In the still-young 2016 high school football season, one of the biggest surprises has been the rise of the Marina Vikings. Coach Jeff Turley’s boys were 1-9 last year and finished dead last in the Sunset League. In four of their games, they gave up 50 points or more, including a 70-3 shellacking at the hands of Edison. In 2014, Marina was 0-10.
But that was then, and this is now. The Vikes are off to a 3-0 start and will host another unbeaten team, Santa Ana (2-0) Thursday night at Westminster High’s Bill Boswell Field. The Saints are ranked number one in the CIF-SS’s Division 13 poll.
Marina is led by junior running back Blaine Riederich, who has rushed for 343 yards on 55 carries, which is an average of 6.2 yards per run. He’s scored four times.
Another interesting matchup Thursday has Orange (3-0) hosting Laguna Beach (2-1) at Fred Kelly Stadium on the El Modena High campus. The Panthers were 4-6 last season, but appear to be stronger this year. Sophomore Miguel Orendain is averaging 10.3 yards a carry and has rushed for five TDs and passed for three more. The Breakers have a strong QB in Curtis Harrison, who’s thrown five touchdown passes.
Also on Thursday, Bolsa Grande (0-3) will host Century (1-0).
ANGELS FLYING LOWER AND LOWER
Finishing the 2016 season with something less than a flourish, the Los Angeles Angels fell 2-1 to the Seattle Mariners Wednesday, as the M’s swept the three-game series from the Halos. It was the Angels’ seventh loss in eight games as their record droops to 63-82, which guarantees a losing mark for the year.
Additionally, the team fell into a tie with the Oakland A’s for fourth place in the American League West with the loss. The Angels got a good starting performance buy Jhoulys Chacin as he worked six innings giving up just three hits and one run. He struck out five batters and walked one.
The deciding blow came in the seventh when Seattle’s Nelson Cruz hit his 37th homer of the year, off Angel reliever Jose Valdez (1-3). The Angels totaled just five hits in the game, led by Juan Graterol’s two singles.
On Thursday the Halos start a series hosting the Toronto Blue Jays (79-66) with Daniel Wright making the start for the Orange County team.