Narbonne was just too fast for Garfield, as running back Tony Gates sprinted down the middle of the field. Photo by Jason Lewis
Serra defensive back Daishon Green (23) breaks up a pass intended for a Santa Monica receiver. Photo by Ken Brooks
It’s getting tense as the top teams battle it out for a right to play for titles.
High school football is as tense as it can be, as the top teams are battling it out for a right to play for their respective division championships. Everybody knew that certain teams would still be playing, but there are a few surprises, such as Compton Centennial still hanging in there.
Centennial entered the playoffs with a 3-7 record, and then knocked off the top seed in the Southern Section Northern Division bracket. When they defeated undefeated La Salle, it sent shock waves throughout high school football.
El Segundo must have had a smile on their faces, because they avoided playing La Salle, but Centennial quickly wiped that smile away, as they won the quarterfinals match up 14-10.
Centennial quarterback Jeremy Gaskin hit receiver Harold Johnson for a 10-yard touchdown, and Ronald Reed rushed for a 3-yard touchdown. That was all the scoring that Centennial needed. In the first round of the playoffs, Centennial shutout La Salle in the second half of their 12-10 upset victory. This past week they only gave up three points in the second half against El Segundo.
This Friday they play 11-1 Nordhoff, who will not be taking Centennial lightly.
Another team not to take lightly is Long Beach Poly. Anybody who thought that they were down this year, think again, because they knocked off undefeated Mission Viejo 21-16, and they are only one game away from the Pac-5 championship game. This coming Friday night they will host St. John Bosco.
In the Western Division (VI), Gardena Serra and Cathedral are still alive, and if they can come up with victories on Friday night, they would face each other in the title game.
Cathedral, who racked up 10 sacks in their 28-25 victory over Camarillo, will travel to Chaminade, the No. 2 seed in the division. Chaminade defeated Cathedral earlier this season 62-26, so they have their work cut out for themselves.
Serra will face undefeated Lompoc, who is the top seed in the division.
In the City Section, Division I’s top seed Narbonne is still on a roll. This team is State Bowl bound if they can take care of business. Looking back on their regular season schedule, they have victories over Long Beach Poly, Palos Verdes, Serra, Mater Dei, and Carson. All of those teams are still playing in the playoffs.
This week they will take on rival Carson, who gave Narbonne a tough time during Marine League play. Carson hung with Narbonne for the first half, and they led the game 14-13 at halftime. But Narbonne gutted out a 26-20 win.
Narbonne and Crenshaw have been on a collision course for well over a month, but they both have to make it out of the semifinals. Crenshaw will have a tougher match up then they had in the quarterfinals. Dorsey did not give them any resistance, as Crenshaw led the game 49-0 at halftime, before winning the game 56-6.
Venice has looked like the team that could throw a wrench into the potential Narbonne/Crenshaw mega match up, and they had to steal a win over San Pedro this past Friday night to stay in the playoffs.
In a tight game throughout, San Pedro led 24-20 with less than two minutes to play. Venice quarterback Alexander Diamont went to work, as he led his team on an 83-yard drive, in which he completed his final seven passes. The final pass was a 10-yard touchdown to Lamar Stewart.
Diamont was banged up toward the end of the season, which seemed like it would hurt Venice’s chances. But he rose to the occasion, which sets up a great semifinal game at Crenshaw.
In the City Section’s Division II bracket, Jefferson is still in the mix, even though they started the season by losing their first three games. But they have not lost since, as they have won nine games in a row. They will have a rematch against Canoga Park, who defeated Jefferson 34-14 in the opening game of the season.
Quarter Final Results
Narbonne 45, Garfield 0
Carson 33, Birmingham 14
Venice 27, San Pedro 24
Crenshaw 56, Dorsey 6
South East 42, Lincoln 7
San Fernando 55, South Gate 27
Canoga Park 49, Van Nuys 36
Jefferson 63, Eagle Rock 21
Pac-5 Division (I)
Long Beach Poly 21, Mission Viejo 16
Western Division (IV)
Lompoc 49, Culver City 6
Gardena Serra 58, Santa Monica 6
Cathedral 28, Camarillo 25
Southeast Division (VII)
La Serna 29, Dominguez 13
Northern Division (X)
Compton Centennial 14, El Segundo 10
Games are Friday 7 p.m.
No. 4 Carson (6-6) at No. 1 Narbonne (12-0)
No. 3 Venice (10-2) at No. 2 Crenshaw (11-1)
No. 5 San Fernando (10-2) at No. 1 South East (11-2)
No. 7 Jefferson (9-3) at No. 6 Canoga Park (8-4)
Games Friday at 7:00 p.m.
Pac-5 Division (I)
St. John Bosco (8-4) at Long Beach Poly (9-3)
Western Division (IV)
Cathedral (10-2) at No. 2 Chaminade (11-1)
Serra (10-2) at No. 1 Lompoc (12-0)
Northwest Division (X)
Compton Centennial (5-7) at Nordhoff (11-1)
Sentinel Top 10
1. Narbonne (12-0)
2. Crenshaw (11-1)
3. Venice (10-2)
4. Serra (10-2)
5. Long Beach Poly (9-3)
6. Cathedral (10-2)
7. Carson (6-6)
8. Jefferson (9-3)
9. San Pedro (8-4)
10. Culver City (7-5)