It was only the beginning of the month of October and Halloween was still 30 days away, yet trickery took a foul turn on the Marina High football team last week in Aliso Viejo.
Entrenched in a tight battle with host Aliso Niguel, the Vikings fell victim to trick plays in a 21-13 loss to the Wolverines. Aliso scored on a bounce lateral on its first play from scrimmage that resulted in a 62-yard touchdown. Later, the Wolverines used a halfback pass to score their second touchdown.
"We need to not let up trick plays," Marina Coach George Pascoe said, his team confined to an indoor workout Monday due to rain. "Trick plays demoralize teams and are tough to overcome. We had our chances and just need to execute at key times."
Alex Waked rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries and Nick Marshall kicked two field goals for the Vikings.
"Alex played a great game," Pascoe said. "He has over 500 yards in four games. If a back is running, then the line is playing well also."
The Vikings (2-2) get the chance at a new start this week. Tonight, they'll be in to Anaheim to face Western, a team also reeling from a big setback.
Last Friday, Coach Toby Howell's Pioneers (2-2) were blitzed early by rival Cypress and went on to suffer a 54-14 defeat in their Empire League opener. Western lives by the run and spreads the wealth in that department between backs Marcus Hays, who rushed for a score in the loss to Cypress and leads the team with seven touchdowns, and Mike Jefferson.
"Coach Howell will have them ready to bounce back after last week," Pascoe said. "We need to stop their ball control offense and get them off the field. Then, when we get our chances, we need to make the most of them. In the red zone we need touchdowns, not field goals."
Huntington Beach (2-2) vs. San Juan Hills (5-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Tesoro High: Two teams who have rolled in recent weeks collide as Huntington Beach goes to Tesoro High to take on undefeated San Juan Hills.
Last week, Huntington cruised to a 31-7 nonleague win against visiting Westminster, while San Juan Hills routed University, 45-16. Oilers coach Eric Lo calls Friday's nonleague clash is a crucial test for his squad in its final tune-up before the start of Sunset League play.
"San Juan is a very good team…and an explosive team," Lo said of the Stallions, who are ranked eighth in this week's CIF Southwest Division poll. "They have a really good quarterback, a good running game and good offensive line. We are going to have to limit them on the big plays in order to win."
The San Juan Hills is led by quarterback Wil Acromite, a two-way threat, and its rush game spearheaded by a trio of backs: Kyle Bauer, Connor O'Modhrain and Michael Perryman. In last week's win over University, Perryman had 330 yards of total offense and scored four touchdowns and Acromite passed for 245 yards, with three touchdowns to Perryman.
In five games, the Stallions have outscored their opponents by an average of 37-16.
Huntington and San Juan Hills have a common opponent in Foothill. The Oilers defeated the Knights, 17-3, on Sept. 17 and the Stallions won by a 28-25 score the following week.
The last time Huntington faced a prolific offense the likes of San Juan Hills was Sept. 23 against Aliso Niguel. The Oilers shut down the high-powered Wolverines to claim a 44-3 victory.
In last week's decisive win over Westminster, Huntington blitzed the Lions for three touchdowns in a five-minute span of the second quarter and rode a dominating first-half performance to a homecoming game victory.
Max Talbert started the scoring with a 48-yard field goal, Chris Ogilvie intercepted a pass to set up a seven-yard scoring run by Nolan Biegel, Ramon Vargas scored on 49-yard pass play from quarterback Michael Chislock and running back Fisher Chavira scored on a six-yard run for a 24-0 halftime lead.
Biegel, a junior running back, capped Huntington's scoring on a tackle-breaking, 35-yard run in the third quarter.
In the past three games, the Huntington defense has given up just one touchdown.