Culver City wins a thriller over Dorsey

Culver City wide receiver Alexander Smith (10) makes in a leaping catch near the end zone against Dorsey defensive back Jair Lindo during the second quarter Friday night.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Quarterback Jonathan Martin of Culver City is into computer science and creating video games. With 24 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in five games, he could make himself look like Tom Brady the way he’s been playing.

“He’s lighting it up,” Culver City coach Jahmal Wright said.

If Friday night’s game against Dorsey was considered Martin’s first big test of 2017, then he passed with an A+ grade.

Martin had three touchdown passes in the first half, then was forced to rally the Centaurs after Dorsey made a remarkable comeback to tie the score. Culver City finally prevailed 30-27 on a 17-yard field goal by Carlos Barillas with 6.9 seconds left at Jackie Robinson Stadium.


Culver City (5-0) is ranked No. 1 in Southern Section Division 11, which means the Centaurs are almost a cinch to be celebrating a championship in December. They have no business being in Division 11, not with players like Martin; defensive back Alex Smith, a Wisconsin commit; and receiver Charles Ross, a Nevada commit.

Martin finished completing 15 of 26 passes for 229 yards. He directed a game-winning drive after Dorsey (0-5) tied the score with 1:33 left on a 21-yard touchdown reception by Khaleeb Webb and two-point conversion run from Charles Mincy Jr.

Dorsey players looked up early in the third quarter and found themselves down 24-6. Angry and a little desperate, the Dons lost starting quarterback Mekhi Ellis to an injury. Enter tight end Isaiah Smalls, an Oregon State commit who used to play quarterback. Everything changed.

Smalls gave the Dons a burst of energy and determination. He passed 19 yards to JoJuan Collins for a touchdown. Then, early in the fourth quarter, Dorsey closed to 24-19 on a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Wood.

Barillas made a 32-yard field goal with 5:37 left to give Culver City a 27-19 lead. Smalls just wouldn’t let his team and teammates give up.

The Dons tied it up but they ended up losing because of too many mental errors. A 15-yard penalty for sideline interference aided Culver City’s final drive. And there were two offside penalties before the game-winning kick. Dorsey was called for 16 penalties.

This was a game Culver City looked forward to, because all the Centaurs had accomplished was pretty much win the battle of the Torrances. They had wins over Torrance, West Torrance, and North Torrance.

Even though Dorsey came in 0-4, the Dons had played a much tougher schedule and figured to put up a good showing on homecoming tonight.

During the playing of the national anthem, most of Dorsey’s players knelt in a group by their bench before standing just before the conclusion.

Their actions inserted themselves into the raging national debate of protests over a variety of issues that has drawn in NFL players and President Donald Trump.

Twitter: latsondheimer