The Crenshaw vs Dorsey game was more than a rivalry grudge match this season. It was a battle for the Coliseum League crown, as both teams came into the matchup with an undefeated league record. After four quarters of solid competition, Dorsey secured league and rivalry dominance with a 44-35 win.
“Both teams really showed an effort as far as wanting the game and it going back and forth,” said Dons football head coach Douglas Bledsoe. “Crenshaw has a lot of fight, obviously they have one of the greatest coaches in history.”
The Great American Rivalry Series honored Dorsey senior defensive end Kendall Hill and Crenshaw senior cornerback Jonah Edmond, for having the highest GPA of their teams. The Great American Rivalry series celebrates the top 100 high school football rivalries in America annually.
“Crenshaw and Dorsey have been going at it for a while,” said Great American Rivalry senior event director Wayne Thurman. “This is a game that we wanted to make sure we commemorate the history of.”
The Cougars fumbled the ball on the first play for Dorsey to recover. The Dons would not score until their next possession. Dons quarterback Julien Walker sent a pass to wide receiver Khyren Ross for a touchdown. Dorsey edged their score to eight after a successful two-point conversion.
Five plays later, running back Shadonte Holmes scored for Crenshaw with a carry. Dorsey denied their two-point conversion, but got a five-point lead half way through the second quarter on another rushing touchdown.
A strong rushing game and effort in special teams would give Dorsey two rushing touchdowns in under one regulated minute, the first by Walker and the second by senior running back Keeshawn Johnson.
Crenshaw advanced through scrambles by quarterback Davontae Haulcy. However, linebacker Tylor Morrison intercepted one of Haulcy’s passes to commit a 75-yard scoring play.
At halftime, Dorsey was ahead 32-13.
“Second quarter, we was starting to turn on ourselves. We have to get it together and settle down,” said Dons defensive back Isaiah Nelson. “We was just overthinking a lot of things and we was just letting them come back into the game.”
Crenshaw rallied back in the second half and moved the ball on the ground and through the air. Haulcy slung to wideout Keith Morgan for a 15-yard scoring play. Crenshaw recovered a fumble by Dorsey to score a touchdown two plays later.
As Crenshaw came within five points of Dorsey, Dons linebacker Michael Sanford sustained a concussion and was sent to the hospital.
The Dons and the Cougars continued to clash in the fourth quarter. Although they sustained several penalties, Nelson rushed in a touchdown for Dorsey; The Cougars denied them a two-point conversion. Five plays later, Morgan finished a touchdown passing play; Dorsey only had a three-point advantage over Crenshaw.
Johnson advanced deep into Cougars territory on the punt return. Burdened with penalties, Dorsey was pushed back as far as their own 33-yardline. Walker made a 33-yard gain and Johnson ran for 34 yards to score for Dorsey.
“We tried to come back hard, but they just came back harder,” said Cougars safety Allen Thomas. “They wanted it more.”
Football playoffs begin on November 2 with Dorsey battling Huntington Park and Crenshaw facing Cleveland. If the Cougars and Dons win, they will reunite in the second round.