When powerful Narbonne visited winless Carson in their Marine League opener on Oct. 5, the Gauchos received a scare from the usually powerful Colts before escaping with a 26-20 victory.
After that Carson, which played one of the most brutal preseason schedules of any high school in California, went on to win six in a row (including its final four league games and its first two CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I playoff games).
The two teams, again, met in last Friday’s L.A. City Division I semifinal at Narbonne. The Colts, again, managed to stay with the Gauchos being tied at six early in the second quarter and down, 20-12, late in the third period before Narbonne’s depth proved too much for them and pulled away for a 39-12 win.
The win earned the Gauchos (13-0) their second consecutive berth in the championship game against Crenshaw at East L.A. College’s Weingart Stadium Saturday at 7 p.m. Like Narbonne, the Cougars (12-1) rolled into the final by routing Venice, 59-10, last Friday at Crenshaw. Last year, Narbonne won the Division I crown over Carson, 48-32, at East L.A. College.
Narbonne led, 13-6, at halftime, then extended it to 20-6 on a 2-yard touchdown run by A.J. Richardson with 5:20 to go in the third period.
Carson, though, made its last gasp with 1:31 left in the third quarter when linebacker Manoah Person recovered a fumble and ran 40 yards for a TD, getting within eight points. A two-point run attempt by quarterback Justin Collins fell short.
The rest of the game was all Gauchos.
They began to separate more from the Colts with just 35 seconds remaining before the end of the third period when quarterback Troy Williams completed a 65-yard pass play to Richardson.
Narbonne finished off Carson with two fourth quarter touchdowns by junior running back Johnell Jackson on runs of 11 and 44 yards.
The Gauchos began the scoring early in the first quarter on a 2-yard TD run from running back Tony Gates but the Colts, who finished their season at 6-7, tied the game at six on a 13-yard scoring pass from Collins to running back Tony Ingram.
Narbonne took the lead for good on a 1-yard quarterback keeper from Williams.
Williams completed eight of 13 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown.
Jackson rushed for 113 yards and two TD’s, 97 of those yards in the second half.
Defensively, the Gauchos held Carson to 210 total yards on offense.
The contest, especially in the second half, was marred by pea soup fog that had visability of as little as about 150 feet.
Palos Verdes, West set stage for all-Bay League Northern Division Final: Palos Verdes and West Torrance High’s football teams will square off in Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section Northern Division Championship game after semifinal victories last Friday on the road.
At Valencia High, the Bay League champion Sea Kings outscored the No. 2 seed Vikings, 50-33, and at Atascadero, the Warriors rolled over the Greyhounds, 37-6.
Due to P.V. High not having any lights, school and athletic officials are uncertain on where the game will be at. Top considerations were Redondo High, South Torrance High, Torrance High’s Zamperini Field, L.A. Harbor College, El Camino College and even the Home Depot Center in Carson (host of the California State Championship Bowl Classic on Dec. 14 and 15 and this Saturday afternoon’s Major League Soccer championship game between the L.A. Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo). All are conflicted. Redondo, which has outstanding facilities but lacks parking, is also having its own Redondo Pacific Shores Boys’ Basketball Tournament which lasts through Saturday. El Camino College’s Murdock Stadium is condemned but still available. The 63-year-old stadium is expected to be demolished following its 2013 graduation in June.
Sources, though, are that P.V. might still host it at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. If they find a facility with lights, it will start at 7 p.m.
The Sea Kings won their Bay League game over the Warriors, 47-14, on Oct. 19 at P.V.
In a game that saw the Sea Kings, who won their 10th consecutive game after losing their first to three high quality teams in non-league, lead most of the way. Running back Matt Lopes scored two second half touchdowns to help them pull away from Valencia.
His 20-yard scoring run gave P.V. some breathing room with a 42-26 fourth quarter lead.
Lopes finished the game rushing for 199 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries.
Quarterback Bryan Scott completed seven of 12 passes for 191 yards and three TD’s and one interception. All three were to wide receiver Dean Alessi.
P.V. will make its third CIF final appearance, but first in its second stint of the high school that re-opened in 2002. The Sea Kings won the Southern Section 2A title over Santa Ana Foothill in 1965 and lost in the 1989 Coastal Conference final. Part I of Palos Verdes High was open from 1961-91. It was closed after the three Peninsula High Schools, Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills (today Peninsula High) and Miraleste (now a middle school) consolidated into Peninsula High.
