Junior Zevi Eckhaus threw for three touchdowns and ran for the go-ahead score to lead host Culver City to a 32-27 win over archrival Lawndale in an Ocean League showdown between reigning Southern Section champions Friday night.
Tanner Duve caught three passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns, and Chris Miller had six catches for 117 yards and picked off a pass in the end zone with 2:51 left to preserve the Centaurs’ lead.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Cardinals got the ball back at the Centaurs’ 40-yard line and drove to the six, but a pass by Jalon Daniels was beyond the reach of receiver Jeff Trepagnier in the corner of the end zone with no time left.
Eckhaus entered the game having completed 141 of 195 passes for 2,380 yards with 34 touchdowns and three interceptions and is closing in on the Culver City career record for touchdown passes (104) set by Darius Banks in 2007-08. Eckhaus threw for 50 touchdowns last fall.
Eckhaus added to his gaudy numbers Friday, completing 18 of 26 passes for 338 yards and three scores, the last a 13-yard strike to Khary Crump in the corner of the end zone that gave the Centaurs a 26-21 lead late in the third quarter. Lawndale answered with a five-play, 64-yard drive capped by Ma’Kai Williams’ 18-yard scoring run, but the two-point try failed.
Culver City marched 69 yards in seven plays to take the lead for good on a five-yard scramble by Eckhaus with 7:52 left. He finished with 66 yards in 10 carries.
After recovering a fumble on the Cardinals’ first series, Culver City scored first on a one-yard run by Emari Pait, but Lawndale answered on a nine-yard run by Daniels to begin the second quarter.
Daniels broke the plane of the goal line on fourth and two to extend Lawndale’s lead, then threw a 16-yard strike to Trepagnier on the final play of the first half for a 21-12 lead.
Daniels ran for 171 yards and two scores in 22 carries and completed three passes for 69 yards, and Reggie Berry rushed for 99 yards.
Culver City, ranked No. 1 in Division 5, won the CIF Southern Section Division 7 title last year. Lawndale, No. 5 in Division 3, won the Southern Section Division 5 title and the CIF 2-A state bowl championship.