His team scored 42 points last week against Rolling Hills, and Santa Monica High School Coach Tebb Kusserow knows it will need a similar offensive output Friday when it plays host to South Torrance at 7:30 p.m. in Bay League action.
"They're a power-running team with a strong defense and are very quick," Kusserow said. "They're a very fine football team, and through the course of the game they will make more good plays than we will."
Kusserow is hoping the Vikings, who are 2-1 and coming off a 42-20 victory over Rolling Hills, can continue to get the kind of play from quarterback Pat O'Hara and receivers Dominique Holland and Travis Clark that they have received thus far this season.
O'Hara, a senior, has completed 48 of 73 passes for 646 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite receiver has been Holland, who has caught 22 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns. Clark has been on the receiving end of 17 passes for 270 yards and six touchdowns.
Despite the fact that his team is ranked fourth in the Coastal Conference in the CIF-SS poll, Kusserow is well aware that it must play error-free football to beat South Torrance, which is rated fifth.
South Torrance won its Bay League opener last week, downing Mira Costa, 21-15.
"They have the ability to ground the ball out for a lot of yards and are successful throwing off the play-action pass," Kusserow said. The Santa Monica coach added that, although South Torrance likes to run the ball a lot, the Vikings can't forget about the pass.
"If (our) secondary falls asleep and they pass, they very easily can throw for a touchdown," Kusserow said. He said defensive back London Sattiewhite, who had seven tackles last week, will play a key role for Santa Monica.
South Torrance fullback Chris Wright and tailback Dave Collins are main concerns of Kusserow. "Chris is one of the finest backs in the league and Dave is the fastest runner in the league," he said.
"We're going to have to be much more consistent. We can't turn the ball over and we can't make many mental mistakes."
Westchester at Venice
While his team has been lacking offensive firepower and has a 2-1 record, Venice High School Coach Al Dellinger knows his Gondoliers will have to find a way to move the ball when they entertain Westchester (3-0) in a Pac 8 League game at 8 p.m. Friday.
For Dellinger and his team, it is a lot easier said than done. "Size is our main problem," he said. "They have good speed and have been averaging 40 points a game."
Although the Gondoliers' offense has been unable to mount a consistent attack, Venice has capitalized on the other team's mistakes, and Dellinger hopes his team can do the same against Weschester.
Venice quarterback Ernie Soto will try to get the offense back on track. In three games the junior has completed 14 of 35 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Soto will try to get the ball to junior wide receiver Eric Crawford (5-11, 150) and senior receiver Kevin Riven (5-10, 150). Senior tight end David Gonzalez (5-11, 170) also fits into the passing game.
Running back Sheldon Turner, a 5-7, 145-pound junior, will see most of the action on the ground. Turner has carried 42 times for 270 yards and has scored two touchdowns.
The key on defense for Venice will be the line. Ends Paul Nikcevic (6-2, 180) and Bob Tomaselli (6-0, 180) and tackle Chico Garcia (5-7, 200) will be counted on to stop the Westchester running.
Linebacker Gary Bolts (5-11, 170) and safety Dwayne Lortie (6-3, 180) will have to help slow down the Westchester offense.
El Segundo at Beverly Hills
To hear Beverly Hills Coach Bill Stansbury talk, Friday's game against El Segundo is another version of David versus Goliath.
"Offensively we have to control the ball. They have a gigantic offensive team and we have a small defensive unit," Stansbury said. "They have the ability to control a game."
Beverly Hills (2-1) must adjust defensively to deal with the powerful running game of El Segundo (2-2). "We're going to have to move some people around to deal with their double-type power-I," Stansbury said.
To handle the size of the El Segundo offense, the Normans are going to have to rely on quickness and team defense, with everyone being near the ball, according to Stansbury.
Defensive tackles David Ellis (6-5, 256) and Ben Grossnan (5-8, 190) will be significant in slowing the El Segundo offense. Larry Borlenghi (6-2, 175), who plays roverback and linebacker on running plays, has done well in recent weeks and will need another good effort Friday if the Normans are to have any chance of winning, Stansbury said.
Another key will be the punting of senior Alan Glazer, who is averaging 42 yards a kick.
On offense, Stansbury hopes the experience of quarterback and receivers will pay off. Senior quarterback Eric Mueller (6-3, 210) has completed 25 of 57 passes for 351 yards and five touchdowns.