The Centaur football squad counted another win Friday Sept 14 on the road against the Redondo Union Seahawks.
“This is a huge win. This is kind of like a make or break game for us. Being 1-1 we were teetering because it could’ve went one way or another. To be on the other side and get the victory, I think we are headed in the right direction moving forward,” Coach Jahmal Wright said.
The first quarter was not as productive as the crowd had hoped for. On many occasions, the Centaurs were forced to punt due to lack of pass completions and blatant personal fouls. The Seahawks took advantage of their struggle and placed themselves in field goal range at 7:15. The kick was good and the score remained 3-0 until sophomore Stanley “Scrappy” Norman swiftly maneuvered upfield. Yet, the rush was short lived as Redondo blocked and recovered the Centaurs punt with 5:48 to go. The Seahawks junior running back Jamaal Perkins was able to gain enough yardage up field to put Redondo on the 20 yard line to kick a field goal. Leading into the second quarter the score was 6-0.
Senior wide receiver Sydney Dorsey completed a 20 yard catch to put the ball on the Centaurs 15 yard line early in time followed by a score by sophomore running back Donovan Davis. The extra point was slightly off, however, the score was now tied at 6-6. The Centaurs then started back on a series of positive movement upfield as senior wide receiver Julius Wilson ran in a 21 yard touchdown with six minutes left before the half. But Wilson wasn’t done yet. With about 1:08 left, he ran back an 86 yard punt to put the Centaurs in the lead 20-6 at the horn.
“I definitely think I had a good performance. They tried to get me open space to see what I can do. I got more touchdowns off of punt returns,” Wilson said, who completed 55 passes, for 847 yards and five touchdowns his junior year.
At about 10:09 into the third quarter, the Seahawks scored and were put back in the hunt 13-20. The Centaurs had trouble communicating and completing play passes although their defense made up for it by forcing Redondo to punt with 4:52 left from the 15 yard line. Wilson caught it in the backfield and ran back 60 yards for his third touchdown of the night. The Centaurs tried for the two point conversion but fail.
“They kept kicking the ball to him. He’s a special player and we depend on him to do that and I’m happy he’s on our team,” Wright said.
With the Centaurs leading 26-13 into the fourth and final quarter, senior wide receiver and running back Miriel Paschel was able to keep up the intensity by putting the Centaurs within 10 yards of a score. However, the momentum came to a halt when the Centaurs offense exchanged punches with the Seahawks defense. Paschel, senior defensive and offensive lineman Kevin Melendez and Redondo’s senior running back Anthony Philyaw were immediately ejected and received a suspension for next week’s game.
“Ever since my freshman year it’s always been a little battle between Redondo,” Wilson said.
But this setback did not throw the Centaurs off task. Dorsey scored a touchdown with 4:41 followed by a 65 yard score by Perkins that answered back the boys in blue making the score 21-32 with 1:52 left. As the final seconds striked, Redondo blocked a short punt with six seconds left and managed to work their way to the goal line. They scored but was shut out of the two point conversion allowing the Centaurs to take a knee and run out the clock with a final score of 27-32.
“We have to clean up the small things. We made a lot of mistakes on special teams too with the blocked punts, two blocked extra points,” Wright said, “we scored a lot of points on special teams and I want to do a better job at punching the ball on offense.”
Culver City went on to defeat West Adams Preparatory 51-0 the following Friday Sept 22.