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Marina Makes Adjustments, Gets by St. John Bosco, 20-16


WESTMINSTER — Marina Coach Mark Rehling entered Thursday's game against Bellflower St. John Bosco with a couple of problems.

He needed to figure out a way to get the ball in the hands of senior running back Steve Franks more often, and how to get along without leading receiver Ryan Daguro (shoulder injury).

The Vikings (2-1) went to an I-formation offense, running the option much of the time, and rolled up 326 yards of offense as they knocked off St. John Bosco, 20-16, at Westminster High.

Franks rushed for 95 yards in 15 carries, and along with junior quarterback Scot Austin (73 yards) and sophomore fullback Ray Mietkiewicz (77 yards) gave Marina one of its most effective offensive performances.

The Viking defense held the Braves to 179 yards, and Rehling was quick to give them their due. "Our defense played unbelievable," Rehling said. "We really took advantage of our quickness."

Things looked bad for Marina when the Vikings lost fumbles on both of their first-quarter possessions. However, the Braves took little advantage and a 40-yard field goal by Joe Nadaklsky early in the second quarter was the only score St. John Bosco managed in the first half. Marina took a 6-3 lead at the half, scoring with 1:18 left in the second quarter when Austin connected with Donald Lank on a 58-yard scoring play.

The Vikings padded their lead in the third quarter on an eight-yard touchdown run by Austin, only to see Eric Ayers respond with an 89-yard kickoff return moments later to close the gap to 13-10.

Marina responded with its most important drive of the game, moving 80 yards in 14 plays and taking seven minutes off the clock before Franks scored from a yard with 6:02 to go for a 20-10 lead.

St. John Bosco made it 20-16 when Alex Aguilar hooked up with Chuck Lozano on a 10-yard scoring pass with a minute to go, but Aguilar's pass for a two-point conversion was dropped. Lank recovered the ensuing onside kick to clinch Marina's second victory of the year.

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