Culver Football Excels In Santa Fe Tournament

The Culver City High Centaurs continued their dominance in the passing tournaments in Southern California this past weekend when they blew through most of the competition in the Santa Fe “7 on 7” Tournament on Saturday, July 8.

The tournament began with more than 20 teams and the first four games determined the team seeds for the later rounds. In Culver City’s pool were host team Santa Fe High, Arcadia High, Dominguez High (Compton) and Bellflower High.

Culver City opened up pool play against the host Santa Fe Chiefs. The Centaurs dominated the game 30-15. In the second game Culver started slowly as Arcadia, on defense, took a 9-6 lead with their tough defense and opportune plays. This was the only game that went the entire 30 minutes with the Centaurs losing a hard fought defensive battle to the Apaches 26-18.

In the next two pools games Culver City only needed two offensive possessions to dispatch Dominguez 30-11 and Bellflower 30-14 in dominating fashion.

The tournament scoring is completely different than any other tournaments in Southern California. The offense does not score points for a touchdown. Points are earned by completing passes and the longer the pass the more the points.

The defense can score with an interception, a pass breakup or a knockdown. Certain penalties such as pass interference or holding count for one point against the team that committed that penalty. Games last for 30 minutes unless a team scores 30 points before time runs out. The first team to 30 wins meaning that the team getting the ball first has a huge advantage and the Centaurs won the first seven coin tosses.

After lunch break the Centaurs were informed that they were going to be one of the top seeded teams moving forward in the tournament and that they would have a bye in the first round.

In their first game of tournament play the Centaurs crushed Cantwell Sacred Heart, 30-9.

In the quarterfinals Culver City met the South Bay football powerhouse San Pedro Pirates. The Centaurs easily defeated the Pirates 30-12 in dominating fashion. Last year in this tournament in the semi finals the Centaurs lost to Orange County power Villa Park and their Purdue-bound quarterback.

But this year Culver’s hard fought victory over the West Torrance Warriors 31-19 put them into the finals against North San Diego County Carlsbad.

Three years ago Carlsbad won this tournament and last year Culver City knocked them out of the tournament and this year Carlsbad returned the favor beating the Centaurs 30-12 while denying Culver a second offensive possession.

Carlsbad won the game with great defense coming up with two outstanding interceptions accounting for six points. One was on a perfect pass from quarterback Jonathan Martin to a leaping, Wisconsin-bound Alex Smith who had the ball until it was ripped from his hands by a Carlsbad defensive back as they were falling to the ground.

Throughout the tournament Martin was very accurate with his throws and in anticipating where his receivers would be. Also having strong games offensively were division 1A receiver Charles Ross who made numerous acrobatic grabs, constantly shed his defenders and showed his usual glue-like hands. Smith contributed many fine catches as did Jamal Glaspie, upcoming junior receiver.

Contributing on offense were Aaron Leach, Tyler Luckett and senior Robert Simon. Unfortunately for the Centaurs they had to play without sophomore sensation Kevin McGuire who broke his finger playing basketball and senior Natani Drati who decided to return to his home school, Santa Barbara High.

On defense the Centaurs were led by linebackers Jordan Armstrong, Cortez Wright and defensive backs Jerrian Anderson, Robert Simon, Charles Ross and Nick Bradley.

Coach Wright was generally pleased with the overall play of the Centaurs in the tournament, especially given that several of the players had to go both ways in the scorching heat of the San Gabriel Valley.


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