Vic Gutierrez has little to do when Ocean View High School works on its defense during football practices.
Gutierrez, the Seahawks' quarterback, will casually lob passes to assistant coach Bob Bell while the team works on defensive strategy.
Since Ocean View has only 22 players on the team, every player except Gutierrez plays two positions.
"The defense goes onto the field and Vic goes over to Bell," Coach Guy Carrozzo said. "We feel it's more important for Vic to have time to concentrate on offense. He has so many responsibilities that we can't afford to play him on defense."
After all, Gutierrez, The Times' Player of the Week, has Ocean View on the verge of qualifying for the Southern Section playoffs for the first time. Ocean View (4-4, 2-1) is tied with Huntington Beach for second place in the Sunset League with two games left. Fountain Valley (3-0) is in first.
Last Friday, he passed for 99 yards and rushed for 85, including touchdown runs of 24 and 35 yards, as the Seahawks beat Edison, 20-14. It was Ocean View's first varsity victory over the Chargers.
Last year, Gutierrez started at defensive back but switched to quarterback for the season's final two games. This season, Gutierrez has played little on defense.
"I've been a quarterback three of four years at Ocean View, but this is the first time I haven't played defense," said Gutierrez, a senior. "They won't let me. I stay with Coach Bell on the sidelines and we go over the defense. It helps me on my reads and keeps me fresh."
Carrozzo adjusted his offense last summer to accommodate Gutierrez's skills. Instead of using the traditional drop-back passing strategy, Carrozzo altered the offense, which allows Gutierrez to sprint out and either run or pass.
Said Bell: "Usually a team has a guy who can rush for 100 yards and another who passes for 100 yards. For us, it's the same guy. The defense more has to contain Vic as a runner. We don't run the option, but our pass plays are designed to get Vic outside."
Gutierrez not only has the option of running on every pass play, he's encouraged to do so. He is given the freedom to make adjustments, even after the play has begun.
"Most quarterbacks have a two-receiver option and then throw the ball out of bounds if nobody is open," Bell said. "Vic can run anytime. On some of our plays, the run is the first option."
It has been an effective system. In all but one of the Seahawks' four victories, his rushing yardage is equal to what he gains passing.
"Vic is a big part of our success," Carrozzo said. "His passing and rushing yardage may not look that impressive, but he orchestrates everything we do."
Ocean View High School
Height, Weight, Class: 5-10, 165, Sr.
Last Week: Rushed for 85 yards in 9 carries, including touchdown runs of 24 and 35 yards in Ocean View's 20-14 win over Edison. Also completed 7 of 14 passes for 99 yards, as the Seahawks defeated the Chargers for the first time.
Season: In eight games, he has completed 48 of 107 passes for 559 yards and 1 touchdown. He has gained 254 yards in 57 carries and scored 3 touchdowns.