Culver Football Kicks Off Friday Night

The Culver City Centaurs travel to open the season at West Torrance this Friday night at 7 o'clock. Last year Culver opened up with a big win over West 62-20 at home.

Last season West went 6-5 and was second place in the Pioneer league. The Warriors only lost one game to North in league and went to the CIF playoffs and lost 46-22 in the first round to Garden Grove. In the league, West rolled through the competition except for a close loss to North.

West is looking to win their first league title since they tied for first in 2015 and won it outright in 2014. Again it appears that they are the favorites along with North according to the Daily Breeze.

West typically has a very strong passing attack and is always led by a quarterback who generally has good mechanics and has an ability to run. Last year they averaged 31.2 points per game and had a very productive offense. They usually have one or two strong running backs and some very capable receivers.

The strength this year appears to be in the defensive line. West would like to lower their defensive point total, which was 24 points per game last year. With the type of talent they have on defense, that is certainly a possibility.

Last year junior Omar Fdawi started on the varsity and is strong and moves well. At 6'1" 265, he has the ability to manhandle offensive lineman and the quickness to run to the football and be very physical when he tackles the ball carrier, and this is someone we must pay attention to.

He also plays on the offensive line and appears to be a strong blocker who drives his defensive man backwards on a consistent basis. There are two other players that could give us trouble and they are senior Matthew Decker, 6'5" 225, who plays Defensive tackle and defensive end.

He appears to be strong and mobile. Another player that Culver needs to be aware of is Gardena Serra transfer Ben Lancaster who plays both outside linebacker and defensive end and is 6'3" 235. West also has another strong offensive lineman in senior Erik Kelso, 6 3" 220. He played last year as a junior and did a very credible job.

Last week Culver was supposed to play Villa Park in a scrimmage at Culver City, but Villa Park pulled out about a week ago and the Centaurs traveled to San Dimas and played the varsity and junior varsity. Coach Wright saw some bright spots for the Centaurs from some of the newcomers but also knows that we need to shore some things up to be a well-oiled machine like we were last year.

The team is ranked Number 1 in Division 5 by the CIF and would like to keep that ranking throughout the entire year. Culver should have an explosive offense again as they return Junior quarterback Zevi Eckhaus, who shattered the Culver City sophomore record with 50 TDs in a season. There's a possibility that he might break JT Daniels state record of 152 TD passes in a career if he is productive and stays healthy.

The Centaurs will start one of the fastest running backs in the state in Mekhi Evans-Bey (21.7 200m) He's got great moves and should be an exciting runner.

Culver has an outstanding receiving crew where three of the players have been offered Division I scholarships, Sr. Khary Crump, Jr. Makai Cope 6 2" 195, and Sr. Chris Miller. Three others are hoping to earn scholarships, and they are Sr. Tanner Duve, and juniors Emari Pait and newcomer Legend Waring.

The offensive line has two returnees in seniors left tackle David Naranjo 6 3" and left guard Blake Kneebone 6 4", who will also play on the defensive line this year. They will be joined by new starters Isaac Padilla, freshman Mason Marriwether, 6 3" and Dylan Nichols 6 6". Richard Farias will also fill in on the line and will also play extensively on the defensive line and some middle linebacker.

The Centaurs are hoping to win their first league title since 2016 and knock off Lawndale. They're also hoping to make a deep run in the playoffs, and it should be another exciting year of Centaur fast-paced football. Please come out and support your team throughout the season!


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