Chris Brown and the Dominguez Dons (left) and George Farmer and the Gardena Serra Cavaliers (right) appear to be on a collision course for the Division IV title, but Inglewood and Chaminade will try to stop that mega match up.
Dominguez photo by Nick Koza, Serra photo by Jason Lewis
A tough Chaminade team stands in the way on Dominguez’s side of the bracket and Inglewood looks for the opportunity to knock off Serra on the other side of the bracket.
By Eric Lambkins II
Sentinel Sports Writer
The victors of combat are awarded the spoils of war. Since the summer, young men have tirelessly prepared and conditioned for battle. They have shed blood in the trenches, wiped one another’s tears, and lifted their fellow comrade in sullen moments. They have unwaveringly engaged in conflict every Friday on football in front of family, friends, and supporters, sacrificing themselves for a common goal-to call themselves champions.
For the young men who will never go on to actualize their dreams of playing collegiate or professional football, the onerous quest and the lessons learned in pursuit of winning a high school division title will be what many men will recount later on in their lives. For the fortunate few who are privileged to showcase their talents on Saturdays, the playoffs provide opportunities for last minute scholarship offers, prospects of enhancing their legacies, and a chance to fuel their competitive drive at simply being called the best.
All of the teams within the CIF-Southern Section Western Division (IV) bracket are seeking to upset the heavily favored Gardena Serra Cavaliers. Serra is undefeated and they are defending their 2009 title. They are riding a 26 game winning streak and they have won 39 out of their last 40 games.
Serra is led by their high flying offense, which features highly recruited wide receivers George Farmer and Marqise Lee, and by an extremely fast defense, but offensively they were led by senior running back Shaquille Richard in their 48-7 first round victory over Beverly Hills. Richard finished the night with 12 carries for 161 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore running back Shaquille Richard added 128 yards on 12 carries and he had one touchdown. Farmer had five receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Serra seeks to make Adolfo Camarillo a speed bump this Friday on their path to another title run.
Compton Dominguez and Chaminade, who gave Serra their toughest test this season, look to give Serra their toughest challenge, but the two have to get past each other for an opportunity to face the defending champions.
Dominguez eked out a 28-25 win over St. Francis.
Head Coach Willie Donerson stated before the game that his team had a “pretty good chance of winning it all. We aren’t too worried about other schools and what they may try to do. We are focusing on our tasks, our goals, [and] our mission. We are working on improving our defense.”
If the Dons of Compton Dominguez are to compete for the title, coach Donerson is looking for linebackers Stanley Taylor and Jamie Turner to lead the defensive charge, and is looking to quarterback Chris Brown and running back Will Gregory to put points on the board against Arroyo Grande.
A potential Serra/Dominguez match up would provide fireworks, but Dominguez has to get past Arroyo Grande first this Friday, and then they will have a potential match up with Chaminade.
Inglewood looks to play the spoiler in this bracket, and they are in “survival mode” after their 22-17 win over Downey Friday. With four minutes to go on a critical fourth down, Inglewood stopped Downey’s attempt at a fake punt to seal the victory.
Head coach Stephen Thomas said he wouldn’t take much time to celebrate his team’s victory. Thomas asserted that he would take each game “one game at a time” in preparing his Sentinels in their playoff push. “It’s going to be challenging and each game gets harder as we go on. I know it’s going to take a better effort.”
Inglewood will face Pac-7 league champions Paso Robles in their next outing. If they win that game, barring a major upset, they will face Serra in the semifinals.
For some, this journey has already been short lived. The bitter taste of defeat quickly materialized in the mouths of those who hastily departed the Western Division playoffs.
Culver City, whom some thought would make a deeper run into the playoffs, was ousted from contention of a division title after they suffered a 52-16 trouncing Chaminade.
Culver City simply could not recover from a 42-0 halftime deficit. They gave up 314 yards on the ground for seven rushing touchdowns that night.
In the minds of Dominguez, Chaminade, and Inglewood, this bracket is wide open, but it is Serra’s to lose at this point.
High School football playoffs first round results
No. 1 Carson 42, No. 16 Sylmar 6
No. 8 Garfield 42, No. 9 Kennedy 14
No. 5 Taft 63, No. 12 West Adams 42
No. 4 Dorsey 37, No. 13 Gardena 7
No. 3 Venice 66, No 14 Locke 0
No. 6 San Pedro 22, No. 11 Westchester 6
No. 7 Narbonne 60, No. 10 Jordan 19
No. 2 Crenshaw 44, No. 15 Granada Hills 0
No. 16 Hamilton 26, No. 1 Reseda 20 (OT)
No. 9 Fairfax 39, No. 8 Marshall 23
No. 12 Franklin 35, No. 5 Jefferson 28
No. 4 Arleta 34, No. 13 Roosevelt 33 (OT)
No. 14 Panorama 49, No. 3 South East 46 (2OT)
No. 6 Chatsworth 47, No. 11 Hollywood 28
No. 7 Palisades 43, No. 10 Lincoln 28
No. 2 Sun Valley Poly 24, No. 15 El Camino Real 14
View Park 23, Douglass 0
Animo South Los Angeles 35, Annenberg 12
Kyle Evans rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown as Inglewood held off Downey 22-17. Photo by Jeff Lewis
Mater Dei 26, Long Beach Poly 10
Lakewood 24, San Clemente 7
Serra 48, Beverly Hills 7
Inglewood 22, Downey 17
Chaminade 52, Culver City 16
Dominguez 28, St. Francis 25
Nordhoff 21, Verbum Dei 0
Compton Centennial 67, Oak Park 48
Quarterfinal playoff schedule
City Section playoffs
Friday at 7 p.m.
No. 8 Garfield (7-4) at No. 1 Carson (9-2)
No. 5 Taft (8-3) at No. 4 Dorsey (10-1)
No. 6 San Pedro (8-3) at No. 3 Venice (7-4)
No. 7 Narbonne (6-5) at No. 2 Crenshaw (9-2)
No. 16 Los Angeles Hamilton (4-6) at No. 9 Fairfax (7-3-1)
No. 12 Franklin (8-3) vs. No. 4 Arleta (10-1) at Monroe
No. 14 Panorama (6-5) at No. 6 Chatsworth (9-2)
No. 7 Palisades (6-5) at No. 2 Sun Valley Poly (9-2)
Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Pac 5 (I)
#3 Alemany (11-0) at Lakewood (10-1)
No. 1 Serra (11-0) at Camarillo (8-3)
Inglewood (9-2) at No. 4 Paso Robles (9-2)
Atascadero (9-2) at No. 3 Chaminade (10-1)
No. 2 Dominguez (10-1) at Arroyo Grande (9-2)
Compton Centennial (6-5) at Templeton (7-4)
1. Serra Cavaliers (11-0)
2. Crenshaw (9-2)
3. Dominguez Dons (10-1)
4. Lakewood Lancers (10-1)
5. Carson Colts (9-2)
6. Long Beach Poly (8-3)*
7. Dorsey Dons (10-1)
8. Inglewood Sentinels (9-2)
9. Venice (7-4)
10. San Pedro (8-3)
*Eliminated from the playoffs