Two of the top teams in the city will face stiff tests this week. Santa Margarita travels to Carson for a rematch of last years contest that was won by the Golden Eagles. Santa Margarita is ranked number 5 in the very competitive Pac 5 and is buyoed by its impresssive offensive and defensive lines.
In another top contests for the city section Redlands East plays Dorsey tonight. Redlands East has been impressive in a 30-0 romp over visiting Compton Dominguez to open the season and then shutting out San Gorgonio 35-0.
Meanwhile Taft will be traveling to Utah to face Alta.
All in all facing tough teams this early on will help these teams later on this season.
Yes its early but still its interesting to take a quick look early on the contenders.
Carson: The Colts appear to have all the ingredients in place to land consecutive appearances in the championship game. The Colts have a big armed quarterback in Kevin McMahon, all-everything wideout in Darious Rodgers and junior running back Rodgers Jones.
Narbonne: The Gauchos have perhaps the city sections most outstanding player in quarterback Troy Williams. And if you have a quarterback of this caliber then you have an outstanding chance. Narbonne played Long Beach Poly very close before falling 19-16 last week.
Dorsey: The Dons are always tough and seem to have an endless supply of athletes. No athlete plays bigger for the Dons than their outstanding player Jaydon Mickens. Big hurdle for the Dons is beating Crenshaw after getting pummeled the last two years by the Cougars.
Crenshaw: Hmmm what to make of Crenshaw after losing DeAnthony Thomas whos was one of the most outstanding players in the history of the city section. Is the cubbard bare? Time will tell on this one but Crenshaw with its recent history cannot be totally counted out.
Venice: The Gondaliers bring one of the cornerstones of city section football in Coach Oscar Gasca. Coach Gasca always seems to field very explosive offensive teams and this year should be no exception. Venice has an exciting passing combination in senior signal caller Dean Sarbia who threw 28 touchdown passes last year and wide receiver Gabe Marks.
While Venice will not be tested much in league play the Gondaliers should be primed for the playoffs with their stout non-league schedule they usually play.
One of the hardest things for high school stars to do is to continue to improve. This is esecially true if they have been offered a scholorship in their junior year. Yet this is exactly what Carson star WR Darious Rodgers is doing so far this season. In games against top flight competition Rodgers has been amazing. Against Mater Dei Rodgers was simply a man amongst boys jumping over a defensive back and snatching the ball en route to a long touchdonwn run and catch.
Still I was curious to see what Rodgers would do against a defense with top flight speed. And who better to provide that test than the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits. Again Rodgers shined. He hahuled in a 55 yard touchdown pass and seperated from the Poly defenders. Rodgers also made several other nice catches against Poly.
So far Rodgers is looking like a strong candidate for City Section player of the year.
Only one semi-final round separates Carson and Crenshaw for their much anticipated showdown for the city championship. Carson will face a good Taft team that has as good a passing combination as we have seen in recent times in Michael Bercovici and receiver Mike Thomas. For the season Bercovici has thrown for 3468 yards, 36 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. In case you are wondering he is an Arizona State commit.
Carson is no slouch themselves with its own version of the triplets in quarterback Justin Alo, running back Dion Willis and outstanding receiver Darrius Rogers.
Should be an interesting game, but look for Carson to prevail since it is the more complete team giving up less than 2o points per game compared to Taft giving up over 23 points per game. Also Taft has given up 30 or more points five times this season.
In the other semi-final match Crenshaw is the obvious choice. One potential wild card is Venice coach Gasca. Gasca is a brilliant offensive mind and if Crenshaw gets too predictable in its defensive sets there may be an opportunity for big plays by Venice.
Below are some comparable numbers of points per game, yards per game and points allowed We’ve compiled with some help from Maxpreps.com.
Note of caution these are not an apples to apples comparison due to level of competition each team has played. For instance Carson’s non-league schedule included Mission Viejo and Santa Margarita, while Taft played Crespi, Crenshaw played Norco and national power North Gwinnett in a nationally televised ESPN game.
School PPG YPG PA
Carson 32.3 321 20
Garfield 18.4 287 17.5
Analysis: Garfield may try to play keep away, but Carson is city’s most balanced squad. Pick: Carson 33-12
School PF YPG PA
Taft 43.5 501 26
Dorsey 38.2 364 14.5
Analysis: Rematch from this season. Look for Dons to repeat. Pick: Dorsey 38-24.
School PF PA
Venice 32.6 20
San Pedro 30.1 16.5
Although Coach Gondolier Coach Gasca is one of the city’s best offensive minds look for San Pedro defense and ground and pound attack to prevail 20-16.
School PF YPG PA
Crenshaw 45 358 6.4
Narbonne 37 306 19.4
Analysis: Crenshaw may be the most dangerous team in the playoffs. That combined with their team speed, stingy defense makes them the pick here. Pick Crenshaw: 33-12
Nice to see former Dorsey Don and Baylor Bear David Gettis enjoy some success in the NFL. Gettis one of the most prolific competitors in the history of California track and filed was a 3 time state champ in the 400 meters. At Baylor Gettis was an All-Big 12 Conference Honorable Mention in 2009. In 2010 he was a sixth round draft choice of the Carolina Panthers . Gettis enjoyed a break out game against the San Francisco 49ers with eight receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns. For the season Gettis has three touchdowns.
Its win or go home time. Not a ton of what I would consider good matchups on slate tonight.
#1 Carson v. Sylmar- Colts will handle the #16 seed Sylmar easily. Sylmar RB Jamal Jones (125 ypg) has been a stud all season.
#2 Crenshaw v. Granda Hills – Cougars with the do all De’ anthony Thomas, outstanding team speed and stifling defense usually embarrass inferior opponents. Highlander QB Joshua Szin will have his hands full. This will set up a nice second round game of Crenshaw v. Narbonne.
Narbonne v. L. A. Jordan – Narbonne is expected to have little trouble with the Bulldogs. Narbonne QB Troy Williams (233 ypg) is third in City Section. Bulldog QB Justin Lewis (180 ypg) has had a nice season and comes into the game as the City Section’s number 5 ranked passer in yards per game.
Gardena at Dorsey – Although Gardena has some offensive firepower with its passing attack and could make game interesting for a half, Dorsey and its star QB Joesph Gray (258 ypg) will prevail.
Taft v. West Adams – Taft’s QB Michael Bercovici comes into game averaging over 328 yards per game passing look for Taft to roll into probable second round game vs. Dorsey.
Kennedy v. Garfield – As you would expect with an #8 vs. #9 matchup this should be tonight’s most competitive game. Garfield is led by QB Leonardo Vaal Sophomore RB Lance Fernandez who was second in Eastern League in rushing.
Next Week’s Probable Matchups:
Taft at Dorsey
Narbonne at Crenshaw
Garfield at Carson
Venice at San Pedro