A strong first impression has engulfed the minds of those who came down Taper Avenue to Mary Star Of The Sea High School on Friday for the first football game of the 2022 season.
Taking the opening possession in stride and never losing their poise, Mary Star stormed to an early three-touchdown advantage while the defense made all the right plays in defeating visiting Viewpoint of Calabasas, 35-7 for their first victory under new coach Eli Anzoleaga.
The pro-style, and sometimes pistol offensive attack proved to fit junior quarterback Tony Gutierrez like a hand in glove.
On the first possession of the game, Gutierrez orchestrated a 10-play, 62-yard drive that consumed nearly the first five minutes of action, ending with his four-yard touchdown pass to senior WR/DB/K Cooper DiLeva for a 7-0 Stars lead with 7:02 to play in the first quarter.
Mary Star's defense promptly forced a three-and-out, putting Gutierrez back to work, and he only needed four plays to produce another reservation for six as he delivered a curl route strike to senior WR/DB Vincent Guerrero, who then did all the rest as he outraced the Patriots' defense down the near sideline in front of his teammates who cheered him all the way to the end zone.
Guerrero's 52-yard touchdown sprint proved to be an early backbreaker with 3:39 left in the opening quarter.
Yet, Mary Star (1-0) was far from finished.
After forcing another punt, Gutierrez's 18-yard screen pass to sophomore WR/DB Jarren David put the Stars' up 21-0 with 1:29 remaining, then a jarring sack by senior linebacker Armando Patino on the final play put the perfect capper to a dominant first quarter for Mary Star.
Viewpoint (0-1) was able to score in the second quarter taking advantage of a fumble by Mary Star sophomore TE/LB Daniel Avila on a first-down pass completion, but the defense remained airtight in keeping the Stars ahead 21-7 by halftime.
Once the third quarter began, a big hit from Guerrero caused a fumble, allowing senior RB/LB Jaimen David to pounce on the loose ball. The Stars were quick to capitalize and score on a four-yard run by senior RB/LB Tyrese Mingle and increase their advantage to 28-7 with 5:04 to play.
Gutierrez added one more to a spectacular opening afternoon by scoring on a one-yard keeper with 9:05 remaining in the fourth quarter for the final touchdown of the game,
For the day, Gutierrez accounted for four of the Stars' touchdowns, and Guerrero caught six passes for 107 yards, while also forcing a fumble and breaking up a couple of passes defensively. Junior RB/LB Sebastian Espindola also added a sack in the fourth quarter for the Stars, who will next host Crean Lutheran of Irvine next Friday.
(Note: Photo credit courtesy of Miguel Elliot)
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