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Wednesday, Nov. 24
CITY SECTION PLAYOFFS
Birmingham 41, Taft 19
If 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive guard Daniel Patricio and his fellow Lake Balboa Birmingham linemen weren't going to stuff themselves with turkey today, they'd expect running backs Brian Stuart and Milton Knox to feed them prime rib considering the pummeling they inflicted on Woodland Hills Taft Wednesday night.
Stuart rushed for 151 yards and scored two touchdowns and Knox gained 121 yards and scored one touchdown as Birmingham (8-4) earned a spot in the City Championship semifinals with a victory over West Valley League rival Taft (10-2).
"The coaches asked us to take it to the them," Patricio said. "We kept it up and never surrendered."
Said Birmingham Coach Ed Croson: "The offensive line dominated the game, and that's what it takes to win."
In avenging a 28-21 West Valley defeat to Taft on Oct. 29, the Patriots came up with a strong defensive performance that focused on containing elusive Taft quarterback Josh Portis, who was sacked four times and completed 13 of 25 passes for 133 yards with two interceptions.
Linebacker Byron Bullock stripped the ball from Portis in the first quarter and added a fourth-quarter interception. Lineman Hunter Rothman contributed two tackles for losses. And the Patriots' secondary limited Taft's super quick receiver, Jamere Holland, to three catches for 24 yards.
About the only effective Taft offensive player was sophomore running back Malcolm Smith, who rushed for 156 yards in 19 carries and scored one touchdown.
Taft closed to 34-19 with 2:36 left in the third quarter on Holland's five-yard touchdown reception from Portis. But Birmingham put together a 76-yard, four-play drive to seal the victory, with Stuart gaining every yard, including a two-yard touchdown run.
Birmingham opened a 28-13 halftime lead thanks to effective blocking by its offensive line, which enabled Knox, a freshman, to gain 100 yards and Stuart 57 yards. The Patriots scored touchdowns on four of their five first-half possessions.
Equally important was the Patriots' ability to stop Portis, who scored on a 39-yard touchdown run on Taft's opening possession, then was limited to six yards rushing the rest of the half.
Birmingham will play Harbor City Narbonne in next Friday's City Championship semifinals.
Crenshaw 47, Venice 17
John Thompson completed 13 of 18 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns as Crenshaw (10-2) avenged a 56-0 loss from last year in a Championship Division quarterfinal that turned sour during the fourth quarter at Venice.
Referees called seven unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and a personal foul in the fourth quarter. Five of those 15-yard penalties went against Crenshaw.
After the game, coaches from both teams verbally confronted one another with Venice coaches accusing Crenshaw of running up the score during the fourth quarter and Crenshaw coaches taunting the Venice sideline by dancing and pointing at the scoreboard.
Venice was within 10 points at 27-17 after a 50-yard touchdown run by Kenny Ashley with 11:21 to play, but Thompson threw touchdown passes of 51, 45 and 55 yards in the final 10 minutes. The last one, a 55-yarder to Marquan Jackson, came with 2:51 remaining and got Venice upset.
"It was payback," Thompson said. "We had to get it after last year."
Crenshaw Coach Robert Garrett defended his late-game play calling, adding that in last year's loss, Venice did the same.
"Fifty six to zero is a great motivating factor," Garrett said. "They didn't stop last year, so this was for the kids. They deserved to win this way."
Ashley finished with 132 yards and two touchdowns in 19 carries for Venice, which had the ball at the one-yard line with time running out but couldn't run a final play because referees refused to put the ball in play before time expired.
Dorsey 55, Sylmar 13
Jeremiah Johnson ran seven times for 121 yards and three touchdowns and caught a pass for another score to lead the top-seeded and host Dons (11-1) to victory at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Albert Russell caught a 30-yard scoring pass from Keith Charles with 1:02 left in the first quarter to break a 7-7 tie, the first of six unanswered touchdowns by Dorsey.
C.J. Gable of Sylmar (9-3), who rushed for more than 300 yards last week against Eagle Rock, was stymied by the Dorsey defense, gaining 41 yards in the first half on nine carries and fumbling twice in the second half. He finished with 130 yards in 23 carries.
