Carson Making Its Annual Bid to Be Best in City
As the City high school football season got under way last weekend, Carson staked its annual claim to being the team to beat with a 34-0 victory over National City Sweetwater of the San Diego Section.
And this year’s Carson team is proving to be just as interesting off the field as well as on, thanks to the arrival of quarterback Perry Klein, a much-traveled transfer from Palisades.
After attending Agoura, Santa Monica, Palisades and Carson, Klein attempted to transfer back to Palisades last week because he did not like his situation at Carson. He changed his mind again to stay at Carson after discovering complications in his move back to Palisades.
So for now, Klein has to share the Carson quarterback spot with Fred Gatlin, on a team that is solid throughout.
Klein, who passed for 3,899 yards while leading Palisades to last season’s City 3-A championship game, had a good game against Sweetwater, completing 12 of 15 passes for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Gatlin, meanwhile, ran for a touchdown and passed for another.
Larry Billoups and Errol Sapp accounted for 210 yards rushing and receiving, even though they touched the ball only 15 times between them.
On defense, the Colts are led by Moheni Toilolo and Howard McGowan, who made 21 tackles against Sweetwater, tying the school record set by Colt linebacker Coach Rowan Tupuizao in his student days.
Even Carson’s kicking game seems to be in good hands with Louis Perez, an All-City pick last season.
Last year, Carson was rated No. 1 in the City throughout the season until its upset loss to Granada Hills in the 4-A championship game.
Carson has a tough test coming up Friday night when the Colts travel to La Puente Bishop Amat. The Lancers are coming off a 22-0 win over Rubidoux.
After a disappointing 6-4 season last year, Banning returns as a threat to Carson. The Pilots looked sharp in a 25-10 win over San Fernando last Friday night.
On offense, Banning features the passing of quarterback John Ma’ae, who connected on a 61-yard touchdown pass play with Lamont Shedrick on the opening play, and the running of Keith Mims and Chris Griffieth. The key offensive lineman for the Pilots is Bob Whitfield, who at 6 feet 6 inches and 275 pounds is regarded in some circles as one of the top offensive linemen in the nation.
Banning’s defense, which harassed San Fernando quarterback Mike Wynn, is led by 300-pound nose tackle Carlson Leomiti and lineman Sonny Fauvai.
Defending 4-A champion Granada Hills started the season where it left off with a 20-13 win over Jefferson. The Highlanders feature a strong experienced defense, including linebackers Sebastian Glaze, David Kim and Mike Godomski.
In the 3-A division, two-time defending champion Franklin looks strong again with the brother combination of Lamont and Lamar Lovett. Lamont opened the season with a career-high 223 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns in Franklin’s 34-0 win over L.A. Jordan.
The City has revamped its format. The old 2-A division has been dropped, leaving just the 4-A and 3-A divisions. The top three teams in the four 4-A leagues and the top two teams in the eight 3-A leagues will qualify for the playoffs.
League names will not be announced until next week but here is the new format:
CONFERENCE 1--League 1 (4-A): Fairfax, Hamilton, Manual Arts, Palisades. League 2 (3-A): Los Angeles, University, Venice, Westchester.
CONFERENCE 2--League 1 (4-A): Banning, Carson, Crenshaw, Dorsey. League 2 (3-A): Gardena, Harbor City Narbonne, San Pedro, Washington.
CONFERENCE 3--League 1 (3-A): Van Nuys Grant, Sylmar, Sun Valley Polytechnic, North Hollywood. League 2 (3-A): Sepulveda Monroe, Van Nuys Birmingham, Van Nuys, Reseda.
CONFERENCE 4--League 1 (3-A): Fremont, Jordan, Locke, South Gate. League 2 (3-A): Bell, Garfield, Jefferson, Huntington Park, Roosevelt.
CONFERENCE 5--League 1 (4-A): Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Granada Hills Kennedy, San Fernando. League 2 (4-A): Canoga Park, Reseda Cleveland, Woodland Hills El Camino Real, Woodland Hills Taft.
CONFERENCE 6--League 1 (3-A): Belmont, Hollywood, Lincoln, Marshall. League 2 (3-A): Eagle Rock, Franklin, Tujunga Verdugo Hills, L.A. Wilson.
In Southern Section action last week, top ranked Loyola struggled in its 13-7 victory over St. Paul. Loyola needed two field goals from kicker Paul Stonehouse to win. . . . Second ranked Crespi was not so lucky, with star running back Russell White used as a decoy because of an ankle injury, Crespi fell to Redlands, 28-6. . . . Crespi was not the only ranked team to fall on opening day. No. 7. Hawthorne, with star quarterback Curtis Conway having an off day, lost to Hueneme, 14-13; No. 9. Canyon Country Canyon lost to Newhall Hart, 33-28; No. 13. Riverside Rubidoux lost to Bishop Amat and No. 14. Channel Islands was defeated by Oxnard Rio Mesa, 19-18. . . . Loyola Coach Steve Grady will shoot for his 100th victory Saturday night when Loyola plays host to La Habra at Glendale High School. . . . Last season, Pasadena Muir forfeited eight victories after using an ineligible player, but the Mustangs are off to a fast start this season, having blasted archrival Pasadena Blair last week, 40-0. . . . In Bishop Amat’s victory over Rubidoux, quarterback Brian Harmon completed 15 of 21 passes for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns, and receiver Jeremy Smith caught 9 passes for 168 yards and 1 touchdown. . . . Hart has had the last two Southern Section passing leaders, Jim Bonds and Darren Renfro, and junior Rob Westervelt proved in his varsity debut that he’s a worthy successor. In the upset of Canyon, he completed 20 of 27 passes for 245 yards and 4 touchdowns, 3 to highly-regarded tight end Brian Allen. . . . In girls’ volleyball, defending state champion Irvine is ranked No. 1 in the nation in Volleyball Monthly’s preseason ratings. Irvine is led by two-time All-American Bev Oden. Other local teams in the top 20 are Manhattan Beach Mira Costa, 4th, and Newport Beach Corona del Mar, 11th.
TIMES’ PREP POLLS Southern Section No. School, League & Record 1. Loyola, Del Rey 1-0-0 2. Long Beach Poly, Moore 0-0-0 3. Fontana, Citrus Belt 1-0-0 4. Servite, Angelus 1-0-0 5. Fountain Valley, Sunset 1-0-0 6. Antelope Valley, Golden 1-0-0 7. Santa Ana, Century 1-0-0 8. Palmdale, Golden 1-0-0 9. Santa Monica, Bay 0-0-0 10. Mission Viejo, South Coast 1-0-0 11. Redlands, Citrus Belt 1-0-0 12. Crespi, Del Rey 0-1-0 13. Bishop Amat, Angelus 1-0-0 14. Muir, Pacific 1-0-0 15. Mater Dei, Angelus 0-1-0 City No. School, League & Record 1. Carson 1-0-0 2. Banning 1-0-0 3. Granada Hills 1-0-0 4. Franklin 1-0-0 5. GH Kennedy 1-0-0 6. University 0-0-0 7. Washington 1-0-0 8. Crenshaw 0-0-0 9. San Fernando 0-1-0 10. Manual Arts 0-0-0