Bell-Jeff (0-4, 0-1) was down 21-0 after the first quarter. St. Monica, which had 39 players in pads, scored on its fourth play by way of a one-yard run by Charles Heard, then again five plays later on a 49-yard interception return by David Araujo and later in the quarter on a five-yard run by Jack Cain, which came one play after a high snap on a Guards punt attempt gave the Mariners (3-4, 1-0) the ball in prime position to score.
“It’s two Catholic schools and sometimes another Catholic school needs a helping hand,” said Mariner Coach Adam Guerra, who called up numerous underclassmen. “We came out and played good. They’ve got to get better and some of our young players got to get better.”
The Guards did catch a break late in the first when they got off a punt that was muffed by the Mariners. Bell-Jeff’s AJ Navarro recovered it, but the Guards were unable to get a first down, sending Devoughn Roberts back into punt formation.
That snap sailed over the head of Roberts, who retrieved it and tried to make a play before he was sandwiched by two Mariners for a 25-yard loss. He would not return to the field.
St. Monica scored two plays later to make it 28-0 early 10:39 left in the second quarter, which led the officials to start a running clock.
On the ensuing possession, the Guards gained a couple first downs before losing another skill player. Miles Hopkins, who had just returned to the field after suffering a concussion during his team’s Sept. 21 loss to Chadwick, took off on an exciting run in which the senior cut one way before switching fields to gain seven yards.