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By Fred Altieri
Sports Reporter 

Centaurs Dominate in Football Opener

Offense, Defense both Shine in 62-20 Win


August 30, 2018

George Laase

Friday night entertainment is Culver City High Football.

The Centaurs offense was on full display as they dominated West Torrance High in their season opener, 62-20, on Aug. 24. However, it was the defense that set the tone early on and smothered the Warriors' second-half chances.

The onslaught began late in the first quarter and quickly ramped up to a 35-0 halftime lead.

West High's defense had very few answers to Culver's speed and size as the Centaurs scored nine touchdowns in the game while piling up 717 total yards on offense.

Sophomore quarterback Zevi Eckhaus and a senior-led offense torched the field with a slew of showtime plays.

"I liked that there were a lot of different players involved, not just one player doing it all," said Centaur head coach Jamal Wright.

"Joshua Ford did a great job. Kevin McGuire had big catches. [New receiver] Tanner Duve had a touchdown grab. Chris Miller had an 85-yard touchdown catch. Malachai Mcmahon had seven carries for almost 60 yards rushing."

"I was very pleased with how the defense came out," Wright added. "They were stout, had a bunch of three-and-outs and set the tone. Even when West Torrance got back into the game, the defense was able to get another pick-six and take the life from them."

Culver struck at 4:13 in the first quarter on a two-yard pass from Eckhaus to Tyler Luckett. Two minutes later, Tanner Duve battled and caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in the right corner of the end zone on a perfect strike by Eckhaus.

Eckhaus "was able to use his legs and improvise" throughout the game, Coach Wright said. "Especially on our first drive, he had a 17-yard run on a third-and-12. He had another run where he got us out of trouble and ran for another first down."

West responded with a drive deep into Centaur territory. But it ended when senior Centaur cornerback Allen Smith made a brilliant interception at the 13-yard line as the quarter ended.

The Culver offense exploded into a higher gear one minute into the second quarter. Jamal Glaspie caught a 15-yard pass along the right hashmarks, never changed stride and simply outsprinted the entire West backfield for an 85-yard touchdown.

Culver's special teams made its mark just 90 seconds later, when Allen Smith returned a punt 47 yards into West territory.

On the next play, Joshua Ford cut and ran up the middle for a 38-yard touchdown. Seven minutes later, Eckhaus threw a perfect strike down the right sideline to Glaspie who coasted into the end zone for a 35-0 halftime lead.

"We have more size on the offensive and defensive lines this year, no doubt," Wright said.

"I'm proud of how we progressed. We started three juniors on the offensive line. They made some mistakes but I was proud of how they played as a unit. They opened up holes and gave Zevi a lot of time to throw the football."

West Torrance may have had a glimmer of hope by scoring first as the second half began. But that hope was soon dashed when the Cents' Allen Smith intercepted his second pass of the game.

This time he returned it 35 yards into the end zone for a 41-7 Centaur lead.

West High scored two late touchdowns but Culver answered each time.

Junior quarterback Nick Lucero came in to relieve Eckhaus in the fourth quarter with the game in hand. Lucero responded by completing a crowd-pleasing, 85-yard touchdown bomb to junior wide receiver Chris Miller. Justin Jarmon also raked the Warrior defense with a 79-yard touchdown burst.

The bottom line: Speed Kills.

"We have to use our strengths, which is probably our speed, our athleticism and depth," Wright said.

"That's why we go to all those summer passing tournaments and scrimmages. We get used to everybody being involved and everybody having a piece of the pie. So we take that philosophy into a real-life game situation. It's rewarding and a testament to how hard the team has worked."

Offense Roundup:

• Eckhaus completed 21 of 32 passes for 415 yards and five touchdowns. He threw no interceptions.

• Backup QB Lucero completed two of four passes for 88 yards and one touchdown.

• Running back Jarmon led the team with 80 yards on two carries, including a touchdown.

• Ford had 56 yards on six carries and a touchdown, while Mcmahon had seven rushes for 54 yards.

• The team ran for 214 total yards on 21 rushes.

• Glaspie led all receivers with five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns.

• Luckett had five catches for 81 yards and one touchdown.

• Miller caught three passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.

• McGuire had three receptions for 47 yards while Mcmahon caught three for 21 yards.

• Ford caught two for 40 yards and one touchdown. Duve also caught two for 34 yards and a touchdown.

• The receiving corps caught 23 passes for 498 total yards and six TDs.

Defense Counts:

• Keaton Asma led in total tackles with 10, including five solo tackles.

• Jordan Taylor had nine tackles and four solos.

George Laase

• Dominic Tatum had eight tackles and four solos.

• Isaiah Williams and Adrian Simon each had seven tackles.

• Allen Smith and Rudy Chavez had six tackles each.

"We're just going to take it one game at a time and enjoy the season," Coach Wright said. "We work so hard to prepare for the football season [but] once it's here, it goes so fast.

"We just want to stay in the moment and enjoy each step. Hopefully we'll be there when it's all said and done at the end."


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