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Crenshaw Edges Banning, 14-7 : Football: The victory guarantees Cougars (8-1 overall) the best record in the Southern Pacific Conference.


Crenshaw Coach Robert Garrett shouted at the referees. He also yelled at his players. But Garrett made his biggest impact when he whispered to his quarterback.

"I want to run another play," he said.

Late in the fourth quarter, Garrett told Crenshaw quarterback Ricky Lumford to run a dive play instead of a sweep, and it changed the direction of the game Friday as the Cougars pulled off a 14-7 win over Banning at Crenshaw.

The win guaranteed Crenshaw (8-1 overall) the best record in the Southern Pacific Conference.

Noticing one of Banning's top defenders had hobbled off the field, Garrett used a brief timeout to call his quarterback over to the sidelines and whisper a new play.

"We changed from a sweep left to a fullback dive," Garrett said.

Facing third down and four from the Banning 38-yard line, Lumford handed off to Brandon Seals, who ran eight yards up the middle. Five plays later, Seals scored from the three with 4:08 remaining. The touchdown completed a 12-play, 72-yard drive.

On their previous possession, Crenshaw faked a punt on fourth down and Lumford ran six yards to the Crenshaw 14--but that was 21 yards short of a first down and the Cougars lost possession.

Garrett, however, thought he had a free play to run after the botched fake because the Pilots had 12 men on the field--an infraction calling for a 15-yard penalty and repeat of the down. But the referees declined to call a penalty, ruling that one of the Banning players was running off the field.

That brought an explosive response from Garrett, but to no avail.

Four plays later, Banning tied the score, 7-7, on Dupree Tave's four-yard run with 8:40 remaining.

The running of Seals and backfield mate Farrel Payton, however, had Garrett looking like a coaching genius. The seniors combined for 207 yards and two touchdowns. Payton scored the Cougars' first touchdown on a 20-yard run early in the third quarter.

"Banning was determined to run on us," Garrett said. "You can't come over to my house and run the ball on us or we're going to run on you."

As it was, Banning had trouble mounting any offensive attack against the Cougar defense, managing 171 yards rushing and 10 yards passing.

Next week: Crenshaw at Gardena

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