CORSAIR FIELD — St. Monica football has a score to settle as they open the season tonight.
The Mariners hope to avenge a 28-7 loss to Village Christian to open last season with an offense that has plenty of new faces in the backfield.
St. Monica would recover from the loss, eventually reaching the semifinals of the CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division playoffs, but the loss still stings a year later.
“They looked a lot like us last year,” St. Monica head coach Adam Guerra said of the run-happy Village Christian Crusaders. “But we were missing a few seniors. We were raw and inexperienced.”
St. Monica again enters the matchup with a bit of inexperience, but Guerra hopes his senior-heavy offensive line led by Angel Galdamez will provide a new starting quarterback and running back tandem with some stability as they find their way.
Sophomore quarterback Camron Nuslein gets the nod under center after a collarbone injury sidelined projected starter Chris Henderson this summer.
In St. Monica’s run-heavy offense, Nuslein will be handing off to tailback Jason Thomas and, less often, to fullback Pedro Lopez. Both backs are juniors giving St. Monica an all-underclassman backfield.
Despite having played each other last year, Guerra said he’s not sure what to expect the second time around.
He suspects that former NFL quarterback Jay Schroeder and current Village Christian coach will stick to his rushing attack, but is game planning for anything at this point.
St. Monica opens the season as the No. 5 team in the division, while Village Christian is unranked.
The game begins at Santa Monica College’s Corsair Field at 7 p.m.
Samohi football earns No. 3 ranking
A year removed from an 8-4 season and an appearance in the second round of the Western Division playoffs, Santa Monica High’s football team has earned the No. 3 ranking in the first poll of the season.
Eventual division champ Serra is ranked No. 1 and Chaminade sits at No. 2.
Samohi opens the season at Redondo Union on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.
The Vikings will play a full inter-squad scrimmage today on campus. It begins at 5 p.m. on the main field.