Crenshaw and Dorsey have been going at it for years. Above, two Dorsey defensive players go after a Crenshaw ball carrier in 2007.
Last season it was all Crenshaw, as they defeated Dorsey twice on the way to their City championship.
Photos by Jason Lewis
Crenshaw travels down the street to Dorsey as the two teams play for the Coliseum League title, a potential No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and lifelong bragging rights.
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Crenshaw! Dorsey! Friday night!
That’s all that needs to be said to get any high school football fan excited.
This game is always the big one in Los Angeles, but this year the stakes are higher than usual. The rivalry between the Dorsey Dons and the Crenshaw Cougars has been heated for many decades, and this year’s edition will be one of the biggest ever.
Both teams enter the final game of the season with 4-0 records in the Coliseum League, meaning this game will crown the league’s champion.
Overall Dorsey is 9-0, while Crenshaw is 7-2, so they are also fighting to see who is the best team heading into the playoffs. Carson head coach Elijah Asante certainly has something to say about that, but if Dorsey wins there is no doubt that they will be awarded the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. If Crenshaw can knock off Dorsey, then Asante will be able to argue that his team should get the No. 1 seed over Crenshaw.
Crenshaw is ranked over Dorsey in most polls, largely because they have had Dorsey’s number in recent years, defeating the Dons four straight times, including twice last season, and none of the games have been close.
Crenshaw routed Dorsey in the regular season last year 44-7, and then again in the semifinals of the playoffs 35-6. During the 2008 season, Dorsey was shutout 34-0, and in 2007 Crenshaw won 46-28.
Dorsey fans may feel that since they are undefeated that they should be ranked ahead of Crenshaw. If they want that ranking it’s simple. Beat Crenshaw and it’s yours.
Dorsey and Crenshaw have always played a tough, grind it out style of football, but Crenshaw has had all of the muscle lately. During last season’s regular season game, Crenshaw held Dorsey to -44 yards, and USC bound linebacker Hayes Pullard laughed at Dorsey offensive players several times as they walked off the field without moving the ball.
Well that Dorsey team was transitioning to a new offense. They have moved away from the run oriented offense to a passing offense. It sounds out of character, but they finally have a quarterback who can actually see over the offensive line. For years Dorsey rolled out 5’9”ish quarterbacks who mostly handed the ball off, but senior Joseph Gray stands at 6’2” and has averaged 270 passing yards per game this season.
Crenshaw is going to show up with their bust you in the mouth defense, which did just that twice last year against Dorsey, but this Dons team has grown up in the offense and they are running it at a much higher level than last year.
Crenshaw lost a number of key players from their City championship team from a year ago, but their star player, De’Anthony Thomas, is back and any time he touches the ball it is a touchdown waiting to happen. With his scoring ability, Dorsey may need to pass the ball all over the place just to keep up.
The game is looking like it will be a great one, unlike the last four meetings between the two teams. With all that is at stake, this game will be soldout, so if you do not already have a ticket, one might be very hard to come by.
Many people in the Crenshaw district have grown up with this rivalry, and there are many stories of past glory from this game. Many of these players from both schools grew up together, went to Audubon middle school, and played youth football at Baldwin Hills, Wilshire, and in the Snoop league.
The winners of this game will brag about it for the rest of their lives, and they will also have the inside track to the City championship.
When it comes to Los Angeles football, it really does not get much better than this.
Sentinel Top 10 Football Rankings
1. Serra Cavailers (9-0)
2. Crenshaw Cougars (7-2)
3. Dorsey Dons (9-0)
4. Dominguez Dons (8-1)
5. Long Beach Poly (7-2)
6. Lakewood Lancers (8-1)
7. Carson Colts (7-2)
8. Inglewood Sentinels (7-2)
9. Narbonne Gauchos (5-4)
10. Culver City Centaurs (6-3)
Last week’s scores
West Adams 24, Manual Arts 14
View Park 45, Animo South Los Angeles 12
Crenshaw 43, Locke 0
Dorsey 48, Fremont 0
Carson 27, San Pedro 19
Gardena 20, Washington 6
Narbonne 64, Wilmington Banning 6
Jefferson 27, Santee 23
Palisades 44, Fairfax 34
Venice 35, Hamilton 7
Westchester 54, University 7
Cantwell-Sacred Heart 21, Verbum Dei 0
Mira Costa 32, Leuzinger 0
Gardena Serra 35, Chaminade 21
Compton 20, Millikan 12
Long Beach Jordan 52, Long Beach Wilson 44
Long Beach Poly 54, Long Beach Cabrillo 2
Beverly Hills 62, Morningside 28
Inglewood 42, Hawthorne 0
Santa Monica 34, Culver City 10
Compton Centennial 17, El Segundo 10
Torrance 56, Lawndale 40
Dominguez 52, Paramount 14
This Week’s Schedule
Manual Arts at Locke
Fairfax at Hamilton
Venice at University
Crenshaw at Dorsey
West Adams at Fremont
Jordan at Bell
Gardena at Wilmington Banning
San Pedro at Narbonne
Washington at Carson
Hollywood at Jefferson
Palisades at Westchester
Gardena Serra at Cathedral
Compton vs. Long Beach Poly (Veterans Stadium)
Long Beach Jordan at Long Beach Cabrillo
Long Beach Wilson at Lakewood
Hawthorne at Santa Monica (Santa Monica College)
Inglewood vs. Morningside (Coleman Stadium)
Compton Centennial at Lawndale
Lynwood at Dominguez