Centaurs Please Coach At Peninsula
Norman Scores Four Touchdowns
Anthony Polk fights for yardage
By Fred Altieri
Palos Verdes Peninsula is truly a paradise. Near the top of this gem rests picturesque Peninsula High in the City of Rolling Hills Estates sporting a classic grass football field adorning the campus’ north edge overlooking the greater L.A. basin.
This was the scene of the Culver City High football team’s hard fought, explosive 41-27 victory over the Panthers in a rare afternoon game on a beautiful and sunny Friday the 13th.
And this time it was 22 Centaurs taking the hill outlined against a clear blue September sky above a deep blue Pacific Ocean. It was here that lightning struck three times within four sublime minutes, swiftly and decisively, just past halftime.
The game started off slowly for Culver with Peninsula grabbing a 7-0 lead.
Centaur coach Jahmal Wright, “The first half we started off slow and only had four offensive series possessions. Our defense did a good job of keeping their scoring down. We were finally able to get going offensively on Stanley Norman’s run at the beginning of the third quarter. The offensive line was efficient and had a much better game. I was very pleased with their performance.”
“Defensively, Fred Wadibia had a good game using his strength and quickness to lead the defense, had six solo tackles and two unassisted. Reynard Saxon had seven solo and four assisted tackles. Jericho Flowers had eight solo and four assisted tackles. Saxon and Flowers also did a good job helping the linebackers on the runs. Kevin Beacham had one interception, two pass breakups and two tackles for loss.”
“Offensively we ran 42 plays for 412 total yards, passed for 132 yards and rushed for 299 yards. David Handler made 7 of 13 completions for 101 yards passing and Armani Rogers was 5 of 5 for 12 yards.
“Norman rushed 10 times for 194 yards and scored four touchdowns. Donovan Davis ran six times for 57 yards and one touchdown. Anthony Polk ran the ball four times for 42 yards. Anthony is also a key utility player and linebacker, had a nice 29 yard run to set up a touchdown and is very important to us on the special teams.”
Polk spoke of the Centaurs’ focus: “Our offense executed very well. We had a good week of practice. Everybody paid attention and was on point. After Stanley Norman’s touchdown run in the third quarter everybody started to play well. The line started picking up on their blocks more. On my 29-yard run I hit the hole very hard just like my coaches teach me every day of practice. It was a trap play. I took a jab right. I came back under. And hit the hole.”
Coach Wright acknowledged his receivers and kicker, “Marcus Moore caught four passes for 50 yards. Lonnie Walker caught two for 30 yards and Jericho Flowers caught two for 24 yards and had one touchdown. Nico Melendez kicked five extra points in six tries and handled the punting as well. That was encouraging.”
The devastating blow of the game was delivered from Norman via the quarterback position in the third quarter. A 76-yard bursting, north-to-south, multiple broken-tackle, open-field feints through a clawing Panther defense, spectacular run that would rival any on any Southland gridiron literally turned the game upside-down.
Norman’s four rushing touchdowns tied a school record that was set by current Culver High football offensive coordinator Aki Wilson in 1994 and duplicated by Curtis Nettles in 1997.
Polk emphasized, “During halftime we knew we had to put points on the board in the second half. Our offense is made to score points. We run a spread offense and we have to score points.”
Things were just heating up for the Culver onslaught. Wright, “We had a recovered pooch kick. Then, Donavan Davis, who’s hard to tackle, had an elusive run for a touchdown following Polk’s carry. A few minutes later Jericho Flowers finished it up with the 75-yard punt return for a touchdown.”
Jericho Flowers sweeps around end
Flowers received the punt on Culver’s 25-yard-line and quickly moved to the right side of the field where his teammates formed a dynamic wall with perfectly executed blocks down the field. They escorted Flowers’ scintillating run into the end zone. Game, set, and match.
Wright on his team’s effort, “We were finally able to get going offensively. The offensive line was efficient and had a much better game. I was very pleased with their performance.”
“When we had a 41-14 lead in the fourth quarter we put the second team defense into the game to give them a chance to perform and for us to evaluate them. That’s when Peninsula scored most of their points and gained a lot of their yardage. Their team never gave up. I was very happy and pleased with our team’s response and productivity.”
Yes. Palos Verdes Peninsula is a paradise for Culver High football.