After a slow start that began with a 37-point opening loss at Harvard-Westlake, Fairfax’s football team is coming along nicely.
The defending City Section Division II champion Lions have won two in a row, including a 14-7 victory last week at respectable Reseda – an opponent that went 10-0 in the regular season last year – and Fairfax (2-1) wants to keep building momentum today at 3 p.m. at Los Angeles Marshall.
Marshall is 1-2, but the Barristers feature a dynamic running back in Walter Moctezuma, who has rushed for 304 yards and five touchdowns, including a 122-yard, two-touchdown performance last week in a 50-22 loss to Bonita. As a junior last season, Moctezuma rushed for 1,190 yards and scored 17 touchdowns in 11 games.
“He’s a great running back,” Fairfax Coach Shane Cox said. “We need to tackle and play smart.”
Marshall has other weapons, too. Quarterback Anthony Benitez has accounted for nine touchdowns – six passing, three rushing – and overall he has rushed for 265 yards, so he must be accounted for at all times.
“The quarterback compliments Moctezuma nicely, and he’s a run threat, too,” Cox said. “Between the two of them, they make up about 90 percent of Marshall’s offensive output.”
Meanwhile, Fairfax is playing yet another game on the road. The Lions don’t play any games on campus this season because of ongoing construction to the school’s new football stadium, and though three “home” games will be played at Belmont High in Los Angeles – the first is Oct. 13 against Venice – Fairfax is forced to ride a yellow school bus every week.
“Obviously, getting on a bus every week is difficult for anybody, but we’re not going to make any excuses,” Cox said. “I think our team is resilient and tough, and we’re taking it in stride, but we don’t get too many fans out there to the away games. Just our die-hards.”
Fairfax’s Joe Floyd has passed for 339 yards and two touchdowns, Eric Pugh has rushed for 249 yards and a touchdown, and Floyd’s brother, Robbie, has 10 receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Marcus Manley has four sacks, and he is averaging 7.3 tackles. Kenny Jones is averaging 7.0 tackles with a sack, and Chandler Burgess is averaging 6.3 tackles with three sacks.
Cox was especially pleased with Fairfax’s performance last week in the victory at Reseda – Fairfax’s third consecutive trip to the San Fernando Valley.
“Last game, that was a satisfying win,” Cox said. “The defense very well and very hard, and the secondary played outstanding. We’ve been getting on the 101 and heading to the Valley every week, and it will be nice not to do that anymore until maybe the playoffs – if we make it.”
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TODAY
Fairfax (2-1) at L.A. Marshall (1-2), 3 p.m. – Fairfax looks to win its third in a row.