Johnson scored on runs of six, five and 83 yards, and Stafon Johnson, who rushed 15 times for 180 yards, scored on runs of 30 and five yards, the latter giving Dorsey its biggest lead at 55-7 early in the fourth quarter.
Gable, a junior who eclipsed 2,000 yards rushing, completed a two-yard pass to John Austin on a halfback option for a score in the first quarter and added a two-yard scoring run with less than two minutes to play.
Narbonne 31, Carson 14
Harbor City Narbonne felt it lost a game it should have won three weeks ago against Carson, costing it a chance at winning an outright Marine League championship.
With much more on the line Wednesday night in the City Section Championship division quarterfinals, the Gauchos avenged that defeat and dethrone a defending section champion in the process.
Marquis Delgado's 59-yard touchdown reception broke a halftime time and Narbonne shut out Carson in the second half to score a 31-14 victory at Carson, putting the Gauchos in the semifinals for the first time since 1997.
"This means we've got some great turkey dinner tomorrow, that's for darn sure," said a jubilant Narbonne Coach Manuel Douglas. "We know what it feels like to eat turkey after a double-overtime loss in the quarterfinals [to Sylmar] last year."
Carson (7-5) won the first meeting, 23-14, but Narbonne never trailed on Wednesday. Travon Titus rushed for a game-high 175 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns but it was Delgado's score that turned the game.
Against an aggressive Colt defense, Delgado caught a short pass from quarterback Lamont Long and found himself with plenty of open space and one defender to beat. The running back escaped the tackle and went down the right sideline to give the Gauchos (10-2) a 21-14 lead.
Narbonne's defense took over. On its final five possessions, Carson had to punt, missed a field goal, lost two fumbles and turned the ball over on downs.
Oscar DeAlba's kicked a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and fullback Armaun Linton finished the Colts off with an 11-yard touchdown run after a fumble recovery by Justin Lata.
"The first time we played against these guys, they had us on our heels," Narbonne linebacker Kevin Garrett said. "Coach Douglas gave us a tremendous speech to lead us out here and we carried the momentum out to the field. We dominated."
"We came back from that loss three weeks ago," Douglas said. "The kids stepped up. We watched a lot of film, watched our mistakes to see what we could have done better to win that game and the kids did it today."
Titus, Narbonne's leading rusher, scored on a two-yard run in the first quarter but Carson answered with a 15-yard touchdown run by Phillip Knight. Titus gave Narbonne the lead again when he broke loose through the middle, cut to the outside and outran the defense for a 79-yard score.
Carson would tie the game again right before halftime. Quarterback Bo Napoleon, who led the Colts to the title last season, connected with Derek Hill on a seven-yard scoring play with 7.4 seconds remaining.
Napoleon completed 22 of 39 passes for 217 yards in his final high school game.
Fairfax 42, Locke 32
Patrick Hill scored four touchdowns on the ground and had 11 tackles on defense for host Fairfax (8-4). Locke finishes 6-6.
South Gate 17, Marshall 7
South Gate (7-5) went on a four-minute scoring drive late in the fourth quarter and sealed the victory on a 10-yard run by Michael Cabrera with 46 seconds to play. Marshall (7-5) had closed to within 10-7 with 4:57 to play on a 10-yard pass from Ritchie Samayoa to Moses Gilchrist. Marco Pulido kicked a 41-yard field goal for the opening score and Adrian Banuelos scored on a two-yard run for a 10-0 lead with seven minutes remaining until halftime.
Wilson 21, North Hollywood 14
Chris Patino completed 13 of 25 passes for 217 yards and touchdowns of nine yards to Euedelle Clayton and 40 yards to Brandon Tucker, both scores coming in the third quarter, to lead Wilson (9-2) past host North Hollywood (8-4). He had a one-yard sneak late in the first quarter. Marlon Lucky finished with 203 yards rushing, 150 in the first half when he scored both of the Huskies touchdowns on runs of 30 yards in the first quarter and two yards in the second quarter for a 14-7 halftime lead.
Los Angeles University 33, Belmont 28