Robert Garrett has slowly built a winning football program at Crenshaw, capped by last season's victory over Chatsworth in the City Division 3-A championship.
Heading into Friday's Southern Pacific Conference showdown at Carson, the up-and-coming Cougars were being tabbed as this season's front runner in the 4-A race. They were 4-1 and rated No. 19 in The Times' poll of top teams in the Southland.
But after Carson's 14-6 win in a mistake-plagued game, it seems Crenshaw is still a year or two away from winning the 4-A title.
Although the Cougars played well enough to win, they lacked the size, depth and offensive weapons of the Colts.
Garrett offered no excuses in defeat.
"I'm not going to complain about the officiating or anything else," Garrett said. "We couldn't score and they played well. I think their guys wanted it more." Crenshaw, now 2-1 in the conference and 4-2 overall, was confident coming off last week's 47-0 thrashing of Gardena. But against Carson, the Cougar offense resembled a different team--it managed only 82 yards for the game.
Quarterback Eric Scott, who threw for three touchdown's last week, completed three of nine passes for 10 yards and an interception. He was sacked six times.
The Cougars' only points were scored by the defense, when junior linebacker Darrell Mayo recovered a fumble from Carson quarterback Jamie Sanders in the second quarter and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but Crenshaw led, 6-0.
The Colts went ahead, 7-6, in the second quarter when Donald Coulter scored a touchdown on a one-yard run over the middle.
Their only other offensive surge came late in the fourth quarter when Sanders capped a 61-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to Nakia Wheeler with two minutes remaining. The Cougars had one last opportunity in the closing seconds, but Scott threw an interception in the Colts' end zone as time expired.