Prep Wrapup : PV Slips Serra Sacker, Bags a Win
If football was a jungle, Serra High’s Erik Simien would be considered a big-game hunter. He goes after quarterbacks, and pity the player who stands between the 6-3, 225-pound outside linebacker and his prey.
Simien did his best to bag Palos Verdes quarterback David Walsh on Friday night. He pursued Walsh, he hit him and he taunted him.
In the end, though, Walsh had the last laugh.
This is a quarterback who can take a licking and keep on flicking. He threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Capper in the third quarter that propelled Palos Verdes to a 13-0 non-league win at Serra.
Asked where the Sea Kings would be without Walsh, Coach Bill Judy replied: “We’d be just average.” Which is to say, a long way from their 3-0 record heading into Bay League play next week against Hawthorne.
Walsh has guided a surprising Palos Verdes team to this point with skill, leadership and a considerable amount of class.
While a frustrated Simien was expelled from the game with 6:47 left for kicking a Palos Verdes player, Walsh absorbed all the punishment Serra could muster and maintained his cool. The only time the 6-4, 215-pound left-hander retaliated was when he shoved Simien in response to what appeared to be a late hit.
“I thought he hit me a couple of times real late,” Walsh said.
Walsh also didn’t appreciate some of the things Simien said to him during the contest. “It was just a bunch of foul language,” he said.
Walsh silenced Simien and Serra (1-2) when he scored on a 2-yard run with 6:47 remaining, capping a 32-yard drive in which the quarterback picked up 14 and 13 yards on bootlegs. On the conversion, Simien was ejected for kicking a player, according to referees.
Afterward, Judy couldn’t have been more happy with his team, which he never thought would be unbeaten at this point in the season.
“That was definitely the quickest team we’ve played,” he said. “It took our best game (to win). Our defense did a great job.”
Offensively, Judy thought the Sea Kings did a good job of neutralizing the highly recruited Simien.
“We tried to get underneath Simien,” he said. “To be honest, he really wasn’t a factor. I don’t think he plays under control. With a little more discipline, he would be tougher.”
Walsh also had a message for the folks at the U.S. Military Academy in response to a comment made by Simien in a Times article Thursday. In the story, Simien referred to West Point as a “ridiculous place” to recruit him.
Said Walsh: “I’d be privileged to accept a letter from West Point.”
Banning quarterback John Ma’ae suffered a concussion on the last play of the first half in the Pilots’ 41-21 win over Muir and was kept overnight for observation at a hospital, according to Coach Joe Dominguez.
“Afterward he was a little dizzy, but the paramedics felt he was OK,” Dominguez said. “I think he’s going to be OK. But with a head injury like that, he’s going to have to get medical clearance.”
Banning (2-1) opens Conference 2 play Friday night at Gardena.
With Ma’ae sidelined, Robert Kapu played the second half at quarterback and directed the Pilots to two third-quarter touchdowns at Harbor College. Still, Dominguez was not particularly pleased with the offense, despite a season-high point total. Three times Banning drove inside the Muir 15-yard line and failed to score.
“If we’re going to be a real good team, we can’t let that happen,” he said. “If you get inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, you have to come away with some points.”
However, Dominguez was pleased with the Pilots’ defensive play. Muir scored its first touchdown after recovering a fumble at the Banning 10-yard line and had its last two TDs against Banning’s second team.
Dominguez singled out the play of tackles Carlson Leomiti and Sonny Fuavai, ends Darnell Riles and Randy Woolridge and middle linebacker John Herrera.
After watching his team eke out a 17-15 win over Lynwood on a last-minute field goal, Carson Coach Gene Vollnogle admitted that he’s having second thoughts about the Colts’ new offense, which resembles a run-and-shoot attack.
But Vollnogle said he doesn’t intend to scrap the scheme and return to the team’s traditional veer option.
“The problem is that we’d have the same weakness if we went back to the old offense,” he said. “It isn’t a matter of what offense. It’s a lack of talent at a couple of places. I think it will persist the entire season.”
Vollnogle would not say where those places are, but he has complained in the past about the inexperience of the Colts’ receivers.
Against Lynwood, Carson quarterback Perry Klein had three passes dropped and finished the night 8 of 16 for 131 yards and one touchdown. Fred Gatlin, the other Colt QB, was 3 of 6 for 51 yards and one TD.
Gatlin continued to have problems with turnovers. He was intercepted once and he fumbled once, giving him five turnovers in three games.
Vollnogle was impressed with Lynwood quarterback Charles Levy, who ran for one touchdown and passed for another in the fourth quarter to give his team a 15-14 lead. Carson pulled it out on a 19-yard field goal by Louis Perez with 41 seconds left.
The coach said Levy, a junior, reminds him of another option quarterback he faced a few seasons ago.
“He’s every bit as good as Jamelle Holieway was when Holieway was a senior (at Banning),” Vollnogle said. “If I were Oklahoma, I’d start recruiting him right now. The guy is so smooth. He bends and twists all over the place.”
Levy rushed for 104 yards and returned two kickoffs for 79 yards.
El Segundo (3-0) will open its first season in the Santa Fe League next Saturday night against Murphy without one of its best players.
Wide receiver/strong safety Donavan Gallatin suffered a broken thumb in last week’s win over West Torrance and is out for the year.
“We have four or five kids that we were building the team around, and he was one of them,” Coach Steve Newell said. “He’s definitely the strongest kid on the team.”
El Segundo tailback Erik Evans continued to enjoy a big season Thursday night, rushing for 140 yards and two touchdowns to help the Eagles defeat Garey of Pomona, 21-13. Evans leads the area in scoring with 50 points.
A 24-game winless streak that spanned 2 1/2 seasons came to an end Friday night when El Camino Real of Woodland Hills defeated host Westchester, 6-3.