Mar Vista coach Brian Hay admitted disappointment after his team received the No. 7 seed in this year’s Division III bracket. Hay had been hoping for a No. 3 seed – and a bye to the quarterfinals – after his team both figuratively and literally ran over opponents to compile a 9-1 record this season.
But in all fairness, the reigning two-time Metro-South Bay League champions did not play as tough a schedule as did third-seeded Olympian (wins over four Division I teams and two Division II teams) or fourth-seeded Point Loma (7-2-1), both of which earned first-round byes.
Point Loma tied Madison for this year’s City Western League championship. Madison KO’d Olympian, 42-28, in non-league play earlier this season and ranks as the defending Division IV champions.
So, the Mariners obviously have something to prove to the playoff selection committee. They will have ample opportunity to do so Friday when they host the 10th-seeded Montgomery Aztecs in a first round playoff game. Kick-off is 7 p.m.
Mar Vista is coming off a lop-sided 58-9 win against Southwest on Nov. 10 to complete league play 3-0. The Mariners rushed 31 times for 496 yards. Bennie Smith rushed eight times for 161 yards to lead the hosts, who also received 106 yards on 10 carries from Keevin Moore.
Jr. Rodriguez and Ricardo Moriel each registered sacks while Jordan Lertique had one interception. Lertique also scored two rushing touchdowns in the game.
Landon O’Connell had four rushes for 95 yards, including one touchdown. Jimmie Hill had two carries – one for two yards and another for 60 yards.
James Brantley led the Mariners with eight tackles.
Mar Vista is averaging 388.5 rushing yards per game compared to just 3.5 passing yards per game. Hill leads the Mariner ground attack with 1,220 yards while Moore has rushed for 762 yards and Smith has rushed for 638 yards.
Montgomery finished up Metro-Pacific play 1-2 following a dramatic 21-20 loss to visiting Castle Park in the Warrior Bowl, also played Nov. 10.
Charles Williams, the Aztecs’ top ground-gainer this season, was stopped on a two-point conversion to hand the upstart Trojans (2-8 overall, 1-2 in league) the win.
Williams rushed 16 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns against Castle Park. He leads Montgomery with 1,406 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns this season.
The Aztecs battered the Trojan defense with 494 total offensive yards – 204 passing yards off the arm of Harley Armada and 270 rushing yards.
Jaime Arredondo had two catches for 85 yards, including one 70-yard gainer, while Aust’n Morga had three catches for 83 yards, including one grab for 52 yards. Joel Castro had two catches for 32 yards, including one touchdown reception.
Mar Vista shut out Montgomery, 13-0, on Oct. 14 in a non-league match-up.
The Mariners’ lone loss this season was 32-21 on Sept. 30 to visiting Grossmont.