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Griffins Give Marina Rude Awakening

Sunset League: No. 2 Los Alamitos wallops 10th-ranked, previously unbeaten Vikings, 48-20, in league opener.


Marina Vikings, welcome to the Sunset League.

After feasting primarily on weaker opponents in winning their first five games, the Vikings got a taste Thursday of how different (read: dreadful) life can be in one of the Southern Section's toughest leagues.

Second-ranked Los Alamitos shut down No. 10 Marina's one-dimensional offense and moved the ball seemingly at will in a 48-20 victory before an estimated 6,000 at Long Beach Veterans Stadium.

"Everyone didn't expect this," said Griffin receiver Brandon Tripp, who caught five passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. "We didn't think it was going to be this easy. We just played good."

Los Alamitos quarterback Mike Catalano played particularly well, completing 14 of 21 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns.

By contrast, Marina's running attack--the key to its early-season success--was grounded. The Vikings (5-1, 0-1) scored only one touchdown that mattered, when they moved the ball 63 yards on their first possession of the game.

After that, they were hindered by turnovers as quarterbacks Beau Brown and Tom Ansel combined for four interceptions.

Los Alamitos (6-0, 1-0) reeled off the next 34 points and never looked back.

"We made a lot of plays early, and after [Marina's] first drive our defense played great," Griffin Coach John Barnes said. "I'm real proud of our kids."

One play early in the second quarter illustrated what kind of night it was going to be for the Vikings.

Marina blocked a 30-yard field-goal attempt, but the ball squirted toward Griffin receiver Steve Shinen, who picked it up and found a wide-open Brandon Tripp for a 12-yard touchdown pass and a 20-6 lead.

Tripp also scored Los Alamitos' next touchdown, on a 63-yard reception from Catalano to give the Griffins a 27-6 lead.

Los Alamitos running back Adam Nauta finished with 119 yards and a touchdown in 21 carries. Receiver Tony Holder caught four passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Turrill Engleman led Marina with 72 of his 76 yards rushing in the second half, including a 36-yard touchdown run near the end of the game.

"We expected an extremely tough game," Catalano said. "We just executed very well."

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