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Marina Finishes Its Nonleague Season With Ease


Marina's 19-10 victory over El Toro Friday at Westminster High featured one impressive half and one not-so-impressive half.

The Vikings (5-0) now have the task of making sure the same will not be said of their season.

"If you'd told me a month ago we'd be 5-0 right now, I wouldn't have believed you," said Mike Dodd, Marina's first-year coach. "But we know where we're at and what we've got to face the next couple of weeks."

Dodd was referring to Los Alamitos and Esperanza, the Vikings' first two Sunset League opponents and two reasons that any celebration of an undefeated nonleague season will be tempered.

Marina stalled in El Toro territory on its first two possessions then picked up a safety after Beau Brown's punt pinned the Chargers inside their own one-yard line. Adam Hayward tackled Nick Walsh in the end zone two plays later. A 43-yard field goal by Sean Sanchez accounted for the only other points of the first half and Marina led 5-0.

The second half didn't start much better as Marina turned the ball over on its first two possessions. A 59-yard Hayward touchdown run midway through the quarter put the hosts up 12-3, but Vinnie Mascari kept the Chargers (2-3) close with an 82-yard interception return for a touchdown to make it 12-9.

Brown, also the Vikings' quarterback, scored on a 30-yard run with 9 minutes 41 seconds remaining for the game's final points, and the Marina defense took over from there, forcing punts twice and adding an interception in the final minute.

Despite the absence of standout linebacker Inoke Tukia, Marina held El Toro to 103 total yards--only 24 of them in the second half. The Viking defense didn't allow a touchdown for the second game in a row.

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