CORSAIR FIELD — The game ended with seniors swarming the field, celebrating a 50-8 win over Hawthorne in the season finale with tears streaming down the faces of many at Santa Monica College on Friday night.
The Samohi football team had just won its third-straight Ocean League game, but it was bittersweet as Head Coach Travis Clark said following the game. The team had finished the season 6-4, an improvement from last year’s 4-6 record, but the mood was somber knowing that it would take a bit of help to qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section playoffs, which had yet to be announced.
That help didn’t come as Culver City defeated Beverly Hills sending Samohi home and its seniors to ponder what could have been.
“I don’t want to stop here,” Samohi senior wide receiver Kris Comas said. “I want to keep playing with my boys.”
What Samohi feared was confirmed on Sunday when CIF-SS officials released the pairings for the playoffs, which begin Friday. Although sharing a 6-4 overall record and 3-2 league mark, Samohi, which tied for second place behind Inglewood, failed to reach the postseason as Beverly Hills and Culver City rounded out the berths from the Ocean League.
“I’m glad we improved from last year,” Clark said, “but, it will be hard to see these kids go.
“When I stepped on campus [the seniors] were just sophomores and have grown so much since then.”
Despite missing the playoffs, the Vikings played a complete game against Hawthorne on Friday. After allowing Hawthorne to score the game’s first points on a pass play, the Vikings went on to score 50 straight with Comas again leading the way. The senior, whom has drawn the eyes of college recruiters this season, finished the night with three catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns. His night was highlighted by a 60-yard punt return late in the game that he took in for a score. Comas, who was the Vikings’ most consistent player all season, finished the year with 17 touchdown catches and four kicks returned for scores.
Fellow senior, running back Brandon Taylor, also scored on the night. He compiled 53 yards on nine carries and the score.
Getting in on the senior action was backup quarterback Brock Miller, who blocked a punt in the second quarter, setting up a Comas touchdown.
Particularly touching was a post game gathering around senior Cody Williams. The former linebacker severely injured his spine last year and has been confined to a wheelchair since. The team’s seniors, many with tears in their eyes, crowded around Williams, who was named a captain this season. The night ended with the seniors posing for pictures as the curtain closed on another football season.
“This year was really special,” Taylor said. “I hate to see it end.”