The Gabrielino Eagles opened their 2013 Home schedule against a South Bay League member Mar Vista. Not the South Bay of Torrance or LAX, no this is Mar Vista of San Diego, home of Sea World and Shamu. Several coaches commented the school was not the closest to the Mexican border, but probably was “in the top five”. The Eagles lost in a final score of 34-21 and was the first for loss for this year’s Eagles and the win the first for the Mar Vista Mariners.
The Eagles had given up only 13 points, with two shutouts, and had averaged more than 35 offensive points in their first three games. Mar Vista had suffered through three straight losses to teams with a combined 6-3 record. Mariner coach, Tyler Arciaga, said before the game that his team had, “yet to find their identity”. Eagles Coach Harold Sanin was sure his squad would, “would not give up and play until the final whistle.”
The three-plus hour bus ride seemed to inspire the visiting Mariners as they took the opening kickoff 80 yards in 13 plays for a touchdown. On the drive 58 yards gained by running back Jimmie Hill, including the 5 yard score at 5:49 in the first quarter. Gab’s offense had to punt back to the Mariners. This drive lasted just three plays, and RB Hill scored again from 26 yards out. But the Mariners were not through and on the final play of the quarter, Hill scampered in from the 7, giving Mar Vista the 21-0 lead. The Eagles were reeling without the ability to stop the Mariners and also unable to mount any sustained offense.
In the second quarter, the Eagles punted but the Mariners muffed it and Eagle Chris Montoya recovered at the 16-yard line. Given new life and terrific field position, QB Elijah Peters hooked up with Montoya from 8 yard out and the lead narrowed to 21-7. The Mariners scored again making the halftime score 28-7. Defensive Coach for the Eagles knew adjustments needed to be made if Gab was going to be competitive in this contest.
Gab got the 3rd quarter kick, and drove all the way for a score. Peters took the ball in from the 6 for a 28-14 score. For the remaining quarter, the teams traded punts until QB Josh Walters scrambled for 50 yards to the Eagles 8 yard line. Two plays later, Hill again scored but a missed extra point meant a 34-14 lead. The Eagles fought valiantly and scored on another Peters run for 3 yards. But with 1:10 remaining, the Mariners ran out the clock. Hill finished the game with 219 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns.
This week’s tilt sees the Eagles face another out-of-towner team. This time, California City High will have to travel 120 miles to encounter Gabrielino. The Ravens have not enjoyed a victory this year but bring in a tough-minded defense and another 3 hours bus ride to become inspired against the Eagles. Welcome California City, we hope to be good hosts, but not let you leave with a win. Play hard and cheer loud for all the players.
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