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By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

Centaur football clicking on all cylinders at the right time

 

November 11, 2023

George Laase

Culver City junior wide receiver Justin Oum looks for running room after catching a pass from quarterback Sammy Silvia in the game against Capistrano Valley last Friday night.

Perfection is like catching lighting in a bottle. It's impossible to achieve but the Culver City High School football team is hoping to come close to faultlessness against La Serna on Friday. Kick off is set for 7 p.m. at Culver City inside the Jerry Chabola Stadium. The winner of the game will advance to the CIF Southern Section Division 4 final.

The Centaurs are hoping to duplicate their CIF quarterfinal game last Friday when they beat Capistrano Valley 44-16 at home. During that game the Centaur starters played their best game of the year for three quarters. The starters came out of the game in the fourth quarter because the score was so lopsided. The offense, defense and special teams were all on the same page. On the flip side La Serna won their quarterfinal game 50-14 against Trabuco Hills. Both teams come into the game on Friday with identical 9-3 records.

"We have to show a lot of discipline especially on defense against La Serna," said assistant coach Ray Singleton after the game against Capistrano Valley. "They are a very, very good team offensively and defensively and their run game is outstanding. Our linebackers have to play with a lot of discipline. It's going to be a very tough game. They are a hard nose team and they have beaten us a few times in the last few years but I in faith in our team. We are peaking at the right time."

Like last week the Centaurs will be facing a predominantly running team and Culver City will counter with one of the best passing attacks in Southern California. La Serna has eight running backs that have run for over 100 yards. Their number one ball carrier is Owen Long who has gained 1,045 yards.

Culver City will try to continue dominating games through the air and that's because they have a great passing attack led by senior quarterback Sammy Silvia. Silvia completed 21 out of 32 passes against Capistrano Valley for 202 yards and four touchdowns. In 12 games this season Silvia has 3,452 yards passing and 38 touchdowns. Those numbers are simply remarkable.

La Serna has eight runners who have run for over 100 yards and guest what, Culver City has eight receivers that have caught passes for over 100 yards. The receivers are led by the Singleton brothers, Myles and Braylon and Justin Oum. Myles caught five passes 67 yards and one touchdown against Capistrano Valley and Braylon had five catches for 49 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Pierce Reynoso carried the ball 12 times for 90 yards and he scored two touchdowns.

In 12 games Myles has 61 catches for 988 yards and 14 touchdowns and Braylon has 38 catches for 549 yards and six touchdowns. Justin Oum has 32 receptions for 377 yards and three touchdowns. Reynoso has 1,022 yards running the ball in 12 games and he has scored 13 touchdowns.

The offense has been impressive 11 out of the 12 games this season. "We continue to get better," said long time Culver City offensive coach Aki Wilson. "When Sammy plays well we are hard to stop. We can stretch the field and we can really run the ball well with Reynoso. Reynoso makes our offense a completely different animal. Teams are worried about stopping our passing game and now we have a solid running attack."

Wilson had this to say about the Singleton brothers. "The bigger the game the bigger they play. They take turns. You take away one of them and the other one will beat you. Pick your poison. They are both great athletes."

Wilson is also very impressed about the season Silvia is having. "Sammy is a baller. He is locked in right now. When he plays well we are hard to beat. Sammy is moving the ball down the field and taking time off the clock. This really helps our defense because now they can take a break while the offense holds the ball."

On defense last Friday linebacker J.R. Kirkwood had 11 tackles, lineman Darryl Davis had nine tackles and Braylon Singleton had four tackles and two interceptions.

Defensive and offensive lineman Keenan Carter is a starter on both sides of the ball. He talked about the win over Capistrano Valley after the game last Friday. "We watched film and the defensive line got together and talked about what we had to do. The offensive line also played well. That makes me feel real good when both lines are playing well."

Now it's the Culver City Centaurs against the La Serna Lancers in a classic battle between two very good high school football teams. "They are a very well coached team but we should have the speed advantage," said Centaur assistant coach Jason Grossman. "Our job as coaches is to be able to find favorable match ups. We have the athletes to compete with them now we have to find those intricate details that will give us the edge. It's going to be a hard-fought game."

 

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