Field Goal At Finish Leaves Culver Undefeated

Culver Faces El Segundo Friday - Both Teams 5-0

By Fred Altieri

Sports Reporter

There's a reason they call it football. With 6.9 seconds on the clock Carlos Barillas kicked the game winning field goal for Culver City High as they beat the Dorsey High Dons, 30-27, in dramatic fashion.

The game lived up to its billing as both teams rallied and scored on dynamic plays. It all boiled down to the Centaurs' left-footed weapon.

The Centaurs improved their perfect 2017 season record to 5-0 as quarterback Jonathan Martin threw three touchdowns to compliment Barillas' three field goals against the winless Dons. Martin directed a disciplined offense against a swift and athletic Dorsey (0-5) squad on Friday, September 29, at Rancho Cienega Park. The win avenged Culver's loss at home to the Dons, 35-31, last season.

"Every game has its own significance. But we definitely wanted to win the game just because of who Dorsey is and we knew they were a pretty good team," said Culver Head Coach Jahmal Wright. "It was kind of a measuring stick for us."

"I was proud of how we started the game. I thought we did a great job of being focused and ready to go. Kicking the field goals was the difference in the game even though we didn't score touchdowns on those drives. To get down and score those six points in the second half, that was the difference."

The Centaurs led 7-0 as Martin threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kevin McGuire on the game's opening drive. Dorsey responded with a 6-yard touchdown but still trailed 7-6 following a blocked extra-point attempt by Culver, a missed point that would loom large late in the game.

Six minutes later Martin directed another methodical drive ending in a 20-yard pass to Charles Ross. On the ensuing kickoff Jerrian Anderson forced and recovered a fumble for the Centaurs. On first down Martin threaded a pass to Alex Smith who fought for a beautiful sideline grab at the Dorsey five-yard line. One play later Martin hit Brandon Oum for six points gliding into the right side of the end zone.

Following a Dorsey punt Jamal Glaspie caught a 43-yard pass to help move Culver into scoring position. A few plays later Barillas kicked a 33-yard field goal just before halftime. The Centaurs had a seemingly comfortable 24-6 lead going into the locker room.

Wright: "It definitely wasn't a chip shot. We work on special teams a lot, every single day and every single practice. Carlos has been very faithful showing up and he takes his job very seriously. He has a lot of experience and he's doing a great job."

Barillas: "It was second down and Coach Wright yelled: "Alright. Time's running out. PAT. Get ready!" I said: "Alright. It's my time to go." The three points turned out to be very crucial because if something would have happened we probably would have lost the game."

Dorsey busted out of the gates in the second half putting the Culver defense on its heels. The Dons connected on a 19-yard touchdown pass followed by a 19-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Dorsey decided to try a two-point conversion around the right end. Fortunately for Culver City Tyler Luckett was there to make the stop.

"When you think about it, the difference in the ball game was the two-point conversion that they didn't get," said Wright. "Tyler was pretty much giving up close to 100 pounds in weight. And he took him on and stopped him from getting into the end zone, which was a great play. That was the play of the game, for sure.

"I wasn't really happy with how we came out in the second half. I give Dorsey credit for making adjustments at halftime. They're a good team so they are going to make their run. They had two pass interference calls that were on fourth down that extended their drives. We got them into favorable down-and-distances and we let them off the hook."

Dorsey only trailed 24-19 when Martin and company systematically drove down the field and ate up the clock to set up Barillas' second field goal. He nailed a 32-yarder to give the Centaurs the all-important eight-point lead. Dorsey seized the opportunity, drove down the field and finally erased the 18-point deficit. This time the two-point conversion was good and the score was suddenly tied at 27-27 with 1:33 left in regulation.

Wright: "Jonathan was definitely the catalyst. He executed the offense well. He was under pressure and duress but didn't turn the ball over. He knew when to throw the ball away. When the center had some bad snaps he was able to be savvy enough. He didn't panic. Jonathan did a great job engineering us down the field the whole game."

Martin also set a new Culver City High School football record by throwing 127 consecutive passes without an interception. He broke the previous mark of 125 consecutive passes without a pick set by Alex Cueva during the first eight games in 2002.

Wright on the game-winning drive: "We were able to get into a little rhythm even though there wasn't a lot of time left. Dorsey played more of a pass-prevent defense and we got some first downs. The rest of the drive was pretty much running plays.

"Brandon had three or four good runs. Joshua Ford had a 12-yard run as well. We were also aided by a 15-yard sideline personal foul penalty on Dorsey that helped us out as well. So we were pretty fortunate." The ball finally rested at the Dorsey one-yard line with 10.6 seconds left in regulation. Wright sent in Barillas to deliver the 18-yard fatal blow.

Barillas: "Honestly, I was nervous. My legs were shaking. "Oh my. If I miss it, it's over. But if I make it we take the game." There were many emotions going through my mind. I was like: Wow. It was amazing."

Wright: "It was a tough angle. I didn't want the ball at an angle. I wanted it in the middle of the field. Those were the instructions but when you get out in the game that doesn't always happen. But it worked out for the best. Carlos did a great job kicking from the hash and kicked it through the uprights."

Barillas: "Alex Smith was holding the ball. Aaron Carey who snaps and the multiple blockers... It's not just me. I deliver the final hit but everyone has a role. The blockers have to block. Aaron has to snap a perfect ball right down the middle so it'll be easy for Alex to catch it and set it on the tee properly. So everyone plays a very important role.

"After I made it everyone was screaming. You get an adrenaline rush. You just don't know what to do. Your mind is running around like crazy with screaming and happiness. It's an amazing feeling."

The Centaurs will open the Ocean League on the road against rival and undefeated El Segundo (5-0) this Friday. "They're playing real good football. They have a lot of confidence and a great coaching staff. We know each other very well so it's going to be a tough hard-fought game. They have a pretty good fanbase and community that gets behind their team," said Wright.

"We're back-to-back Ocean League Champs. We're looking forward to defending our title. This is the first league game. As a team we set some goals. One of our goals is to beat El Segundo and to win another Ocean League title. The only way to do that is to take them one game at a time and beat another formidable opponent." We're excited."


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