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The Garden Grove High School football team came into Friday’s Big 4 League game looking to take down a Marina team with a strong defense.

Last week, Marina won its game by only scoring defensive touchdowns and hitting a last-minute field goal.

It was a defensive grudge match, as no team would score a touchdown until late in the second half.

Garden Grove defeated Marina 17-7 Friday in a defensive battle at Boswell Field on the campus of Westminster High School.

“We adjusted in the second half and it made all the difference,” Garden Grove head coach Ricardo Cepeda said. “In the first half, we struggled to put any drives together, so we just couldn’t get any momentum. It was a lot of starting and then stopping.”

Running back Malachi Bey had 172 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns to lead the Argonauts. Vany Rodriguez also had 113 passing yards.

Brock Beaver led the Vikings, completing 9 of 14 passes for 114 yards. Dominic Harvey rushed for 57 yards.

“We all knew that we just had to keep playing our game no matter what the situation was,” Rodriguez said. “Our defense was strong the entire game, and we just needed to get the offense going to get the win.”

Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, but Garden Grove (7-2, 2-0) managed to kick a field goal to earn an early 3-0 lead.

The Vikings could not find a rhythm, failing to reach Argonauts territory. There were signs of life for Marina (3-6, 1-1) when a throw by Rodriguez was picked off, but it ultimately led to Beaver throwing an interception to give Garden Grove the ball back to end the first half.

“I couldn’t get it going in the first half, but I wanted to get my game going early on,” Bey said. “I know if the offense isn’t really going, I have to try to start it up.”

Aidan O’Callaghan scored on a 63-yard touchdown to give Marina a 7-3 lead with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings stopped the Argonauts from driving down the field and took over possession. But Beaver threw an interception.

Garden Grove took advantage, scoring two rushing touchdowns with the help of Bey.

“We’ve still got a lot to figure out on the offensive side of the ball,” Marina coach Jeff Turley said. “We’re focused on making it to the playoffs. Once we get in, it’s just a whole new season and a fresh start.”

Marina still has a shot to make the playoffs as it shifts its focus toward playing Katella (4-5, 0-2) next week.


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Source : https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/sports/story/2021-10-23/marina-football-cant-solve-garden-grove