Unbeaten Centaurs Await Major Test
Narbonne To Visit Friday Night
So far, Culver City High football coach Jahmal Wright likes what he sees from his team.
The Centaurs are 4-0 this season after a 52-0 rout of Leuzinger last week, and they are averaging more than 40 points a game while allowing an average of just under 15.
But Wright admits that Culver City’s toughest test so far is yet to come.
After an easy win last week over the Olympians, this Friday the Centaurs host city power Narbonne (2-2), which is coming off a 26-20 victory over Serra – becoming the first South Bay team to defeat the Cavaliers since 2006.
The Gauchos defeated Culver City 42-22 last season, underscoring the Centaurs’ difficulty in playing against LA City school opponents the past few seasons (they were also routed by Crenshaw in 2010 and 2009).
“This is a good measuring stick for us,” Wright said. “Narbonne is a talented, well-balanced team that doesn’t have too many weaknesses. It’s definitely going to be our toughest game to date.”
Culver City has defeated West Torrance, Peninsula, Redondo and Leuzinger this season, but it’s doubtful that any of those teams has the talent of Narbonne, which is considered a contender for the City championship and whose two losses this season were to powerhouses Long Beach Poly and Tesoro.
Led by sophomore quarterback Troy Williams, who threw for 297 yards and three TDs last week against Serra, Narbonne’s offense presents a big challenge for Culver City’s defense.
“Williams is one of the better quarterbacks in Southern California,” Wright said. “When things break down, he can make plays.
“Narbonne has a lot of speed and athleticism. They get the ball to players in space and they make big plays.”
The Gauchos have several players who can make plays rushing and receiving. Junior A.J. Richardson has 236 receiving yards and 100 rushing yards, senior Tray Boone leads the team in rushing yards with 236 yards, and senior Antoine Anderson has 215 receiving yards.
On defense, linebacker Marquis Lomax leads the team in tackles, while Carson transfer Keishawn Bierria has become a major addition to the defense. The line is anchored by tackle Paulo Lepua and ends Sydney Watkins and Aaran Afalava along with defensive tackle Victor Valentine.
The Narbonne secondary is strong with free safety Kevin Applewhite, who is the younger brother of current San Francisco 49er Antwan Applewhite. Cornerbacks Troy Rose and Quinton Pope and strong safety Robert Wood provide speed and athleticism.
The Centaurs certainly will have a tougher time this week than they did against Leuzinger, which is winless and has yet to score a single point in four games this season.
Quarterback Lukas O’Connor completed 10 of 18 passes for 191 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. Akili Skannal ran for 86 yards, while Michael Horchin caught two touchdown passes, and Kevin Porche and Julius Wilson each caught a touchdown pass.
On defense, Keishawn Haley had 16 tackles and an interception, Khalil Pettway had 11 tackles and Deon Young had nine tackles and two sacks.
Culver City had 337 total yards to just 198 for Leuzinger.