BELL-JEFF VS. ST. MONICA
• WHEN: 7 p.m. today.
• WHERE: St. Bernard High (Playa Del Rey).
• RECORDS: The Guards are 3-2; the Mariners are 0-5.
• LAST WEEK: Bell-Jeff had a bye; St. Monica lost to Villanova Prep, 17-14.
• OUTLOOK: The Guards get back into action after last playing Oct. 4, gaining a nonleague win against Lucerne Valley, 39-0. Saturday’s game is an important one, as Bell-Jeff begins defense of its Santa Fe League championship. With the departure of Daniel Murphy — the school closed down — St. Monica is a new addition to the league this season. The Mariners went 0-10 last year and were winless in the Camino Real League. St. Monica has a steady running back in senior Hector Santiesteban, who has 83 carries for 426 yards (5.13 yards a carry) and two touchdowns. The Mariners like to keep the ball on the ground and the team is averaging just 10 passes a game. In 54 attempts, Mariners quarterbacks Joe Giesregen and Sam Holguin have completed 23 passes with four touchdowns and seven interceptions. The squad’s offense has had trouble putting points on the board this season, as it averages only 10.6 a contest. The Mariners’ record might be a little deceptive. Only one of their games was one-sided, and three of its losses have been by a combined 12 points. Bell-Jeff has played well its last two games after struggling earlier in the season. The Guards have won two straight games and three of its last four. In the shutout against Lucerne Valley, Bell-Jeff proved that it could be successful throwing as well as running the ball. Senior running back Bronson Ketchum leads the ground game, gaining 414 yards in 71 carries (5.83 yards a carry) with two touchdowns. Senior Elliot Dennis has 34 carries for 198 yards and three touchdowns and senior quarterback Daniel Radoccia has 24 carries for 205 yards and a touchdown. Radoccia has also passed for six touchdowns. With both teams likely keeping the ball on the ground a great deal, this game could be won in the trenches.