St. Anthony football coach Raul Lara said his team is going to “reap” the hard work they put in practice when it comes to executing in games.
Despite falling to Mayfair, 37-20, on Friday at Bellflower HS, the team showed drastic improvements after being shutout by San Pedro just a week prior.
“We are getting better,” Lara said. “We worked on snaps this week and learning things the right way.”
The offense was able to move the ball, the defense stepped up when their backs were against the wall, and they found the end zone a couple of times.
However, they were unable to stop Mayfair (2-0) senior running back Nick Adimora.
After 181 rushing yards and three touchdowns (also a 65-yard receiving touchdown) in the Monsoons’ 41-12 victory over Chaffey in Week 0, Adimora followed that up with 20 carries for 226 yards and three touchdowns in the win over the Saints (0-2). He also had a 31-yard receiving touchdown.
“It’s ridiculous he has only two offers,” Monsoons coach Derek Bedell said. “He is a special football player and also just a great kid.”
The Monsoons used Adimora in the backfield and out of the slot position and the running back scored on a eight-yard run to give the team a 7-0 lead with 10 minutes, 51 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
After Mayfair added a field goal, Adimora broke a few tackles en route to a 65-yard score to increase the lead to 17-0 late in the first.
Mayfair was in the red zone and threatening to score again until a high-snap recovered by Saints freshman Jaxson Bonsall early in the second gave the team some life.
Senior running back Sone Auipu started to gain momentum with a couple of long carries before senior quarterback Conor Hochberg threw a 14-yard touchdown to Auipu for St. Anthony’s first touchdown of the year.
The Saints converted the two-point conversion and trailed 17-8 with under five minutes left in the half.
St. Anthony recovered a fumble a minute later but after they were stopped on fourth down, Mayfair junior quarterback Evan Tomich found junior receiver Jake Snow for 31 yards and the score right before the half.
Still, despite the first-half performance, there were other opportunities for the Monsoons to increase the lead and Bedell said there are lots to improve including “more consistency on offense.”
“We were sloppy tonight,” he said. “We were down to our last linebacker tonight (some linebackers in quarantine) and I was proud of our fight.”
Auipu had a 38-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter and finished with 175 rushing yards.
The Saints still need to work on their passing game which had only one play over 20 yards.
“We just need to work on our executing issues,” Lara said.
Adimora had two touchdown runs in the second half, including a 38-yard rush down the right side late in the fourth.
St. Anthony is at Millikan next Friday while Mayfair hosts Mira Costa.