Culver Begins Playoffs AfterThree Straight Shutouts
Beverly Hills High Fall 49-0
November 9, 2017
Defense. Defense. Defense. The Centaurs (9-1) polished off the 2017 regular season with their third consecutive shutout by defeating the visiting Beverly Hills Normans, 49-0. Culver City High now prepares to host Heritage Christian for the first round of the CIF Playoffs this Friday, November 10 at Jerry Chabola Stadium.
With the Centaurs celebrating Senior Night, freshman Zevi Echaus passed with high marks in his first game starting at quarterback while senior running back Brandon Oum punished the Beverly defense with authority. In sharp contrast the Culver defense set the table by smothering the Normans, allowing the Centaurs' high-octane offense to get the ball back quickly.
"I was very proud of how we came out and played. Everybody who had a chance to touch the field did a great job," opened Culver Head Coach Jahmal Wright. "I don't know if I've coached a team that had three shutouts in a row. It hasn't been just one person on defense. It's been a combination of players."
"I thought Zevi did a great job for a player to come and lead his team to a victory in his first varsity start. He was able to get going pretty fast with that pass down the middle to Jamal Glaspie on the opening drive."
Culver's opening drive was textbook as Echaus got the offense going with a 74-yard drive. Wide receiver Jamal Glaspie caught a 34-yard pass across the middle to set up the Centaurs at the Norman one-yard line. One play later Echaus hit an open Tyler Luckett in the end zone for a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
Two minutes later following a Beverly punt Centaur running back Brandon Oum wowed the large home crowd with one of his signature breakaway runs. "Brandon Oum set the tone with a handoff right tackle for a 76-yard touchdown," said Wright. It was the first of two touchdowns in the game for Oum, increasing his team-leading scoring total to 13 touchdowns for the season.
Oum has scored at least two touchdowns in four games this year and leads the team in rushing with 740 total yards with an impressive 9.3 yards per carry. He also has 15 receptions for 161 yards including three touchdown catches for the year. He currently ranks third in Ocean League scoring with 78 total points.
Echaus and the Centaurs engineered their third consecutive scoring drive before the end of the first quarter from deep in their own territory. Another long completion to Glaspie again set the offense up near midfield. One play later Echaus hit Luckett who reversed left, cut back right and powered through the Norman defense for a 49-yard touchdown. The Culver lead was now 21-0.
Soon it was deja vu all over again as Oum set up the Centaurs' next score with another sweeping dash down the right sideline for 48 yards to the Beverly 17-yard line. Wide receiver Chris Miller caught a pass and stepped over the goal line for a touchdown on the very next play.
Just before the end of the first half Glaspie struck again with a 32-yard catch two yards shy of the goal line. Running back Joshua Ford entered the scoring books with a short burst to give Culver a 35-0 halftime lead. It was Ford's first of two scores on the night. Kicker Carlos Barillas converted the extra-point and successfully hit on all seven extra-point conversions for the game.
Wright: "We have a pretty talented team and different guys are stepping up. We definitely have more than one dominant player on the team. It's a collective effort and the team understands that. It's a good thing when the team can go out there and execute."
Culver City scored two more touchdowns on limited touches in the second half as the clock ran continuously due to the scoring margin. Oum scored on a 31-yard right thrust with minutes left in the third quarter. Using Ford as a workhorse the Centaurs drove 70 yards late in the fourth quarter to set up his 14-yard off-tackle run for the game's final score.
Echaus, who started due to All-League quarterback Jonathan Martin's injury the week before against Santa Monica, had very impressive numbers in his first start as a freshman. He completed 14/18 passes for 215 yards and three touchdowns for a 156.3 QB rating. During the regular season he connected on 21/27 passes for 293 yards and four touchdowns good for a 151.7 overall QB rating.
For the third consecutive year Martin completely dominated the Ocean League at quarterback, completing 145/225 passes for 2,793 yards and 37 touchdowns thrown for a 139.7 QB rating. He averaged 310.3 yards passed and 4.1 touchdowns per game while throwing only four interceptions, a remarkable accomplishment given the dynamics of the Centaur aerial attack.
Offensively, Oum rushed for 172 yards on only four carries, an average of 43 yards per carry. Ford had eight carries for 73 yards. Glaspie led the receivers with three catches for 94 yards, with each catch followed by a team touchdown. Luckett had three catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Miller had two catches and one touchdown while Alex Smith had two catches.
Defensively, the Culver City registered its fourth shutout of the season. That brings the team total to 15 shutouts during Coach Wright's nine-year reign as the head football coach. The Centaurs had three shutouts in the 2012 season and two shutouts in each of the 2011 and 2014 seasons.
Jordan Armstrong tied for team lead in total tackles with eight: four solo tackles and four assisted. Jordan Taylor also had eight tackles, three solos and five assisted. Cortez Wright and Isaiah Williams each had six tackles. Robert Simon, Justin Jarmon, Tah'je Ward, David Chang, Aaron Carey, Diego Campos and Jamar Baines each made four tackles. Nick Bradley had a quarterback sack.
The Centaurs now prepare for the first round of 2017 CIF Division 11 Playoffs seeded #1 this Friday. Kickoff time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Culver City High. "We are playing Heritage Christian in the first round of the CIF Playoffs. I'm learning more about them as we prepare for their team. They're from the Northridge area and have had some success this year. They've only lost one game," said Wright.
"It's the playoffs so the attention to detail is a little more specific. It's definitely going to take a team effort from the players and the coaches. We're excited about the playoffs so we're ready to get it on."