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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

Marina Catches Mayfair Before Mayfair Catches Up

September 23, 2000|PETER YOON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Had there been any lethal weapons on the Marina sideline Friday night, Coach Mike Dodd might not be here today.

There weren't, and Dodd is safe from danger after the Vikings held on for a 21-13 victory over Lakewood Mayfair at Bellflower High.

Mayfair's Jimmy Manley took a screen pass on the final play of the game and raced 62 yards before Aaron Peck grabbed him from behind and pulled him out of bounds at the 18-yard line to preserve the victory.

Dodd, thinking Mayfair would try a long pass as it had on the previous play, called for his linebackers to blitz, leaving the middle of the field open.

"He was running down the field and I was ready to take a gun and shoot myself," Dodd said. "Either that or my defensive coordinator would have."

Manley got into the flat at the Mayfair 20 with a bevy of blockers leading the way. He weaved his way through the Marina secondary, but Peck, the opposite side cornerback, had an angle.

"I just grabbed him," Peck said. "I knew I would get him."

It was the first screen play that Mayfair ran and Dodd figured he would put pressure on Mayfair quarterback Drew Gonzales, who had completed only one of 10 previous pass attempts for four yards. Three of his passes were intercepted.

"It was a great call by them," Dodd said. "They hadn't shown anything like it the entire game, then they bust out with it in that situation."

The play wouldn't have been so important had Marina's Sean Sanchez not missed a 26-yard field-goal attempt with 11 seconds left.

But the ball sailed wide on the fourth-down attempt and Mayfair took over with 9.3 seconds to play. A deep pass fell incomplete with 1.9 seconds remaining. Then came the screen.

Marina (3-0) turned two first-quarter Mayfair turnovers into touchdowns and bolted to a 21-0 lead when Adam Hayward plunged in for a one-yard second-quarter score.

Mayfair, which scored on a Harrell Carman interception return late in the first half, took control as rain pelted the field when the second half began.

Running back Allen Kennett carried five consecutive plays for 42 yards, including a one-yard touchdown on Mayfair's first drive of the half.

But Marina soon found that Monsoons are powerless without rain. After the rain stopped, the Vikings drove to the Mayfair five before the missed field goal set up the excitement at the end.

Five Marina rushers carried at least six times, led by Bernard Mitchell, who had 70 yards in 14 carries.

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