Someone should throw a parade for Eric Scott, the football coach of Los Angeles High. What he has accomplished in less than two seasons is nothing short of astonishing.
Last season, after taking over a 1-9 team, the Romans won the City Section Division III championship, their first title since 1965. But what happened Friday was even more newsworthy.
Los Angeles asked to be moved into the Coliseum League, home of powerful Crenshaw High, the No. 2 team in Division I in this season. And all the Romans did was beat the Cougars, 28-26, on Crenshaw's homecoming.
"It's amazing," Scott said.
Los Angeles (6-0) opened a 28-13 lead in the third quarter, then saw Crenshaw's Derek Moore return a fumble 48 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the quarter to close to 28-20. Then Aundre Carter broke off a 56-yard touchdown run with 9:20 left. Los Angeles stopped Carter short of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt, and the Cougars never threatened again.
There were many stars for Los Angeles. Junior quarterback Kayman Cureton, who has a recruiting visit set for Notre Dame, had touchdown passes of 36 and 57 yards to Justin Rogers. Elijah Thompson contributed a 34-yard punt return for a touchdown. Defensive tackle Martin Andrus was stuffing the run up the middle and pressuring quarterback Daiyan Henley, who was held to 26 yards passing. Thompson and junior cornerback Berdale Robins were magnificent in Los Angeles' secondary.
Cureton finished eight of 22 for 156 yards. Carter led Crenshaw with 131 yards in 13 carries. Twice in the third quarter, fumbles led to Crenshaw touchdowns. Los Angeles had 18 penalties for 141 yards.
"It's their homecoming but my homecoming also," Scott said. "I'm a Crenshaw guy from the heart. I was born and raised here. This win is like amazing for me and for my team. For us to compete the way we did and fight and come out with the victory . . . it was amazing."
Scott played for Crenshaw Coach Robert Garrett and was an assistant on the 2005 City championship team.
"It's a big deal. You're playing against your family," Scott said. "We're all Cougars at heart. We love Crenshaw."
But this was the game Scott had been waiting for to see where his program stood.
"This is the measuring stick. This is the test. We're taking the SAT tonight," he said before the game.
Well, the Romans got more than a passing grade.
"You don't know you're ready until you actually do it," Scott said. "That's why you have to play teams like Dorsey and Crenshaw. They're the ones you're going to measure how good you are."
Thompson said, "It's a new L.A. High."
It was Crenshaw's first league loss since 2011 to Dorsey, 7-6.