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By Fred Altieri
Sports Reporter 

Culver Trounces Beverly Hills, 70-6

CIF Playoffs Begin Friday Night


November 1, 2018

George Laase

History was on the Centaurs' side as they wrapped up the 2018 Ocean League schedule with a record-setting 70-6 victory at Beverly Hills High.

The win was punctuated as head coach Jahmal Wright equaled Culver City High athletic director Tom Salter's lifetime wins by a head coach, both with 73-36 records in 10 years of coaching each.

The Centaurs (8-2) set the school record for most points scored in a game that was held by the 2006 team. Led by quarterback great Derrius Banks, the 2006 Centaur team scored 68 points twice that year: beating Inglewood, 68-27, and Hawthorne, 68-6. The team finished in second place in league with a 4-1 record behind league champs Lawndale at 5-0.

Wright, a former standout player at Culver City High, was honored and credited the players for his success. Salter hired Wright to replace him as head coach when he became the school's athletic director in 2009.

Together they have developed one of the more successful football programs in Southern California, combining for a 146-72 record over the past 20 years.

"I'm proud of what the team has accomplished so far this year. I think we're playing our best football. Besides one injury we're very healthy. We know what's in front of us and the team's excited. We just want to go out there and get it done," said Wright as the Centaurs prepare for the CIF Playoffs this Friday at 7:00 p.m., hosting the Santa Barbara High Dons.

The Centaur offense busted out of the blocks to take a 28-0 first-quarter lead over Beverly Hills. Quarterback Zevi Eckhaus opened with three touchdown passes to his stealth receiving corps. Jamal Glaspie caught an 11-yard touchdown pass for opening lead. Eckhaus then threw a 47-yard scoring pass to Kevin McGuire. Tyler Luckett's 13-yard touchdown catch made it 20-0.

"Those are three seniors who are very talented, have worked hard and have continuity with Zevi. He's a sophomore and feels comfortable and confident with leaning on his seniors," said Wright.

"They form a very lethal combination with their talent, speed, experience and leadership. They are definitely mainstays on our offense and we're very fortunate to have receivers like those three guys. They ease the pressure and take away a lot of anxiety that would be there."

Glaspie put Culver up 28-0 with a 45-yard punt return with three minutes to go in the first quarter. Running back Justin Jarmon scored the two-point conversion. Next, the character, spirit and sportsmanship of public high school football was elevated when junior Sami Yates scored an 8-yard touchdown for Beverly Hills one minute later.

Yates, a wide receiver and cornerback, is a special needs athlete playing for the Normans. Beverly Hills head coach Jared Bunch and Wright met before the game and coordinated Yates' memorable highlight score. Wright: "It was a pretty cool moment and he seemed real excited and jazzed about it along with his teammates. Our players also went and congratulated him."

Centaur running back Joshua Ford took his only handoff of the day for 38 yards into the end zone as Culver took a 35-6 lead to end the first quarter. "It was just a little inside run and the offensive line did a great job of plowing a big hole. Once Joshua got into the secondary he was able to make people miss," said Wright.

Culver City scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Eckhaus to wide receiver Tanner Duve at the 8-minute mark and 32-yard run by Jarmon with a minute to go in the half. The Centaurs had a 49-6 lead.

Nick Lucero took over at quarterback in the second half for the Centaurs. Opening the third quarter sophomore Emari Pait returned the kickoff 90 yards for a scintillating touchdown. It was his second consecutive game with a kickoff return for touchdown. He returned a kickoff 85 yards last week at Hawthorne High. Lucero threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to John Reed with two minutes to go in the quarter. Keaton Asma scored on a two-point conversion.

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The school scoring record was broken with three minutes to go in the game on sophomore running back Ayinde Bankole's 24-yard touchdown run. It was only the fifth run of the game for the Centaurs, yet they gained 132 total yards rushing while scoring three touchdowns. Ford had a lone carry for a 38-yard touchdown, Jarmon had two carries for 51 yards and a touchdown while Bankole had two carries for 43 yards and his score.

Eckhaus completed 7/9 passes for 155 yards and four touchdowns. Lucero had a perfect 6/6 completion ration for 61 yards and one touchdown. The two combined to spread the ball across the field as a total of ten Centaur receivers caught 13 passes for 216 yards and five touchdowns. Reed led all receivers with three catches for 24 yards and one touchdown.

Luckett caught two passes for 37 yards and one touchdown. McGuire, Glaspie each caught one pass for a touchdown. Chris Miller, Dylan Clark, Kannon Davis, Jarmon and Antonio Moten caught one pass each. Kicker Matthew Lopez converted six extra-point kicks. The large lead allowed Wright and his staff to insert 25 players on defense for the game in preparation for their CIF Division 7 Playoff Game this Friday night at Jerry Chabola Stadium.

George Laase

Culver City's Tanner Duve returns a kick off against Beverly Hills last Friday at Beverly Hills.

"Santa Barbara is a very good football team in a pretty tough league with Lompoc and Santa Ynez. They were tied for second place with a 6-4 season record playing a tough schedule with Pacifica Oxnard and St. Bonaventure as well," said Wright.

"We've been waiting for the playoffs all season. That's what we've been working so hard for. I think the boys are up for the challenge and they'll be up for the challenge. So we have our hands full."


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