The Crenshaw Cougars defeated the Arleta Mustangs 26-17, advancing the Cougars to the division I city championship game against Narbonne High school. This was the lowest scoring playoff game for the Cougars this postseason. Crenshaw scored 54 points in their first and second round games, according to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).
Arleta had gone undefeated this season, upsetting the 2nd seeded Birmingham in the quarterfinals. The Mustangs were 6-0 in the East Valley League, a league that includes North Hollywood and Grant High Schools, according to Max Preps.
Early in the game, Crenshaw had no problems with sliding past Arleta’s defense. The Cougars ran in two touchdowns in the first quarter and earned one 2-point conversion. Crenshaw running back #15 Justin Whitaker scored the first touchdown, #14 Rayshawn Williams earned the second. Arleta slowly advanced across the field, taking advantage of defensive loopholes to make downs. With a punt, Arleta earned 3 points.
Neither Crenshaw nor Arleta were able to score during the second quarter, Crenshaw led 14-3 over the Mustangs at the end of the first half.
Penalties plagued the Cougars in the third quarter. The crowd and coaches of Crenshaw passionately contested many of the referee’s calls.
With nine minutes and 20 seconds left in the third, Arleta began their rallying campaign with a 7-point play. The game was 14-10 in favor of Crenshaw. Mustang quarterback Sergio Ayala scored a touchdown, giving Arleta the lead over Crenshaw 17-14.
At the end of the third quarter, Crenshaw running back #27 Aundre Carter received a pass from quarterback #11 Daiyan Henley which resulted in a touchdown, launching the Cougars up 20-17 over the Mustangs.
In the fourth quarter, Crenshaw’s defense contained Arleta. Another touchdown by Carter would boost the cougars 26-17 with 6:23 left in regulation. Crenshaw managed to defend their lead to the end of the game.
They will play the Narbonne Gauchos on Dec. 5th at Cerritos College at 7pm. Narbonne has appeared in every division I City Section championship game since 2011. The Cougars faced the Gauchos for the city championship title in 2013, 2012 and 2009, according to the CIF.