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Crenshaw silences critics with loud statement in Culver City
STUFFED: Crenshaw's DeAnthony Thomas stuffs a culver City defender as the Cougars were en route to a 48-7 victory that left them 5-0 after pre-league schedule.Â - Jason Lewis for Sentinel
There's no doubt now that Crenshaw is one of the best teams in the state. Not after a 48-7 road victory over Culver City Friday night.
It was 14-0 after the 1st quarter, 28-7 by halftime. The Cougars (5-0) sent Culver City quarterback Marquel Carter out of the game with a shoulder injury in the third and finished it off in the final frame with two touchdowns in 30 seconds.
So much for it being the last obstacle before Coliseum League play.
"I thought it'd be a little bit tougher," Geno Hall said after scoring four touchdowns en route to a seven-catch, 140 yards performance.
That was the belief most had but Crenshaw's defense had other plans. They sacked Carter three times, intercepted him once and recovered two fumbles, all while holding the Centaurs' offense to 113 yards in the second half.
It was their most dominating performance of the season and came against a team averaging 44.3 points per game. Instead of the shoot-out most expected, the game was a one-sided affair that solidified their place among the state's elite.
"It's not the best we've played yet but it's the best game so far," said senior tailback Geoffrey Norwood (83 yards and a touchdown).
With Crenshaw on their bye week, it's time to factor just what they've done.
They went 5-0 against Southern Section teams who'll either win or be a factor in their respective leagues. They've won nailbiters and blowouts with different players stepping up each week. And they've done it despite an ankle injury that's hampered junior tailback DeAnthony Thomas since the Lakewood game.
At this point, there isn't a City Section team that poses a minor threat. Right now, the only teams in the City I see as a threat to them are Dorsey, Carson and Taft, adding more fuel to the Crenshaw-Dorsey meeting in November.
No City team in recent memory had a preseason schedule like this and come through unscathed. Birmingham may have defeated Pac-5 Division powers Long Beach Poly and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in 2007, but they lost to Encino Crespi in their season opener.
Still, some question their status as Calpreps.com won't make them a clear favorite in their projections for the Division II bowl game despite Anaheim Servite's one loss. Yet in every other projection, there's a clear favorite who's undefeated.
Anybody left who thinks the Cougars aren't in the class of Westlake Village Oaks Christian, St. Bonaventure or Huntington Beach Edison should take another look. To be honest, the discussion of them being the CIF open division bowl game isn't so farfetched at this point.
Their success is one more stepping stone to elevate the City Section's profile and in year where teams have impressive wins over the Southern Section, it won't be long before respect is due at the state level...
Speaking of Dorsey, apologies to quarterback Jorrian Washington for misspelling his name last week. Even if nobody calls us out on it, mistakes like that should be corrected and made public....
Games Of The Week: Taft at Gardena Serra. Lakewood at Long Beach Poly
Three Reasons to watch Taft-Serra. 1) USC commit and recently-crowned Army All-American D.J. Morgan of Taft. 2) His future teammate Robert Woods at Serra. 3) Taft's new weapon RB/DB Lucky Radley.
Radley, a senior transfer from Agoura, finally suits up for the Toreadors after being reinstated by the City Section and his presence could help determine if they'll stand out as the No. 2 team in the City.
It might not be enough to slow down Serra coming off a bye week. The Cavaliers are much more than a one-man show in Woods and it'll be the Taft's secondary's turn to stop his cohorts George Farmer and UCLA commit Paul Richardson.
With Lakewood at Long Beach Poly, the Jackrabbits put their 80-game league winning streak on the line and for the first time in years, it's actually a threat to end.
Since a 1994 loss to Long Beach Jordan, every team has sent their best against the Jackrabbits and each time, they were turned away. Compton and Lakewood couldn't do it the last two years and now may be the best chance they have.
The Lancers will be motivated by revenge, losing twice to Poly last year including the CIF Pac-5 semifinals. And Poly is steadily improving, shutting out Long Beach Jordan 31-0 last week.
All streaks, however, come to an end and one of the greatest in the state will be tested like never before. On paper, Lakewood should win this game but with the game at Veterans Stadium, anything can happen.