West, not only, continued to have an outstanding offensive attack, but played very solid defense to thouroughly hold down Atascadero. Both were at-large teams in their leagues; West fourth in the Bay League and the Greyhounds fourth in the PAC VII.
The Warrior defense was led by Boise State University-bound Mat Boesen who recorded four quarterback sacks, and two fumble recoveries. On offense, Boesen also caught three passes for 31 yards.
Senior quarterback Joey Notch continued his strong outing, completing 16 of 23 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns, both to junior wide receiver Dane Silverlake.
Junior wide receiver Craig Knaus caught seven passes for 86 yards.
West will make its third appearance in the final, winning on its first try over Bay League foe Santa Monica, 35-21, for the Coastal Conference crown in 1982, and losing the Western Division title to Compton Dominguez, 28-21, in 2006.
Serra, North stun top seeds: Serra High’s football team will play in its third CIF-Southern Section championship game in four seasons as it defeated No. 1 ranked Lompoc, 34-21, in the semifinals last Friday at Lompoc.
The win set the Cavaliers stage for their second showdown with Mission League rival Chaminade from West Hills at Serra Friday at either 7 or 8 p.m. and is expected to be televised live on Fox Sports West Cable. The Eagles are coming off a 45-7 rout of Mission foe L.A. Cathedral last Friday at Chaminade.
Serra’s impressive victory was also a good present to head coach Scott Altenberg, who celebrated his 42nd birthday on Friday.
It also avenged earlier playoff losses to the Braves from 2002 (semifinal) and 2003 (final).
Keying the Cavaliers were junior quarterback Jalen Greene, who completed six of 12 passes for 132 yards and three TD’s and sophomore running back Malik Roberson, who rushed for 178 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries.
Wide receiver Daryl Fuery also caught two scoring passes from Greene, who also rushed for 82 yards on eight carries.
Lompoc, which has an outstanding running game with good team speed, was led by running back Nikko Hayes who rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
Host North Torrance also defeated a top seed, Santa Barbara Bishop Diego, 28-14, in their semifinals last Friday.
It will be the Saxons’ fourth final appearance, losing all of the previous three in 1983 (Coastal Conference: Newhall Hart), 2001 (Division X: Santa Monica) and 2004 (Division X: Encino Crespi).
The Saxons remain at home for their final against Nordhoff High from Ojai Friday at 7 p.m. The Rangers are coming off a 13-8 win against Centennial High from Compton (one of North’s Pioneer League opponents) last Friday. Nordhoff finished second, behind Bishop Diego, in the Tri Valley League.
Quarterback Jorge Hernandez, who is inching in at the 4,000-yard passing mark for the 2012 season, completed 18 of 21 passes for 243 yards and one TD with one interception, but he also rushed for two scores.
His only touchdown pass went from 12 yards to Devante Jenkins in the first quarter. The other top receiver, Michael Jurado, caught three passes for 56 yards.
Note: There was only one CIF-Southern Section football title by a Torrance high school ever. That came in 1982 when West Torrance, head coached by the late and legendary Fred Peterson (passed away in Aug. 2011), captured the Coastal Conference title over Bay League rival Santa Monica, 35-21, at Santa Monica City College. Both North and West also have strong possibilities of giving the Torrance Unified High School District its second and, maybe, third Southern Section crowns.
Last Friday’s Semifinal Results:
CIF-L.A. City Section, Division I: Narbonne 39, Carson 12.
Northern Division: Palos Verdes 50, Valencia 33; West Torrance 37, Atascadero 6.
Western Division: Serra 34, Lompoc 21.
Northwest Division: North Torrance 28, Bishop Diego 14.
This Week’s Section Championships:
Friday, Nov. 30:
Western Division: Chaminade at Serra, 7 or 8 p.m. (Televised on Fox Sports West Cable).
Saturday, Dec. 1:
CIF-L.A. City Section, Division I: Crenshaw vs. Narbonne at East L.A. College’s Weingart Stadium, 7 p.m.
Northern Division: West Torrance vs. Palos Verdes at site and time TBA.
Northwest Division: Nordhoff at North Torrance, 7 p.m.