Culver (3-0) Completes Sweep Of Torrance Schools
September 21, 2017
The Culver City High's third straight win to open the 2017 football season began with swift combinations... until a rash of penalty calls in the second half brought the game to a grind. The Centaurs dismissed North High of Torrance, 42-7, completing a trifecta sweep against three Torrance high schools, including West and Torrance, to open the schedule.
The visiting Centaurs took a 28-0 lead at halftime with an offensive unit that wasn't hitting on all cylinders. Regardless, quarterback Jonathan Martin threw five touchdown passes for the third straight game to multiple receivers: Kevin McGuire caught two while Charles Ross, Jamal Glaspie and Chris Miller each snared one.
The most defining play was running back Brandon Oum's 62-yard untouched burst for a touchdown that give Culver a l4-0 lead and the de facto ball game less than five minutes into the game. "Brandon's touchdown run was an inside trap play that we saw on film. And we executed it. Brandon is an explosive athlete and he took advantage," said Culver Head Coach Jahmal Wright.
"I think it's very important to distribute the ball because it's hard to key on one person when everybody's involved and everybody's making plays. And we're definitely capable. Anybody's who's on offense playing receiver or running back or quarterback is capable of creating big plays for us.
"We play a physical game. You never know, God forbid somebody goes down. We need everybody capable of making plays so we don't have to depend on one person."
Culver's game opening drive started on the Saxon's 34-yard line ignited by Alex Smith's 66-yard eye-opening kickoff return down the left sideline. Five plays later Martin hit Glaspie with a four-yard pass in the end zone for a 7-0 lead. Kicker Carlos Barillas converted the first of his six extra points in the game.
The Centaurs increased the lead to 21-0 five minutes into the second quarter. McGuire's 25-yard reception was the first of his two touchdowns on the day. His 96 total yards receiving led the team for the third straight game. Ross caught two passes for 92 yards. Tyler Luckett caught two for 48 yards, Miller caught two for 26 yards and Glaspie caught two for eight yards.
The Culver ground attack was effective. Oum rushed for 106 total yards on only five carries for a 21.2 average per carry. Joshua Ford pounded out 43 yards on eight carries. Martin had two runs from the pocket for 19 yards while Jerrian Anderson had one rush for five yards. The team totaled 173 yards rushing on 16 carries.
A prime reason for Culver City's dominating offense this season has been the concerted effort of the front line. Wright: "We have a lot of experience especially on the offensive line. Jayden Porter is a three-year starter. Nic Swinford is a three-year starter. Diego Campos started every game last year.'
"So we have three out of the five guys that were starters last year. Even though our two tackles are first year starters they're doing a great job. Our offensive line is really holding up and anchoring our offensive team right now."
"Every play we design we want to score a touchdown on. We don't call a play just to get a certain amount of yards. We want to score on every play."
Yet there's work still to be done on offense. "I think we have to be a little more efficient in our passing game. If you look at the numbers our completion percentage is way down compared to the first two games. I think it was a lack of execution on our part."
Martin hit Miller with a 16-yard score for the 28-0 lead. Alex Smith had a 42-yard punt return to end the first half. The second half brought the game to a crawl as the flags started flying. "There was a little bit of a flow in the first half. But definitely in the second half there was not a flow because of all the penalties. It seemed like it was not a clean game," explained Wright.
The Saxons finally scored on a 14-yard run in the third quarter. But Martin responded with a 52-yard touchdown pass to McGuire with two minutes to go in the quarter. Culver outside linebacker Augustus Fraser's leaping interception in the end zone minutes into the fourth quarter set up the final score.
Wright: "On defense we were able to create turnovers in their passing game. We were able to stop the run. We put them in unfavorable downs and distances that really dictated the plays thatwere called. We were able to take advantage of those situations."
Middle linebacker Jordan Armstrong led the Centaur defense with 15 total tackles including seven solo tackles. Augustus Fraser had 11 total with six solo tackles. Nick Bradley had nine total and four solos. Cortez Wright, Aaron Leach, Charles Ross and Jamar Banes each had seven total tackles. Robert Simon, Banes and Fraser each registered an interception.
On the very next play the offense put an exclamation on the scoreboard with an 80-yard touchdown bomb from Martin to Ross down the right side of the field in front of Culver's bench. The Centaur cheer team along with the school band led the fans celebrating the late-summer evening just beyond in the visitors'bleachers.
Culver now gets ready to host University High starting at 7 p.m. this Friday, September 23, at Jerry Chabola Stadium. The following week's highly anticipated matchup versus Dorsey High at Rancho Cienega Park is the final non-league game before the Ocean Leagueschedule begins with another crucial battle on October 6 at El Segundo.
"University is another opponent and we have a game plan. We need to execute the game plan, be physical and clean up our mistakes on the offensive end and go from there," said Wright.
"It's a little early right now. We have high expectations for this season so we expected to be 3-0. We're pleased with how we're playing for the most part but we have a lot of things we need to work on to reach all the goals that we have set for the season."