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First Game (photo by Brandon Wise)

INGLEWOOD — With just three games left in the Ocean League schedule, Santa Monica High School’s football Vikings need to win out to make the playoffs.

The challenge is daunting, Head Coach Travis Clark said, but not impossible. But, for that to transpire, he said Samohi’s upperclassmen need to take matters into their own hands starting this Friday against Morningside at Coleman Stadium.

“Our seniors haven’t stepped up,” Clark said of his team that is 3-4 overall and 0-2 in league. “They haven’t committed completely.”

He said that the Vikings have at times looked strong — especially in big wins over Palisades and Centennial — yet have appeared shaky at times during league play. He did commend senior wide receiver Kris Comas, who has 14 touchdown catches in addition to two punt returns for scores, for his breakout season, but said that upperclassmen running/defensive backs Kori Garcia and Brandon Taylor will have to step up this week with starting safeties Chris Ransom and Deon Bishop out with injuries. Both have been strong this season, but Clark stressed that they, along with sophomore quarterback Rhys Gervais, will have to come up big these last few games.

As for Gervais, who has started the last four games, Clark said that he’s willing to take his lumps with the youngster because he sees great potential in the quarterback.

“He’s getting it done,” Clark said. “He hasn’t done anything to lose games. He’s put us in a situation to win.

“What else can I ask of a sophomore?”

With three games left and a chance to make the playoffs in play, Clark said the time for players to play has come.

“Their time is running out,” he said. “I hope it’s not too late to turn it around.”

This week’s game at Morningside is a perfect opportunity for his Vikings to get their first league win.

Morningside has struggled this season, starting the year 1-6 overall and 0-2 in league. The Monarchs have scored just 49 points this season while giving up 218.

“I just want these guys to go out knowing they left everything on the field,” Clark said. “You don’t want to look back and say I wish we would have worked harder.”

daniela@smdp.com

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