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City Section football sees a shift in winners and losers

Jakob Galloway of Banning rushes against two Peninsula players.
Jakob Galloway of Banning rushes against Peninsula. He had 385 yards rushing Friday night against North Torrance.
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

These are strange times in City Section football. Teams that haven’t been good are suddenly winning games. Teams that have been good are suddenly losing games.

Take the case of Dymally. The school played eight-man football in 2019, going 0-10. Then David Wiltz was hired from Jefferson in the spring of 2020. On Friday night, Dymally improved to 2-0 with a 22-0 win over Gardena.

Hamilton, under former Crenshaw JV coach Norris Milton, is 4-0. Hawkins defeated eight-time City champion Harbor City Narbonne 34-0 to improve to 4-0.

Chatsworth, Kennedy, Palisades and Garfield are all 4-0. Roosevelt knocked off Dorsey 30-7 and is 3-1. Lake Balboa Birmingham, the 2019 City champion, is 0-4.

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A combination of new coaches, pandemic issues and program changes has left the City Section a changed landscape — at least heading into the midpoint of the regular season.

“I think COVID-19 changed the whole landscape of our section,” Garfield coach Lorenzo Hernandez said. “No one thought this would be occurring. I’m glad our section is suddenly competitive.”

Some things haven’t changed. All-City running back Jakob Galloway of Wilmington Banning continues to impress. He had 385 yards rushing in a win over North Torrance. San Pedro (2-0) continues to dominate when it gets to play.

Good news: The City Section had only one game canceled this week because of COVID-19 protocols. Chavez had to cancel against Franklin. That’s the fewest number for one week since the season began. City Section commissioner Vicky Lagos isn’t ready to celebrate. “It’s fluid,” she said.

Vaccine motivation: Garfield and Roosevelt players just received added motivation to get vaccinated under a new mandate from the Los Angeles Unified School District. They will need their first vaccination shot by Oct. 7 to be able to play in the East L.A. Classic on Oct. 29.

Changed Lancers: Orange Lutheran is 4-0 under first-year coach Rod Sherman after a 41-38 overtime victory over La Verne Damien. Quarterback Logan Gonzalez teamed with running back Desmin Jackson for an 18-yard game-winning touchdown.

Elijah Brown stars: It’s time to start paying respect to sophomore quarterback Elijah Brown of Santa Ana Mater Dei. He’s 7-0 as a starting quarterback in high school. In his latest performance, he completed 15 of 16 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-7 win over Henderson (Nev.) Liberty.

Pass out the cigars: First-year Dana Hills coach Tony Henney and his wife, Tess, had their first child, Lucas Alexander, born Thursday at 9 p.m. in San Luis Obispo. Henney then drove seven hours to Dana Hills on Friday. Quarterback Bo Kelly passed for 420 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Aliso Niguel. Then Henney drove four hours back to San Luis Obispo.

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“I’m always a guy who likes to run the ball, but with him you have to let him cook,” Henney said of Kelly.

Ventura County powers: Simi Valley (4-0) and Ventura St. Bonaventure (3-0) are looking like the top teams in Ventura County after wins over Saugus and Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, respectively.


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