Playoff-bound Bell-Jeff football looks to stay strong against St. Monica


WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

WHERE: Palisades High.

RECORDS: The Guards are 4-5, 2-1 in the Santa Fe League; the Mariners are 4-4, 1-2.

LAST WEEK: Bell-Jeff defeated St. Genevieve, 52-28; St. Monica lost to Salesian, 41-3.

OUTLOOK: The Guards enter the game after earning a CIF Southern Section playoff spot by defeating St. Genevieve on Saturday. This is the first time Bell-Jeff has qualified for the postseason since 2009, when it finished third in the league. A victory against the Mariners in the regular-season finale would give the Guards second place in league behind powerhouse Salesian. If Bell-Jeff loses and St. Anthony (6-3, 1-2) defeats St. Genevieve in its finale, the Guards and Saints would end tied for third place in league with identical 2-2 records. However, Bell-Jeff would earn the final postseason spot via its 37-33 win against St. Anthony on Oct. 20. “We just want to win and we won’t have to worry about anything,” Bell-Jeff Coach David Machuca said. “We just want to cake care of business ourselves.” If the Mariners are going to stop Bell-Jeff, they will have to shut down senior running back Josh Martinez. Martinez has carried a heavy load for the Guards in their last two games, and he’s responded with big efforts. Martinez has gained almost 1,600 yards and has 20 rushing touchdowns.

SOMETHING INTERESTING: With four wins, the Guards have notched the most victories in a season since 2009, when they finished 6-5.

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