CORSAIR FIELD ‚Äî When asked if Friday‚Äôs 17-3 win over Culver City was sweet revenge, Santa Monica football‚Äôs head coach Travis Clark couldn‚Äôt help but let a smile creep across his face.
He downplayed the win, but he acknowledged that sending Culver City to its second loss of the Ocean League season after being eliminated by the Centaurs in last year‚Äôs Western Division playoffs was pretty nice.
Samohi used a pair of long scoring drives and a tough defense to improve to 3-0 in league play while possibly ending Culver City‚Äôs hopes of winning the Ocean.
For Clark, he‚Äôs just glad to see his team continue to grow following an early-season three-game losing streak.
“What a team effort,” Clark said of the win at Santa Monica College. “Offense, defense, special teams; we executed in every phase of the game.”
The game was tight at half-time with Culver City clinging to a 3-0 lead.
That changed as Samohi wide receiver Sebastian LaRue again keyed the offense with an 84-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Ryan Barbarin. The score gave Samohi a lead it wouldn‚Äôt relinquish, but the Vikings weren‚Äôt done for the night.
Running back Russell Revis added a 48-yard TD reception later in the third quarter, which was redemption for an earlier 90-yard scoring run that was called back on a holding penalty.
Revis wasn‚Äôt quick to take the credit, instead he gave the glory to his offensive line.
“I didn‚Äôt find out until late that they called the first one back,” Revis said. “That‚Äôs when my lineman told me to be patient, that another one would come.”
Despite the pair of long scoring plays, Culver City‚Äôs defense gave Samohi fits for most of the game. That was until late when emergent running back Yachal Butler salted the game away with timely runs late in the fourth quarter.
The win sets up a pivotal meeting with Inglewood on Friday at Coleman Stadium. Both teams enter the game 3-0 in league with the outcome of the contest going a long way toward deciding if Samohi will repeat as league champs.
Clark said that he expects a tough contest at Inglewood, but is confident that his improving running game and offensive line play will again lead the way to victory.
“I can‚Äôt say enough about the line,” Clark said. “They have been showing me something every week. I have faith in those big guys.”