Grant Fumbles Hand Venice 35-0 Victory in Pac 8 League
When Grant High’s William Saito gave up the football to Venice on the first play of the Pac 8 League game Friday, it was an indication of things to come.
The Lancers coughed up the ball four more times in a 35-0 shutout for Venice.
The only bright spot for Grant was the play of linemen Howard Dachs and Robert Mobley, who led the Grant defense to four sacks of Gondolier quarterback Ernie Soto, allowing just 16 yards on the ground before halftime.
The defensive struggle turned three Venice scoring drives into field goal attempts by Nito Messina. Two were good for 20 and 15 yards and Venice took a 6-0 lead with three minutes left in the half.
At that time David Gonzales caught two consecutive passes from Soto, the first for 16 yards and the second for four yards and a touchdown.
Soto made it three key passes in a row when he connected with Ray Gordon for the two points, giving Venice a 14-0 lead with 45 seconds left in the half.
“They (Gondoliers) were fired up in the first half because of their homecoming,” Soto said. “But they came out defeated in the second half, and we pulled them back pretty quick.”
It was obvious when Grant, 1-4 in league and 1-5 overall, had yet another turnover just two minutes into the third quarter.
The Venice defense then decided to turn the tables on the Lancers, sacking quarterback Jay Onga six times in the third quarter. Onga connected on just three of fifteen passes for 12 yards and one interception.
Venice, 5-0 in league and 6-1 overall, capitalized on easy scoring position three times in the last two quarters.
The first was a two-yard score by Bob Tomaselli with five minutes left in the third quarter. Tomaselli scored again, jumping one yard for the touchdown with 6:26 left in the game. Messina kicked the PAT raising the score to 28-0.
Two minutes later, Sheldon Turner ran the ball in eight yards for the final Venice score.