yard line, and they kept it on the ground for another touchdown, giving them a 27-17 lead. Another Venice fumble wrapped up the game. Mistakes on offense and a lack of size on the defensive front seven derailed Venice’s chances of winning the game.
Serra not challenged by Banning
Serra quarterback Jalen Green threw three touchdowns against Banning. Photo by Ken Brooks.
By Ken BrooksSentinel Contributing WriterGardena Serra sophomore quarterback Jalen Green was rather calm about the best performance of his brief career. After throwing for three touchdowns to senior wide receiver Ricardo Rijo, he modestly said, “I don’t know what to say, I just threw my first touchdown pass last week.” What the slinging southpaw did know is how and when to hit the fastest targets on field. Rijo and fellow receiver Marques Rodgers, who also had a touchdown catch in the 27-7 win over Wilmington Banning, were just too quick for Banning’s secondary. Balance to the Serra offense was provided by the inspired rushing of back up running back Ronnie Vaughn. Green, who moved up from the freshman/sophomore team, acknowledged the questioning of Serra’s return to championship form on the heels of its big loss to Notre Dame a few weeks ago and the loss of key talent to the college ranks. He has big shoes to fill as the successor to Conner Preston, now at Southern Methodist University. “My goal is to help us get to the playoffs first, then go for a championship” Green said.
Friday, Banning will host Chatsworth while Serra visits Harbor City Narbonne.Last week’s results Washington 48, Los Angeles Jordan 34Westchester 41, Locke 20South East 50, Los Angeles 0Manual Arts 25, Grant 7Redlands East Valley 14, Dorsey 12Rubidoux 35, View Park 34West Adams 27, Cathedral 7Fairfax 14, Reseda 7St. Francis 27, Venice 17Crespi 40, Palisades 0San Pedro 48, North Torrance 19Santa Margarita 39, Carson 21Sandy (Utah) Alta 56, Taft 0Corona Roosevelt 28, Compton 20Culver City 40, Redondo 23Dominguez 25, Long Beach Jordan 8Hawthorne 20, Torrance 10Lakewood 55, Leuzinger 0Lynwood 28, Lancaster 21Mission Viejo 17, Long Beach Poly 12St. Bernard 39, Lawndale 14Gardena Serra 27, Banning 7Morningside 28, San Fernando 14Verbum Dei 54, Blair 14 This week’s games All games are Friday at 7 p.m. unless notedBell at Los Angeles Jordan, 3 p.m.Hollywood at Los Angeles, 3 p.m.Jefferson at BernsteinCleveland at Hamilton 3 p.m.Gardena at CrenshawFairfax at Marshall 3 p.m.University at Eagle Rock, 3 p.m.Manual Arts at LincolnPalisades at Granada HillsWashington at FremontCantwell-Sacred Heart at St. BernardLakewood at Long Beach WilsonLong Beach Poly at ComptonCompton Centennial at MorningsideFirebaugh at HawthorneLawndale at Peninsula, 3 p.m.Leuzinger at Culver CityDominguez at San Diego Lincoln, 6 p.m.Dorsey at AlemanyGardena Serra at NarbonneInglewood at San PedroLa Mesa Helix at VeniceMission Viejo at Carson, 7:30 p.m.Taft at SaugusView Park at St. Margaret'sBishop Montgomery vs. Verbum Dei at Los Angeles Southwest College, Saturday, 7 p.m.
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