Serra High Coach Dale Washburn said Eric Hamilton lacked self-confidence, so he made his quarterback wear an arm wrap with the word poise written on it.
Hamilton needed all the poise and self-confidence he could get at wind-swept Palisades High on Saturday night. St. Monica gave heavily favored Serra a first-half struggle before eventually falling, 34-13.
The victory lifted Serra (9-1 overall, 6-1 in Camino Real League), to a co-championship with St. Anthony. Hapless St. Monica finished at 2-8 and 0-7.
Serra's defense got a bit of a shock in the first half, though. St. Monica got on the scoreboard first when junior quarterback Chris Leaton scampered out of the pocket, busted a few tackles and sprinted 20 yards for a touchdown.
Hamilton struck right back on Serra's next possession with a dash of his own. On the first play from scrimmage, he broke loose at the line and outraced the St. Monica defense 59 yards for the TD.
Serra scored again 10 seconds later when Dan Bernard fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Defensive back Anthony Jackson scooped it up and rolled 41 yards to score.