WESTMINSTER — It wasn't the way George Pascoe and his Marina football team wanted to end the first half of their 2013 season.
The Vikings trailed visiting Capistrano Valley throughout Friday's nonleague contest at Westminster High, but still were within striking distance at halftime. The second half was a different story.
The Cougars used a big offensive output in the third quarter to pull way, and the game turned to a running clock for the fourth quarter. When the final 12 minutes ticked by in, well, 12 minutes, the Cougars had earned a 42-7 victory at Boswell Field.
Pascoe was at a loss for words after the game which ended with his Vikings slipping to 1-4.
It was the third consecutive loss for Marina which starts its Sunset League season Friday against Fountain Valley.
The Vikings were coming off a bye week.
"We had some breakdowns tonight and they took advantage," Pascoe finally said. "The game got away from us."
After trailing, 20-7 at the half, Marina was outgunned in the third quarter. As the wind whipped into a frenzy on a blustery night, so, too, did Capo Valley's offense which scored on all three of its possessions in the quarter.
The onslaught gave the Cougars (5-2) a commanding, 42-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Marina couldn't do anything with the opening kickoff of the second half, and punted to the Cougars. Consecutive 21-yard runs by sophomore running back Tyler Waggoner took the ball down to the Marina 29-yard line and on the next play, senior quarterback Matt Gordon hit junior receiver Dalton Drum with a 10-yard slant pass that Drum turned into a 29-yard scoring play.
A two-point conversion run by Gordon took the score to 28-7.
Capo Valley got the ball back less than two minutes later, and needed less than three minutes to get on the scoreboard again. This time, Gordon took off around right end and scored on a 25-yard run on a fourth-and-four play. It was now 35-7.
The scoring drive seemed to have stalled three plays earlier when Marina junior defensive lineman Robert Muller dropped Waggoner for a one-yard loss on first down from the Marina 21. Linebacker Mitchell Barnes followed Muller with a five-yard sack of Gordon.
Capo Valley back-up quarterback Gavin Pruet hit receiver Tanner Hobson with a 19-yard touchdown pass before the quarter was complete, and the play gave the Cougars a 42-7 advantage.
Marina seemed to have answered the score with a nice, 55-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Daylan Harmeyer to senior receiver Scott Phillips, but the play was wiped away on an illegal-receiver-downfield penalty called against the Vikings.
At 42-7, the fourth quarter used a running clock.
The Cougars, ranked No. 9 in the CIF Southern Section Southwest Division, bounced back nicely from last week's 42-14 loss to Corona del Mar, the No. 1 team in the Southern Division.
"They're a pretty good team," Pascoe said of Capo Valley. "I thought we had a chance there in the first half."
The Cougars scored on the first possession of the game. Matt Gordon hit junior receiver Adam Gordon with a 12-yard touchdown pass to cap an 80-yard drive. On their second possession, Matt Gordon scored on a 10-yard keeper to make it 12-0.
The Vikings responded with its best drive of the night.
Starting from the Marina 33, junior Jacob Lopez started the drive with a 29-yard run straight up the middle. Three plays later, Harmeyer threw a nine-yard scoring pass to junior running back Steve Hernandez. At the end of the play, the Cougars were called for a personal foul which put the ball at the Capo Valley 17. Harmeyer then found a wide open Parker Melfi at the six, and the senior receiver went untouched to the end zone.
Marina was within 12-7 with 3:40 left in the first quarter. Capo Valley, however, came right back with an 80-yard, five-play scoring drive that culminated with junior running back Phillip O'Shea getting the final 69 yards on a screen pass from Gordon for a 20-7 lead with 2:01 to go in the quarter.
The Cougars held the same lead at halftime.
Marina now must regroup for Sunset League play. The Vikings start the second half of the season at Boswell Field against Fountain Valley Oct. 11.
The Barons, who are idle this week, are 4-1 and ranked sixth in the Southwest Division.
"You've got to execute a full 48 minutes in our league, if you hope to win," Pascoe said.
19...El Rancho 49
7…San Juan Hills…51
Oct. 11: at *Fountain Valley (Westminster High), 7 p.m.
Oct. 18: *Los Alamitos (Westminster High, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24: at *Huntington Beach, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1: *Newport Harbor (Huntington Beach High), 7 p.m.
Nov. 8: *Edison (Westminster High), 7 p.m.
(*denotes Sunset League game)