Carson is seeded No. 1 for City playoffs

Elijah Asante doesn't duck anyone.

The Carson High football coach guided his team through a nonleague schedule that included games against Mission Viejo, Santa Ana Mater Dei and Santa Margarita.

Scheduling heavyweights, it appears, helped turn Asante's Colts into one.

Carson's marquee nonleague victory over Mater Dei and an undefeated run through the Marine League helped propel the Colts on Saturday to the top seeding for the Los Angeles City Section Division I playoffs.

"I think it was a referendum on competition and scheduling, and they voted for what we are about," Asante said, referring to the seeding committee comprised of City coaches.

Carson (8-2) will play host to Sylmar (5-5) in the first round Friday.

Defending City champion Crenshaw (8-2) was awarded the No. 2 seeding and will play host to Granada Hills (4-6) on Friday. Venice (6-4) received the No. 3 seeding and Dorsey (9-1) the No. 4 seeding.

Carson's case for the top seeding was bolstered by the committee picking the Marine League as the toughest in the City. The Colts finished 5-0 in league play, with notable victories over San Pedro and Harbor City Narbonne.

Asante said he didn't think being seeded No. 1 as opposed to No. 2 provided much of an advantage.

"You both have three home games and then the Coliseum" for the championship, he said. "You still have to win."

Crazy ending

It only took one of the wackiest plays Jon Mack has seen in 29 years of coaching to get Encino Crespi back in the Pac-5 Division playoffs after a two-year absence.

With the Celts' Serra League game against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame tied and four seconds left, Crespi receiver Michael Davison caught a pass around his team's 45-yard line. Davison broke several tackles before it appeared he would be brought down about five yards inside Knights territory.

He wasn't. Davison pitched the ball to Terrence Williams, who weaved his way inside the 10 before a defender wrapped up his legs. But Williams wouldn't go down, bulling his way toward the end zone and then diving past the goal line with the defender still holding onto him.

"A big deal was made of the pitch," Mack said, "but there were three or four outstanding blocks. … The kids didn't quit. With two seconds left, they still believed."

Staying home

One of the longest playoff streaks in state history will come to an end when Newhall Hart stays home for the postseason for the first time since 1980.

The Indians, who featured a litany of major-college quarterbacks over the last 15 years, were 5-5 and finished in fifth place in the Foothill League.

Even though there is one at-large berth available in the Northern Division playoffs, it cannot go to Hart. Saugus, which defeated Hart and finished fourth in the Foothill League, would have priority over the Indians based on its league finish.

La Mirada and Long Beach Poly, who have each made the playoffs in every season since 1980, hold the state record with 31 consecutive playoff appearances.

Historic triumph

Goleta Dos Pueblos won its first league title since 1979 after junior running back Josh Bartley ran for 271 yards and three touchdowns Friday during a 34-7 victory over Santa Barbara San Marcos.

Correspondent Eric Maddy contributed to this report.

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