Culver Routs Beverly Hills, Will Host Playoff Opener
November 11, 2016
It was a football blitzkrieg at Beverly Hills High
as Culver City High overwhelmed the Normans, 63-8, to capture a share of the 2016 Ocean League title on November 4, the final league game of the season.
The Centaurs, 7-3 overall, finished tied at 4-1 with El Segundo and Lawndale. All three co-champions advanced to the CIF Southern Section Football Playoffs beginning this Friday, November 11.
"I'll take winning the league title every day of the week. We talked in preseason about being league champs and that was one of the goals,´said Coach Jahmal Wright.
"So we can check that off the list of the goals we set as a team. Our goal against Beverly was to make sure we were sharp going into the playoffs. We wanted to throw the ball early and run the ball late."
Culver shell-shocked Beverly in the first two minutes by scoring two quick touchdowns. Quarterback Jonathan Martin, who broke the school record for touchdowns thrown in one quarter with five, threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Oum at the 10:39 mark to start the game. Two plays later free-safety Steven Ashby intercepted a Beverly pass deep in their territory.
One play later Martin threw a 26-yard touchdown pass up the middle to Bryce Lewis-Wolfe for a 14-0 lead. "Jonathan threw another 11-yard shot to Kevin McGuire and a long 53-yard pass to Justin Cox," continued Wright. "Then he had another 33-yard touchdown to Charles Ross. And he had that last touchdown pass to Mekhi Ware.
"I just like the way Jonathan spreads the ball around. It's great to see that everybody's involved in the offense. Six different players caught touchdown passes. It's a testament to how hard the offense has been working.
"We're averaging 42 points a game and it was fun to see the fruits of their labor. We have an exciting offense and it was on full display Friday night."
Martin broke the 47-year record set in 1969 by Greg Goodyear who threw four touchdowns in the fourth quarter against Rolling Hills High (now Peninsula). Goodyear, a longtime Centaur football coach who has also worked with Martin, congratulated him on his accomplishment.
The score was 35-0 after the first quarter. The Centaurs led 42-0 at the half after when Oum streaked 42 yards up the middle for a touchdown for the quarter's only score. Coach Wright and his staff brought in the non-starters for the second half.
"Once we were up by a certain amount of points we were able to throw in the second team and the J.V. players that we brought up. It was a good experience for the guys that don't get to play as much. It's a good team win going into the playoffs," said Wright.
Ware caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Martin to make it 49-0 early in the third quarter. At the two minute mark Nick Bradley ran 20 yards around the right end for a touchdown and a 56-0 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Normans finally scored on a 10-yard pass with 7:57 remaining in the game. Then they ran in the two-point conversion.
Culver running back Joshua Ford ran 28 yards up the middle for a touchdown and the final score as the clock wound down quickly due to the 35-point mercy rule in effect.
Wright: "63 points is the most points the team has scored since I've been a head coach. We made a concerted effort and the defense did a good job early getting stops and turnovers. I really didn't expect us to score on those one-play drives as easy as we did.
"It's about the defense players executing their technique and getting better. Every team is different and we knew that we were the superior team. So our thing was working on our weaknesses, our technique and just fine-tune it as much we can for the playoffs."
Offensively: Martin was 13/15 passing for 303 yards and six touchdowns. Oum had three carries for 65 yards and one 42-yard rushing touchdown.
Receiving: Cox had three receptions for 92 yards and one touchdown. Ross had four receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown. Lewis-Wolfe, McGuire, Cox and Ware also caught touchdown passes.
John Lewis had five total tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass defended. Billy Greene had five tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass breakup. Ashby and Elijah Salazar each had one interception.
Special teams: Alex Smith had two dynamic "highlight reel" long punt returns for touchdowns in the first half. Unfortunately, he ended up not getting credit for either as they were both called back due to penalties.
The Centaurs are now preparing to host Valley View High in Round 1 of the 2016 CIF Southern Section Division 11 Playoffs at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, November 11, at Jerry Chabola Stadium.
The Valley View Eagles, located in Moreno Valley east of Riverside, finished third in the Inland Valley League with a 3-2 league record and 6-4 overall.
"Valley View is a third place team in their league. They're a talented team. They have a very good offense and a fast defense. They're athletic. They put up a lot of points. It's going to be a tough game," concluded Wright.
"They match up with us well. They're 6-4 on the season. They're coming off two spectacular league wins. I believe they won the last game against Canyon Springs, 77-0. So we have our hands full. Definitely."