Despite presenting a strong rushing game, the Crenshaw Cougars lost to the Franklin Panthers 46-35. This was the home opener for the Cougars.
Franklin improved to 4-1 overall, tying them at second place with Eagle Rock in the Northern League. Crenshaw now has a 1-2 overall record, putting them in fourth place in the Coliseum League.
Franklin jumped to a 27-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Junior Hector Ceballos executed three scores in the phase, one of them being a pick-six. The skills he learned playing basketball helped him excel in football.
“The euro steps, just working on foot work all that stuff,” Ceballos said. “I’m fast, I’m quick … the footwork and all that is from basketball.”
Senior Zion Bennett put Crenshaw on the scoreboard with a 32-yard scramble. For the second quarter, He was moved to wide receiver and sophomore Donce Lewis took the reins as signal caller for the Cougars. Although he is a young varsity player, he has a strong knowledge of the Crenshaw football program.
“I’ve been with Crenshaw my whole life basically, from the Pap Warner team,” Lewis said. “I used to always be at all the games on Fridays, everything’s really not new to me.”
The second quarter also highlighted the rushing game of junior Marlon Wilson. He was able to tear through a tough Franklin defensive line with his authoritative runs to score for the Cougars.
“That’s what we worked on in practice, the run,” Wilson said. “We practiced and we played hard, that’s all that mattered.”
Junior Greg Jones executed an interception for a touchdown, bringing the Cougars within seven points of the Panthers.
Franklin also had a strong running game in junior Diego Munoz, who kept the panthers in the lead with a rushing touchdown. Munoz mentioned how the effort of his teammates allowed him to perform well.
“I really can’t say it was all me, my linemen did most of the work. Without the linemen you don’t have the running back or a running game,” he said. “I’m just proud of my linemen, they really put on a show.”
Lewis responded with a touchdown pass to junior Andrew Wynn. At the half, the Panthers remained a head 34-27 against the Cougars.
Munoz was key in advancing the ball during the third quarter. A turnover on downs put Crenshaw on their 1-yard line and the Franklin defense secured a safety. Ceballos added on to the panther defense by making two interceptions in the second half.
With a pass to senior Aaron Gonzalez, Franklin edged up their score to 43 points. In the last play of the game, Wilson rushed a 70-yard touchdown, cementing the score at 35-46.
On October 1, Franklin will travel to battle Marshall at 3:00P.M. and Crenshaw will host Hawkins at 7:00P.M.