Coach Robert Garret and his Crenshaw Cougars football team began the season losing four of its first five games, including one where the opponent St. John Bosco scored 75 points against them
Some may have questioned the sanity of Garret for scheduling non-league games against Long Beach Poly, Edison, Oaks Christian and St. John Bosco considered the top prep team in the country.
Crenshaw escaped with a win against Loyola and entered Coliseum League play with a 1-4 record, but when all was said and done the Cougars didn’t just roar back to life they dominated.
They didn’t allow a team to score a point against them in league went on to earn the No. 2 seed in the Division I playoffs in the Los Angeles City Section.
Some even frowned on the fact Crenshaw would get a seed so high with a record that barely eclipsed .500.
Now, that Crenshaw and USC bound quarterback Ajene Harris have advanced to Friday’s Dec. 6 championship game at East Los Angeles College at 7p.m. against No. 1 seed and two-time defending champion Narbonne, those haters will have one more shot to submit their ridicule.
Harris scored by throwing the ball, running the ball and even collected two interceptions against Venice last week, leading the Cougars to a 30-25 victory that was not as close as the final score indicated.
This week the Cougars will hope to prevent Narbonne from securing the hat trick, winning three consecutive titles.
Much like Crenshaw the 11-2 Gauchos have not lost a game to L.A. City competiton after suffering two bad loses at the hands of Alemany and Serra during non-league play.
They have outscored their post season competition 121-25 and are led by accurate signal caller Eban Jackson and USC bound line backer Uchenna Nwosu, a tackling machine who amassed 91 solos before the playoffs had began.
Nwosu also caught 10 passes for 146 yards, plays on special teams and will be a load wherever he is on the football field on Friday.
The primary difference between Crenshaw and Narbonne is the depth, while Narbonne has plenty in reserve which was able to sustain them when their best players were out, Crenshaw is thin and will probably have to depend on Harris to continue to play out of his mind one more time.
Throw your calculators away, this will be a brutal hard fought game won between the trenches and there is no room for a late game melt down for Crenshaw like it did in the Venice game. My heart says Crenshaw, but by head says that Narbonne will win its third straight title game.
AMBERS ALERT at View ParkDon’t blink, View Park football coach Robert Ambers has led the Knights to four City championships in five years and are favorites to capture the City’s Division III championship on Friday.
WESTERN DIVISION – Chaminade (12-1) at Serra (11-2), Friday, November 30, 8:00 p.m. LIVE on Fox Sports Prime Ticket
Another re-match of a final from last year between league rivals pits the top-two seeds in the division.
Chaminade, No .2 seeded runner-up in the Mission League, will be making their second- consecutive appearance in a CIF-SS football final and only their third in school history. The Eagles lost to Serra last year in the Western Division final in an epic contest, 30-28 at Serra. Previously, in 1987, Chaminade lost the Desert-Mountain Division title game, 13-10 to Woodbridge at Irvine High School.
Chaminade, under the coaching of Ed Croson, defeated Morningside (71- 0) in the first-round, Ventura (36-3) in the second round and third-seeded Lompoc (49-14) in their semifinal. In the process, the Eagles are averaging 52 points scoring on offense through their playoff run. Chaminade is led by senior quarterback Brad Kaaya and junior running back Donovan Lee.
Serra, Champion of the Mission League and the division’s No. 1 seed will be making its eighth appearance in a CIF-SS football final while seeking their fifth ring and fourth in five years. The Cavaliers hoisted the trophy in 2012 with that win over the Eagles of Chaminade. In 2010 they held the trophy following a 35-10 win over Arroyo Grande for the Western Division title. Serra took home the Northwest Division title two seasons ago after a stellar championship game victory over Oaks Christian, 42-41 in overtime at Serra. Prior to that the Cavaliers last won a title in 1989 when they claimed the Division VII crown with a 34-31 victory over Lompoc at El Camino College. Serra also made finals appearances in 1980 and in 2002. The Cavaliers, under the coaching of Scott Altenberg, beat Pacifica/Oxnard (48- 16), Buena (40-6) and St. Francis (22-14) to advance to the championship. The Cavaliers are led by senior quarterback Jalen Greene and junior linebacker John Houston.
In the first meeting of the year on October 18, Serra defeated Chaminade, 36-0 at Serra.