The Narbonne high football team spotted Garfield a touchdown in the City Section Open Division championship but quickly shut the door on any thoughts of a Bulldogs upset.
After trailing by seven at the 2:16 mark of the first quarter, top-seeded Narbonne scored 55 straight points to close out its fifth-straight City Section title with a 55-7 rout of Garfield on Friday night at El Camino College.
The win marked the Gauchos’ seventh title in the last eight seasons and coach Manuel Douglas’ ninth as the Narbonne head coach, moving him into a tie with Jim Blewett of Manual Arts as the City Section’s all-time winningest coach in championship games.
Narbonne (10-3) played well in all three aspects of the game, scoring three special teams touchdowns and one defensive touchdown, in addition to its four offensive scores.
“When you’re clicking in all three phases of the game, you’re going to have a chance to win,” Douglas said. “We could do pretty much whatever we wanted to do.”
Gauchos linebacker Jordan Banks, who had three sacks and one of the special teams touchdowns, said Narbonne is untouchable if it continues to play the way it did Friday.
“When we’re all working as one unit and playing fast and physical, the results will come,” he said. “We’re champions.”
While happy with the win, Douglas has his eyes on a bigger prize.
“Our goal is to play 16 games every season,” he said. “We’re trying to win a state championship and this is just the next step. This was the quarterfinals for us, next week’s [regional] game being the semifinals and then the state championship.”
The Gauchos offense got an extended break throughout the game, but especially in the first half thanks to the defense and special teams units.
Narbonne benefited from a 79-yard kick return touchdown from Ja’maree Boone, a 19-yard punt block return score from Banks and a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown by Vincent Tucker to take a 34-7 lead into halftime.
The Gauchos held Garfield to 12 yards rushing in the first half and to 92 total yards of offense through two quarters.
Running backs Jojuan Collins and Jack Brown rounded out the Narbonne scoring in the first half, rushing for scores of two and nine yards, respectively.
Garfield (12-1) scored its only touchdown on an 11-yard quarterback keeper from Jonathan Bautista.
Garfield is eligible for state bowl game consideration because of its participation in the Open Division.