Culver City Football Steps into the Winner's Circle
October 17, 2019
Quick, what local football team has a winning record? It's not the Rams (3-3), not the Chargers (2-4), not USC (3-3) and certainly not UCLA at 1-6. It's Culver City High School's varsity team. They are 7-0 and one of the most exciting teams in the Los Angeles area.
Led by the passing and running of junior quarterback Zevi Eckhaus, the running of Mekhi Evans-Bey, a group of great receivers and an improving defense the Centaurs have turned into the high school version of the Greatest Show on Turf. They are in first place in the Ocean league.
The Culver City girls' volleyball team is also in first place in the Ocean League with a record of 19-7 overall and 7-1 in Ocean League play. They start their quest for a CIF championship when the playoffs begin next week.
The Rams and Chargers have hit a wall and both teams are in jeopardy of not making the playoffs. The Rams were beaten by San Francisco 20-7, and the Steelers beat the Chargers 24-17 last Sunday and to make matters worse both of those games were at home.
What seems to be the problem? For the Rams it's several things starting with the lack of a consistent running game. Right now, Rams running back Todd Gurley Is not the same as he was part of last year and the year before. The Rams lost two experience offensive linemen and replaced them with inexperience players.
Without a solid running game and a different offensive line it's putting a lot of pressure on Rams quarterback Jared Goff. Last Sunday, Goff was sacked four times and completed only 13 passes out of 24 attempts for 78 yards. Those were the lowest totals in his career.
The Chargers were down 24-0 before they scored all of their 17 points in the fourth quarter. On Sunday, the defense was missing open field tackles as the Steelers controlled the ball. When asked after the game Sunday, did he ever consider replacing Hall of Fame quarterback Phillip Rivers with veteran Tyrod Taylor, Charger head coach Anthony Lynn said no. At 2-4, the season is slowly slipping away for the Chargers.
Another problem both teams have is not having home field advantage. Last Sunday at the Coliseum there were 60 percent 49ers fans. At the Chargers home field, it was 80 percent Steeler fans. Hopefully, that will change when both teams move into the new stadium next year.
UCLA played their football game Thursday at Stanford and USC plays Arizona on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Coliseum. The good news for the Trojan is they are still in the running for a Pac-12 South championship. They are tied for first in the South with four other teams and UCLA is tied for last with Colorado.
The Lakers and Clippers start their season on Tuesday when they play each other at the Staples Center at 7:30 p.m. Both teams have super stars so it's going to come down to which team can stay healthy.
The Dodgers made the right decision by not firing manager Dave Roberts. It's extremely hard to a win a championship on any level; just ask the players and coaches. Fans think championships grow on trees.
This sports column is dedicated to former Culver City Observer Editor and Sports Editor Mitch Chortkoff.