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Mar Vista downs Hilltop, 13-6, for Metro-South Bay League football championship Phillip Brents | Thu, Nov 10 2011 06:10 PM

Much has been written this season about the prowess of Mar Vista’s double wing offensive formation. But the Mariners can thank their defense for their 13-6 victory against the visiting Hilltop Lancers in last Friday’s Metro-South Bay League championship game.

Hilltop quarterback Omar Hernandez was picked three times — twice on touchdown-saving plays by Eddie Mejia. The MVHS defense also stopped the Lancers on downs inside the five-yard line to thwart another scoring threat in sloppy conditions caused by heavy rain.

The Mariners (8-1 overall, 2-0 in league) scored touchdowns in the first and third quarters on runs by Jimmie Hill to build a 13-0 advantage and then left it to their defense to win the game after Hilltop scored on a three-yard run by Dustin Downs in the waning stages of the fourth quarter.

The Lancers (4-5, 1-1) attempted one final drive in the game’s final minute but Hernandez was intercepted by Mejia near the end zone.

Mejia also recorded a pick on the goal line early in the game to deny Hilltop.

Hernandez, one of the Metro Conference’s premier quarterbacks, completed 13 of 27 passing attempts for 130 yards and rushed 15 times for 67 yards.

Hilltop was held to 102 total rushing yards. Downs had 10 carries for 41 yards.

Hill rushed 20 times for 200 yards to lead the Mariners, who rolled up a staggering 563 yards on 42 rushing attempts. Keevin Moore gained 150 yards on nine carries while Bennie Smith had 90 yards on seven carries, Jordan Lertique had 78 yards on three carries and Jr. Rodriguez had 45 yards on three carries.

Hill and Rodriguez each ripped off 45-yard gainers in the game while Lertique had one run go for 34 yards.

Lashon Riggins keyed the hosts with 20 tackles.

MVHS coach Brian Hay called the game “a hard-fought competition in some really bad field conditions.”

“The win brings us a league championship for the second year in a row,” Hay said. “It also should get us a bye in the playoffs this postseason, hopefully.”

Also in league play, San Ysidro (3-6, 1-1) shut out visiting Southwest, 21-0, as Kaleyl Carey scored two touchdowns.

Carey had six catches for 70 yards. Quarterback David Diaz completed 11 of 17 passing attempts for 131 yards — both to Carey†— and also rushed five times for 21 yards, including one touchdown run.

Ivan Vergara led the Cougars’ rushing attack with 94 yards on 10 carries. Danny Cruz rushed 14 times for 60 yards.

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