Friday, Dec. 10
CITY SECTION PLAYOFFS
Birmingham 36, Dorsey 13
Two years ago, Lake Balboa Birmingham shocked the entire City Section with its stunning upset of Woodland Hills Taft to win its first football championship in nearly four decades. The Patriots scored 21 fourth-quarter points Friday night for another title that was just as impressive, if not quite as surprising.
Led by the running of tailback Brian Stuart and the passing of quarterback Andrew Miramontes, Birmingham scored a 36-13 victory over top-seeded Los Angeles Dorsey in the City championship game before an estimated 5,500 at the Coliseum.
Stuart rushed for 220 yards, 103 in the fourth quarter when he scored two touchdowns. The 5-foot-7 senior broke loose for a 15-yard touchdown run to give the Patriots a 21-13 lead.
Birmingham (10-4) then put the finishing touches on its second title in three years.
On the Dons' next possession, Dorsey quarterback Keith Charles threw a quick pass to Sydney Avery but the Patriots' DeJuane Adams jarred the ball loose and defensive end Hunter Rothman recovered.
Stuart's backfield mate, Milton Knox, delivered the final blow with an eight-yard scoring run with 6:39 remaining. Stuart, however, did most of the work on the drive by rushing six times for 36 yards.
Miramontes started the game completing everything he threw. On the Patriots' first possession, the senior connected with favorite target Corey Anderson for 25 yards to start a near-perfect drive.
The quarterback would complete five consecutive passes for 76 of the 83 yards on the march. On third and three, Jesse Salazar split the defense on a slant pattern and hauled in a 17-yard scoring toss. Stuart ran in a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Birmingham , the seventh seeded team in the playoffs, fed off the early momentum. The Patriots forced another Dorsey punt and turned to their running game.
Stuart ripped off runs of nine, six and 14 yards and Miramontes mixed in completions of nine and 14 yards. Knox, a freshman, then made it 15-0 with a terrific 15-yard run as he shed two tacklers before diving into the end zone.
Top-seeded Dorsey (12-2) looked shaken. Stafon Johnson gave the Dons a desperately needed spark when he returned the ensuing kickoff 41 yards to the Birmingham 35.
After an illegal procedure penalty, Charles connected with David Gettis on a 20-yard pass to the 20-yard line. Jeremiah Johnson ran for 18 yards on the next play and Charles got Dorsey on the scoreboard two plays later with a one-yard sneak.
The score stayed at 15-6 when Charles threw an incompletion on the conversion. But the rejuvenated Dons began to put the pressure on Birmingham and, in particular, Miramontes.
Dorsey sacked Miramontes five times in the half, four of them coming on the Patriots' last three drives. After completing his first seven passes, he completed only three of his next nine.
Jeremiah Johnson made it 15-13 when he bounced outside and went to the right corner of the end zone for a 11-yard scoring run. Stafon Johnson nearly gave Dorsey the lead before halftime when he put a devastating hit on Anderson, grabbed the ball from him in the same motion and went 55 yards for an apparent touchdown, but the Dons were called for blocking in the back on the return.
Fairfax 24, South Gate 18
Fairfax took a 14-0 lead in the first half and held off a determined comeback by South Gate to win the City Section Invitational division championship, 24-18, Friday night at the Coliseum.
It is Fairfax's first football title of any kind since winning the 1985 3-A championship.
After the teams traded field goals, South Gate (8-6) cut the lead to 17-10 on a one-yard sneak by Daniel Kozashy at the end of the third quarter. The Lions (9-5) responded with a crucial 12-play, 81-yard drive to open the fourth.
Jonathan Price bulled in from one yard out on fourth and goal to push the Fairfax lead back to 14 points. South Gate pulled to within six with 1:48 left when Peter Gonzalez scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Marco Pulido's conversion pass to Adrian Banuelos.
The Rams tried to recover a pooch kick over the first line of Fairfax's kick return team but the ball went out of bounds.
South Gate's defense held and the Rams got the ball back with 40 seconds left but could not make a first down.
Fairfax quarterback Troy Jackson completed 13 of 21 passes for 169 yards, including a 46-yard score to Price. Patrick Hill ran for 108 yards on 15 carries.
South Gate's Kozashy completed his last five passes on the Rams' final scoring drive and was 7 for 14 for 90 yards in the game.