Los Angeles Times

Carter feels rush as CdM QB

Cayman Carter said he would never forget how it felt to rush the football field after Corona del Mar High last won the Battle of the Bay.

It happened six years ago, when Carter was a sixth-grader. It hasn't happened since, CdM beating rival Newport Harbor.

Carter can help change that Friday night as the Sea Kings travel to Newport Harbor to play at 7. The field is the same one Carter charged as a middle school student.

"Any time CdM beats Harbor, it's a pretty big win," said Carter, who's well aware of Newport Harbor's dominance, a 37-13 record, in the series. "Seeing that kind of gets you going a little bit."

Carter is amped to get one final shot at the Sailors and end a five-game losing streak in the rivalry.

He said he's ready. He has to be, he's a senior and the starting quarterback for the Sea Kings.

This is Carter's debut season as the team's signal caller. Last week, he led CdM to its first victory, a 34-7 triumph on the road against Western.

Carter ran for two touchdowns and passed for one, finishing with 297 yards through the air and 55 on the ground. The first-year starter showed he could beat defenses with his right arm and legs.

Teammates call Carter "Tebow" after Tim Tebow, the backup quarterback of the New York Jets. Carter said he doesn't do the "Tebowing" thing after scores, but he runs like Tebow.

"I love to run," said Carter, who leads the team with 155 yards rushing. "I kind of try to bring a physical running game to the table.

"Some guys come soft on me a little bit and I try to lower my head a little bit on them."

Carter tends to win the collisions.

The Sea Kings have turned Carter loose early in the season because of his running ability. They might have to keep doing so with senior tailback Kai Wilson dealing with an Achilles tendon injury.

Wilson's status against the Sailors is up in the air. With two sophomores (Barrett Barbato and Cole Martin) most likely filling in for Wilson, don't be surprised if Carter leads the team in carries.

Carter only ran nine times last week. He unveiled his arm, completing 19 of 27 passes. The offense line protected him and gave him time to connect with five players on passes.

The performance by Carter was much better than the one in the season-opening loss to Laguna Hills.

"I think just being out there and getting that experience was a huge [boost to] his confidence, even though he didn't throw the ball a ton against Laguna Hills and then really didn't throw it that well," said Scott Meyer, CdM's coach.

The Sea Kings' no-huddle spread offense against Western looked more like the one that helped CdM win the CIF Southern Section Southern Division title last season.

Balance on offense is the key for CdM, which is a contender again. The Sea Kings (1-1) are ranked No. 2 in the Southern Division poll, despite having eight first-year starters on offense.

Carter has the most responsibilities of the new starters. He had big shoes to fill with Brent Lawson, the All-CIF Southern Section Southern Division Offensive Player of the Year, graduating. The two quarterbacks actually battled for the starting job in the summer leading into last season.

"I think everything happens for a reason," Carter said of backing up Lawson, who set CdM single-season passing records for yards (2,519), touchdowns (27) and completions (153) last year as a senior. "Right now, it's kind of hard to say, but I'm kind of glad I didn't start last year. I learned a lot from Brent. I don't think I could do what I do without him.

"He taught me how to rally a bunch of guys together."

Carter hopes he can lead the Sea Kings to a victory Friday night.

If the Sea Kings can pull it off, the Sailors will start the season 0-3 for the first time in 31 years. If that happens, you can bet kids will rush the field and celebrate with the Sea Kings just as Carter did six years ago.


Twitter: @DCPenaloza


Cayman Carter

Born: March 21, 1995

Hometown: Dallas

Height: 6 foot

Weight: 185 pounds

Sport: Football

Year: Senior

Coach: Scott Meyer

Favorite food: Grandma Sondra's shrimp.

Favorite movie: "Friday Night Lights"

Favorite athletic moment: "Winning CIF last year."

Week in review: Carter threw for 297 yards and one touchdown, and ran for 55 yards and two touchdowns in CdM's 34-7 win against Western.

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