GARDEN GROVE — It started two weeks ago, when Chase Hamm sustained a season-ending knee injury.
Pacifica's woes continued Monday when 21 players missed practice because of illness or injury.
"We're not a healthy bunch," Pacifica Coach Bill Craven said.
With Hamm, their leading rusher, gone, and reserve tailback Lui Ala out because of pneumonia, Pacifica (7-2-2) never established a running game and was upset by Redondo Beach Redondo Union, 29-20, Friday in a Southern Section Division VII first-round playoff game.
Redondo Union (6-5) features running back Alfred Pressley, and the senior made an big impression, rushing for touchdowns of four and two yards en route to 121 first-half yards. Pressley carried only twice in the second half before leaving the game because of an ankle injury, but his presence was enough to move the Seahawks, runners-up in the Ocean League, into a second-round date with fourth-seeded Fullerton.
Pacifica, on the other hand, sorely missed Hamm. The senior rushed for 588 yards and scored 15 touchdowns before his season came to an end in a nonleague game against Covina Northview.
The Mariners netted only 37 yards on the ground. Their passing game was slightly more successful, as J.D. Stern threw for 267 yards on 21-of-45 passing. But after Pacifica scored on the opening possession of the second half to narrow their deficit to 21-14, Stern was picked off on four consecutive possessions.
Redondo Union took advantage of three Pacifica penalties on the game's opening possession and took a 6-0 lead when Pressley scored on a four-yard run. After a Pacifica punt, a 41-yard Pressley run set up a 15-yard scoring pass from Ed Sanchez to Doug Francis.
Pacifica closed the gap to 14-7 on a four-yard plunge by fullback Paul Toepel, but the Seahawks opened the lead to 21-7 as Pressley went in from the two in the final minute of the half.
The Mariners scored on the second play after halftime, when Stern connected with Darrell Miles, who fumbled near midfield. Casey Huffmire picked up the ball at the Pacifica 47 and cruised down the sideline 53 yards for a touchdown.
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