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Charls Shows He Is in Charge

From Staff Reports

Granada Hills quarterback Brandon Charls remembered all too well the drubbing administered by Woodland Hills Taft last season on the Toreadors’ path to the City Section championship game.

Imagine how he felt after leading the Highlanders in a 55-28 defeat of the Toreadors in a rescheduled West Valley League game Monday afternoon at Granada Hills.

“Matt [Streid] and I were saying the night before how we really wanted this game,” said Charls, who accounted for four touchdowns. “We’ve never beaten them at all since being on varsity. We didn’t beat them in a passing league game, but we came close a couple times. I was expecting a lot closer game.”

So did just about everyone else. While Taft (5-3, 2-1 in league play) may have had its eye on a possible league showdown Thursday night against Lake Balboa Birmingham, the Highlanders (6-2, 2-1) quickly ruined those plans with an impressive offensive performance to avenge last year’s 42-0 loss to Taft.

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Charls threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and had 70 yards and two scores on the ground. Jammal Rashad had three short touchdown runs to help Granada Hills take a 35-7 halftime lead en route to ending Taft’s five-game winning streak.

The Highlanders had 456 yards and didn’t punt until 35 seconds remained.

“Brandon Charls played a great game, and our receivers did a real good job of catching the ball,” co-Coach Tom Harp said. “What I liked was the third quarter when they scored and we got the ball back. We showed some ball control [on a nine-minute scoring drive] and ran a lot of time off.

“You have to do that because Taft has such a great offense.”

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Rashad had scoring runs of one and two yards to cap Granada Hills’ first two drives. Eleston Thompson intercepted a pass by Josh Portis and the Highlanders marched 64 yards in eight plays, with Charls finishing the drive with a three-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 lead.

Portis completed 17 of 29 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns. Ian Bell had an 18-yard touchdown reception and a 63-yard touchdown run.

-- Eric Stephens

L.A. Dorsey 49, L.A. Fremont 14 -- Jeremiah Johnson had 121 yards and five touchdowns in 11 carries, and Stafon Johnson had 228 yards and one touchdown in 18 carries at Fremont.

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Jeremiah Johnson scored on runs of six, 66, six, 12 and 23 yards, and Stafon Johnson scored the Dons’ final touchdown on a three-yard run with 7 minutes 56 seconds left. The other touchdown for Dorsey (8-0, 3-0), ranked No. 13 by The Times, came on a 24-yard pass from Donald Prince to David Gettis in the second quarter.

“He’s a great runner. It definitely helps having Stafon in the backfield with me,” Jeremiah Johnson said. “We’re like the gruesome twosome. If they stop me, they can’t stop him. If they stop him, they won’t stop me.”

Despite being penalized 10 times for 100 yards in the first two quarters, Dorsey led, 29-14, at halftime.

Curtis Johnson completed five of nine passes for 22 yards and had 29 yards in 10 carries for Fremont (5-2-1, 1-2), which was limited to 107 yards.

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-- Steve Galluzzo


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