By y Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

Culver City High School football battles Palos Verdes for the championship

 

October 19, 2023

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Lineman Keenan Carter of Culver City gets ready to make a play on a Dorsey running back last month. Carter plays offense and defense for the Centaurs

Here we go again. Another big football game for the Culver City Centaurs. A few weeks ago, it was Home Coming and last week it was Senior Night. Now the Centaurs travel deep into the South Bay to face one of the best teams in the CIF Southern Section on Friday. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. against Palos Verdes. All of Palos Verdes home games are at 3 p.m. because their football field has no lights. Lights are no lights it should be an outstanding high school football game.

Palos Verdes Sea Kings are 8-0 overall and 3-0 in the Bay League and the Culver City Centaurs are 6-2 and 3-0 in the Bay League. On offense the Centaurs are led by senior quarterback Sammy Silvia, junior receiver Myles Singleton, senior running back Pierce Reynoso and an improving offense line. On defense Culver City relies on a very good line led by senior Keenan Carter, linebackers J. R. Kirkwood and Reynoso and defensive backs Braylon Singleton and his brother Myles Singleton. Holding down the special teams is one of the best kickers on the Westside, 6'3 senior, Henry Brownlow.

Silvia has passed for 2,422 yards and 26 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Myles Singleton has caught 37 passes for 670 yards and scored nine touchdowns. Senior Justin Oum has 27 receptions for 330 yards and three touchdowns and junior Braylon Singleton has caught 24 passes for 331 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Reynoso has run for 670 yards on 90 carries and he has scored nine touchdowns.

Offensive stats look great in the paper but defense wins championships. Culver City's defense will have to play their best game of the year if they expect to beat Palos Verdes on Friday. "You know what," said Culver City's defensive coordinator Derrick Huezo last Friday night after their 43-7 win over Peninsula. "We have to believe if we want to beat Palos Verdes. They are one of the best teams in the CIF. We have to come out and believe and play Culver City football. We still need to tackle better in open space and be physical up front. That we give us the best opportunity to beat Palos Verdes."

One of Culver City's best defensive players, 6'3 210-pound linebacker Kirkwood who wants to play Division 1 college football next year knows preparation this week is the key factor for the Centaurs. "We need to do the same things that we did tonight," said Kirkwood after the Peninsula game. "We need to have a good week of practice, make sure we study the film on Palos Verdes and make sure we do what we need to do to win the game."

Kirkwood had this to say last Friday on Senior night. "I feel like we deserve to win this game. We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the season. It's a blessing to win the game on senior night." Kirkwood is a three-year varsity player. "Playing football at Culver City I learned discipline and I learned how to be a man and to be able to handle adversity."

Culver City head coach Jahmal Wright was happy with the victory over Peninsula but he understands that Palos Verdes is on another level. "Palos Verdes is a great team. They have an excellent defense and they have a good coaching staff but we also have a good coaching staff. They are a solid team. To win the game we have to execute and not turn the ball over. We are ready to go to battle."

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Linebacker, J R Kirkwood harasses the Palos Verdes QB.

Against Peninsula the passing game was outstanding and one of the main reasons was the reemerging of receiver Braylon Singleton. His brother Myles and injured star receiver Mateo Torres were the main targets in the first seven games but Braylon made his presence felt against Peninsula. "It felt great because I have been slacking on offense lately so it feels good to get back in the grove on offense and hopefully this will transfer over to the Palos Verdes game," said Braylon. "We need to stay locked in mentally and not focus on their record."

The game on Friday my come down to who wins the kicking game and Culver City has an outstanding kicker in Brownlow. He had this to say about Palos Verdes. "It's always Culver City and Palos Verdes battling for the championship. We know who they are and they know who we are. Everybody is fired up."

 

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