Culver City Observer -

It's A Loss but with Encouraging Moments

West Torrance Shuts Out Culver


September 10, 2015

Fred Altieri

Centaurs' leading rusher Fred Poindexter returns kickoff

By Fred Altieri

Sports Reporter

Culver City High opened the 2015 football season with a hard-fought loss to West Torrance High, 22-0 before a very lively home crowd spirited on by the Centaur cheer team, dance team and marching band at Jerry Chabola Stadium on a balmy summer evening, Friday, September 4.

Culver is starting a new era with a talented sophomore quarterback at the helm to compliment its perennially impressive defense. This combination gave more than a silver lining of hope for the Centaurs' future as they battled the South Bay power until the Warriors put the game away with a final touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Head coach Jahmal Wright was optimistic after he and his coaching staff were able to review the game: "Starting off the 2015 season we played a strong West Torrance team that had been to the finals and semifinals the past three seasons. We're disappointed in our loss but we saw some good things.

"It was a nice first game and a good measuring stick and test for us. Unfortunately we came in on the losing end but it wasn't because of a lack of effort."

The Centaurs established a balanced attack right away under quarterback Jonathan Martin, starting in his first varsity game. Along with senior running back Fred Poindexter and a revamped receiving corps the offense moved into West territory on their first drive. Unfortunately for Culver the drive ended with an interception on the 13-yard line.

"During our first drive we had a third and long and we kind of had a bad read. We have a sophomore quarterback but I'm encouraged."

West Torrance took the ball and methodically moved downfield. It scored on a 28-yard jaunt at 7:31 of the first quarter. The score wouldn't change for another two quarters as both team's defenses dominated action. Culver continued to move the ball but turnovers and penalties kept them from scoring.

"I thought we moved the ball well within the 20-yard lines. We just had untimely turnovers, bad snaps and penalties that hurt us. I'm encouraged with how the defense played. The defense did a good job of getting stops all night," said Wright.

Culver quarterback Martin had decent numbers passing and running: he was 13/28 for 135 yards with two interceptions thrown. He had 15 running attempts for 42 yards with one fumble and was sacked twice.

"As a coaching staff, we were impressed with Jonathan Martin's first game starting as the varsity quarterback. He did some great things. I thought when the play broke down he did a great job of using his legs and athleticism, his track speed to make plays happen to what the defense has to account for," stated Wright.

Culver's leading rusher was Fred Poindexter, who had 10 carries for 91 yards including one 35-yard run. "Poindexter did a great job. Fred ended last season very well so he's picked right up where he left off at," said Wright.

Rounding out the offensive Centaur stats: Mason Mulvihill had four receptions for 52 yards. Deven Osborne had three receptions for 29 yards. Justin Cox had three receptions for 27 yards. Team offensive totals: 153 rushing yards, 135 passing yards and 301 total yards.

The Centaur defense once again set the foundation by holding the usually explosive Warrior offense to only three successful drives the entire game. Linebacker Antwan Smith was Culver's leading tackler with 14 tackles, eight solos, six assists and one tackle for loss.

Wright: "The defensive line did an awesome job. Our defense as a whole did a great job."

Free safety Mason Mulvihill had nine total tackles, four solos and five assists. He also had a fumble caused and two pass breakups.

Cornerback Mekhi Ware had a remarkable game with two interceptions, four tackles, three solos and one assist.

Wright noted several offensive drives that failed to materialize: "The one time we had the ball within the 10-yard line we had a bad snap on first down which killed us. On second down we got sacked. That kind of took us out of scoring contention."

"Once we got the interception we got right back down there we had a bad call on fourth and goal. So it was pretty close. We were right there."

Fred Altieri

Sophomore quarterback Jonathan Martin runs for a first down

Wright ended on a high note about the team's new season and its young quarterback: "For him to be only a sophomore and come out against a very good football team and an experienced coaching staff, to lead us down the field a number of times, it's a step in the right direction for the Culver City offense.

"We're disappointed that we lost because we really wanted to win the game. But the players are pretty resilient. It's still early on in the season so there's a lot of football left to be played. We're positive and optimistic right now.

"Right now we're just focused on Peninsula and we want to take out some frustration on Peninsula this week."


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