Culver Rolls Up The Points-Offense Is Explosive Once Again
Every time Peninsula High made a mistake, the Culver City High football team capitalized Friday afternoon.
The Centaurs won again, following up their opener against St. Bernard with another explosive performance on offense and an opportunistic performance on defense, which led to a 42-24 non-league victory..
The heat at Peninsula was stifling, but it wasn’t as hot as the Centaurs’ offense, which put up 42 points after scoring 49 in Culver City’s opening game. Senior quarterback Marquel Carter was the linchpin again, passing for 236 yards and three touchdowns and running for a touchdown.
And the Centaurs’ defense forced three fumbles, recovering one near its own goal line as the Panthers were threatening to make a game of it early and taking another into the end zone for a touchdown to punctuate the rout.
“Overall, I thought we came out effective and sharp on offense, and on defense we were opportunistic in getting turnovers,” Centaurs coach Jahmal Wright said. “I was very pleased with our effort.”
Culver City raced out to a 28-0 lead at halftime and 35-0 in the third quarter, and continued to show big-play ability on both sides of the ball.
Defensively, the Centaurs started their turnover-making day on the third play of the game, as Chris Brown recovered a fumble – one of two fumble recoveries he had in the game – and returned it to the Peninsula 17-yard line. Several plays later, Carter scored on a 1-yard run to give Culver City a 7-0 lead.
Peninsula took the kickoff and drove to the Centaurs’ 5, but the Panthers fumbled again, and Culver City recovered. The Centaurs then drove the length of the field and scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Carter to Noah Ashley to make it 14-0.
Culver City scored a third touchdown in the first quarter on a 27-yard pass from Carter to Cruz Cueva, and Corbin Jefferson forced a fumble that Jonathan Zisner returned 26 yards for a touchdown to give Culver City a 28-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half Carter threw a second TD pass to Ashley to make it 35-0. Crae Taylor also had a TD run in the second half.
In the first two games Carter has thrown six TD passes and has just one interception, and Culver City’s offense has scored 91 points.
“Our offense right now is very sharp,” Wright said. “It’s a testament to our offensive coordinator, Aki Wilson, and to Marquel, who is running the offense very efficiently.”
Edwin Tillman had 59 yards rushing for the Centaurs, while Taylor ran for 48 and a TD. Ashley caught three passes for 39 yards and two TDs, while Josh Brown had three receptions for 44 yards and Cueva had two catches for 35 yards and a TD.
Senior linebacker Victor Burnett, whom Wright called “virtually unblockable,” led the Centaurs with 16 tackles – including four for losses – and 1.5 sacks. Ky Dorsey had 10 tackles, and Brown had 12 tackles while recovering two fumbles. Ijumaa Armstrong had an interception.
On Friday Culver City will take on Centennial of Compton at home. The Apaches, who went 1-9 last season, are 1-1 this season, having won 45-35 last week over Lynwood, a team that beat Culver City in summer passing league play this year. Centennial has scored 77 points in its first two games.
The Apaches are coached by Eric Scott, a former UCLA football assistant.
“Centennial’s a much better team than they were last year,” Wright said. “Eric Scott has them ready to play, and they’re very fast, vastly improved. We have our work cut out for us.”