Outlook: Both teams are better than they were last year. But which of these two, armed with plenty of returning starters, is better than the other? Both already have more victories this year than they finished with last year.
Marina, 1-8-1 in 2011, opened with a 28-23 loss to El Rancho of Pico Rivera, then beat Kennedy, 23-14, and Westminster, 21-4. Those three Marina opponents are a collective 2-6.
San Juan Hills, 0-10 in '11, opened with a 42-13 victory over Viewpoint of Calabasas, then beat Canyon, 21-17, and Artesia of Lakewood, 38-13. Those three San Juan Hills opponents are a collective 2-6.
San Juan Hills quarterback Jacob Gibson, who transferred from JSerra, is averaging 188 passing yards a game and has eight touchdown passes. Marina quarterback Austin Soika is averaging only 79 passing yards a game, but he is a good runner, averaging 86 rushing yards a game.
Both teams were picked to finish last in their leagues – Marina in the Sunset, San Juan Hills in the Sea View. We shall find out here which has made the most progress.
Marina coach George Pascoe predicts his team will win a Sunset League game, which has not happened since 2004. Is Marina that improved? Maybe.