Cleveland High School Coach Steve Landress should have seen the writing on the wall. Omens were around the Reseda campus all week.
First, the Cavaliers lost $6,000 in video equipment to thieves, then they lost two offensive starters owing to academic ineligibility. Then, Friday night at Gardena, Cleveland, The Times' No. 5 team in the City, ran up against No. 2 Carson and lost, 45-7, in the quarterfinals of the 4-A Division.
"We didn't have the horses to hang with Carson," Landress said. "They're a great team. We couldn't score, and we couldn't keep them from scoring."
In fact, both coaches agreed during halftime, when Carson (9-1) held a 29-7 lead, to play the final two quarters with a running clock. It was the end to a Cleveland season in which the Cavaliers lost three of their last four games.
"No sense in beating a dead dog," Landress said. "There's no sense in humiliating anyone."
Carson built its lead to 22-0 on the second play of the second quarter when running back Alvin Goree scored on a 90-yard run, and then left the rest to its defense. The Colts held Cleveland's star runner, Albert Fann, to 21 yards in 7 carries.
Manual Arts 13, Taft 6--Manual Arts running back William Jarret scored from nine yards out with 9:41 left in the 3-A game to give the Toilers (7-2) a 13-0 lead, and linebacker Kevin Johnson ended Taft's comeback bid seven minutes later by recovering a Mike Shwartzer fumble. Manual Arts quarterback Dennis Straughan completed 5 of 8 passing attempts for 122 yards and a touchdown. Taft finished at 6-4.
Lincoln 10, Huntington Park 7--Steve Silva scored on a one-yard run in the fourth quarter to give Lincoln (6-4) the win in a 2-A game. Frank Ortega also kicked a 37-yard field goal for Lincoln. Huntington Park finished 5-4-1.
L.A. Franklin 28, Canoga Park 24--Canoga Park, the top-seeded team in the 3-A, lost a 24-0 second-quarter lead and then the game as Eric York scored on a seven-yard run for Franklin with 4:04 left. That was set up when Canoga Park running back Mike Conover, who had 120 yards on 19 carries and kicked a 21-yard field goal, fumbled on his own 7-yard line.
After missing on his first 11 attempts, Franklin quarterback Ricky Lopez completed 12 of his next 17 passes for 229 yards and 3 touchdowns. York caught 5 of those for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Franklin is 8-2. Canoga Park finished at 6-4.
Wilmington Banning 41, San Fernando 8--Banning, rated No. 2 in the nation by USA Today and No. 1 in the state and the City, scored on its first four possessions in the 4-A game for its 21st straight win over a San Fernando Valley team.
Running back Ricky Moore had 86 yards and 2 touchdowns for Banning (10-0), while quarterback Ed Kapu completed 5 of 11 passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Kapu also ran for a touchdown in helping to end San Fernando's season at 2-8.
L.A. Garfield 36, Van Nuys Birmingham 7--Quarterback Johnny Gomez and receiver David Morales, one of the best passing combinations in the City, connected 6 times for 122 yards and 1 touchdown to lead Garfield (8-2) in the 2-A game.
The Bulldogs rolled up 424 yards in total offense and 21 first downs, with Gomez passing for 179 yards and with running backs Ernie Ronquillo and Enrique Robles rushing for 158 and 70 yards, respectively. Both running backs also had two touchdowns as Garfield padded a 9-7 halftime lead.
Birmingham (6-4) was led by quarterback Kevin Zeitz, who completed 13 of 26 attempts for 184 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
Granada Hills Kennedy 29, L.A. Dorsey 7--Quarterback Jeff Newman threw two scoring passes, and fullback Jerome Hill added 123 yards on the ground, including a 63-yard touchdown, to lead the Golden Cougars, The Times' fourth-ranked team in the City.
Stacy Ramsey also recovered two fumbles for Kennedy, which is 6-3-1 after rebounding from a 1-3 start. Dorsey finished at 6-4.