Culver Drubs Samohi, 54-14

Members of '78 CIF Championship Team Honored at Halftime

It was a Centaur family affair worth celebrating. The 2018 Culver City High football team trounced rival Santa Monica High, 54-14, on Friday, Sept. 28 to open the Ocean League season.

It was a fitting tribute to the returning members of the school's 1978 CIF Football Championship team who were honored at halftime.

"Actually, Coach (Warren) Flanagan from the 1978 championship team spoke to our team before the game. He's been following us and he's proud of how we're representing Culver City High School," said current head coach Jahmal Wright.

"Some of the team captains from the '78 team also spoke to our team before the game, giving words of encouragement. So that was pretty cool."

The Centaur high-octane offense started off with a bang on the opening possession and continued to rev up as they raced to a 39-0 halftime lead. The game also featured both Culver quarterbacks taking turns driving the offense with each possession. The rushing and receiving units were hitting on all cylinders while the defense overwhelmed the Vikings' attack.

Cents Strike Early

The Centaurs took a 7-0 lead one minute and a few seconds into the game when wide receiver Jamal Glaspie caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from starting quarterback Nick Lucero. Less than three minutes later Centaur quarterback Zevi Eckhaus tossed to wide receiver Tanner Duve who then scorched the visiting sideline for a 93-yard touchdown.

"Zevi began the season as our starting quarterback and Nick did a great job when he got his opportunity," said Wright. "So it was appropriate to play both guys to see how Zevi is coming along and to reward Nick for his play."

"We knew Santa Monica was going to bring pressure. So if they're going to single-coverage our pretty talented core of wide receivers, we're going to take a shot. And that's what we did. Zevi threw a great pass and Tanner Duve took advantage with his speed."

Meantime the Centaur defense denied the Viking offense at every opportunity. They forced Santa Monica's punting unit to ground the ball, giving Culver excellent field position. Two plays later, wide receiver Chris Miller caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Lucero for a 20-0 first-quarter lead.

The Centaurs poured more gasoline on the fire in the second quarter with three more touchdowns. Glaspie caught his second touchdown of the game, a 15-yarder from Eckhaus to take a 26-0 lead. Four minutes later running back Joshua Ford powered 52-yards into the end zone.

Strong Running Game

"The combination of Joshua and Malachi (McMahon) keeps the backfield hungry," Wright said. "They want to run hard and take advantage of their opportunities. Joshua scored a 52-yard touchdown while running over defenders along the way."

One minute later, wide receiver Kevin McGuire caught a short crossing pass from Eckhaus and ripped the right sideline for a 60-yard touchdown, literally blowing past the entire Viking secondary. Ironically, it was McGuire's only official reception of the game as several other of his long gains for touchdown were called back due to penalties.

Halftime featured a couple of dozen members from the 1978 Championship team with a perfect 13-0 record, including players, cheerleaders and flag squad. "My former coach, Lou Lichtl, was on the '78 team," said Wright.

"He also gave us a compliment as far as how the team looked, how many athletes we have and how the team plays as a unit. To see him re-live some of those great memories he had, being on the only championship team in the school's history is pretty cool."

Culver City scored on a 34-yard pass from Eckhaus to Miller early in the third quarter for a 46-0 lead. The Vikings finally erased the shutout on a 7-yard pass with 3:45 on the clock.

The Centaurs scored their final touchdown with seven seconds in the quarter on a 9-yard run by Ford. Samohi added a 42-yard touchdown bomb late in the fourth quarter for the final score.

Defensive lineman Tony Morillo, linebacker Isaiah Williams and cornerback Khary Crump led the Centaurs in tackles. Morillo had eight tackles, three quarterback sacks and four tackles for loss.

"Tony was voted the Defensive Player of the Game with eight tackles and three sacks. Three sacks is pretty tough to get in one game and he was able to accomplish that," said Wright.

"Khary is one of the better corners of the 2020 Class in Southern California in my opinion. He's more of a physical tackling corner so it's good to see him go up and make plays. I'm proud of him and he got his first career interception."

Culver, Lawndale to be on TV

The Centaurs travel to Lawndale High Friday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. for their most challenging game of the year. Fox Sports West will be televising the game live as Culver High is seeking its first victory against the Cardinals in four contests.

Lawndale won last year's game, 33-14, as running back Jordan Wilmore rushed for an impressive 292 yards on 31 carries.

Wright: "Lawndale is always a tough game and we have a lot of respect for Coach Travis Clark and his coaching staff. They're the defending Ocean League champs, went undefeated in league last year and have a talented team. So we're excited for the opportunity to play the champs."


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