Prep football notebook: Crenshaw picks up first win as roster continues to grow

Crenshaw coach Robert Garrett greets another coach.
Crenshaw coach Robert Garrett, right, continues to accept players to join the football team.
(Robert S. Helfman)

One month ago, Crenshaw High didn’t have enough players to have a football team. Fourteen participants were it. Games were canceled. Now the Cougars are nearing a roster of 30 and came away with their first win since the 2019 season by beating Woodland Hills Taft 42-7 on Friday night.

“We’ll take little babies and try to train them up,” coach Robert Garrett said.

The Cougars are adding players every week. “It’s growing and I’m still accepting them if they’re underclassmen,” Garrett said.

Quarterbacks Zion Bennett (senior) and Donce Lewis (sophomore) provided stability for the offense. Crenshaw is 1-1 and still looking for an opponent this coming week. The Cougars aren’t ready to face a top team. They’re in rebuilding and teaching mode.

“People think we’re Crenshaw of old,” Garrett said. “They see the name Crenshaw and get hysterical and run away.”


Garrett is hopeful a group of promising freshmen will stick around.

“When we get ninth-graders and play them at the varsity level, what happens is they get a little success, then they get recruited by street agents,” he said of recruiters trying to guide Crenshaw athletes to other schools. “That’s been our problem for years. I’m hoping it doesn’t happen this time.”

Record for Siskowic: Zachary Siskowic has been a starting quarterback at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Encino Crespi, so the expectations were high when he showed up at Orange for his senior year. He put himself in the Orange record book with 477 yards passing and seven touchdowns in a 67-47 win over Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley. He also had 81 yards rushing.

Close call: Unbeaten Norco came away with a 35-34 victory over Murrieta Valley by stopping a two-point conversion attempt in the final minute. Tobias Thomasscales was the hero, coming off the edge to force quarterback Brandon Rose to step up in the pocket before making the game-saving tackle.

Camino Real League power: Panorama City St. Genevieve (4-0) and Montebello Cantwell-Sacred Heart (4-0) are on a collision course to decide the league championship Oct. 29 at L.A. Valley College. Cantwell-Sacred Heart handed Verbum Dei its first defeat 51-0. St. Genevieve received 221 yards rushing and four touchdowns from Camdan McWright in a 54-21 win over Burbank.

Comeback: Chandler, Ariz., was the site for an incredible comeback on Friday night in high school football. Host Hamilton trailed Las Vegas Bishop Gorman 24-7 with 1:09 left and rallied to defeat the Gaels 25-24, aided by two successful onside kicks.

No-name defense: Mission Viejo coach Chad Johnson is bringing out the “no-name defense” motto for his squad It was first used to describe the Miami Dolphins of 1972. The Diablos had to replace 10 of 11 defensive starters from last season but are 3-1 and knocked off Mission Hills Bishop Alemany 30-7 on Friday.