Crenshaw, Carson lead City Section’s best into postseason
By Evan Barnes
Sentinel Sports Editor
It may only be the first round of the City playoffs tonight but there are stories to be found in every game.
Everyone will look at Crenshaw to see if they can waltz to the City title. As I’ve stated before, they could be on track for one of the most dominant runs in City playoff history after only giving up three touchdowns in league play.
They’re the first team to enter the Division I playoffs undefeated since Dorsey in 2003. But that Dons team fell short, losing to Carson in the semifinals.
Crenshaw has a fairly easy road to the Coliseum. After Birmingham, they’ll either get underrated Westchester or upstart West Adams. Taft or San Pedro will probably await in the City semifinals.
It’s a road they won’t take for granted as they’re among the best at taking it one game at a time. Few will be surprised if they don’t win their first City title since 2005.
But while that story will unfold each week, here are some you should look at heading into tonight’s first round action.
This is by far one of the strangest brackets in recent memory and it’s all because of Narbonne and Dorsey. Both teams lost last week and cost themselves a home playoff game.
Narbonne fell down to No.11 after losing to Banning but will be the favorite traveling to Jordan, who understands exactly what they’ll face in the defending Co-City champions.
“Had Narbonne won, they would’ve been a No. 4 seed and that’s how we see them,” Jordan Coach Elijah Asante said.
This could be the best first-round game of the day – Narbonne’s spread offense against Jordan’s Attack the Weakness. If Narbonne survives, they could match up favorably with Venice in the second round.
After ending the year with losses to Crenshaw and Locke, Dorsey (No. 12) heads to San Pedro for their first playoff meeting since 2004. It’s renewing a series that goes back to the 1995 City Championship when the Dons won 10-4.
“They’re a very well-coached and strong team so we’re hoping we can get things together and give a quality game,” Dorsey coach Paul Knox said.
Amidst all of the veteran teams playing, you have a team like Santee, making its first Division I playoff appearance as the No. 15 seed. Their reward? A date with Carson.
To make things tough, they’ll be without starting quarterback Patrick Tyler, who injured in his hand in the team’s finale against West Adams. It’ll make it tough to use their best asset, senior Tevin Carter who led the City in receiving (1,095 yards).
“Being hurt doesn’t give us much of a chance, but we’re going in to fight,” Santee coach Joe Kearney said.
Carson, as the No. 2 seed, could face rival Banning in the second round. The Pilots, however, have to travel to Locke for an afternoon first round game today in a matchup of surprise second-place teams.
Carson-Venice looks like a dream semifinal but Narbonne could very well spoil that and make this a Marine-League semifinal.
All in all, everyone will be trying to chase down Crenshaw and play spoiler to their undefeated season. But while the Cougars should – and probably will – waltz to the Coliseum, there’s plenty of drama to watch around them in the City.