ORANGE COUNTY — The Santa Monica High School Vikings football team finally knows the taste of defeat, having lost its first game of the season on the road against Villa Park, 35-29, on Thursday.
The loss sends the Samohi Vikings to 2-1 on the season, but Head Coach Travis Clark said the loss wasn’t in vain.
The Vikings’ Kris Comas continued to shine, scoring two touchdowns on eight catches for 140 yards. The senior wide receiver has scored nine touchdowns for the Vikings in three games this season.
“The dude is [NCAA] Division 1,” Clark said of Comas. “He’s the best player at Samohi since Charles Gordon.”
Gordon, who graduated in the early 2000s, played for the Minnesota Vikings before an injury essentially ended his career in 2008. He is serving as an assistant coach on the team this season.
The Vikings were able to continue their strong play on offense, but Clark said his defensive line had trouble containing Villa Park running back Kapena Olsen, who rushed for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
Clark said the loss followed a poor week of practice. He said that the team seemed a bit complacent having started the season with a pair of easy wins over Leuzinger and Palisades.
“I was a little nervous [heading into the game],” Clark said.
Villa Park kicked off the contest with a touchdown, but Samohi was able to answer and actually led 7-6 at one point. From there, Olsen ran wild on a defense that had little time to prepare before the kick off. Clark said the team arrived just a half hour before the game due to traffic and had to do pre-game warmups in a hurry.
He didn’t blame the loss on logistics, but said that it didn’t help the Vikings’ cause.
Having started the season with three road games, Clark said he’s happy to be 2-1 heading into a matchup with Southern California power Valencia on Friday at Santa Monica College’s Corsair field. Valencia routed the Vikings last season, 63-7.
“All we have our minds on is Valencia,” Clark said. “We have to be ready.”