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Peninsula Rolls Past Narbonne

Prep football: Panthers' running game is overpowering in 24-6 victory.


Narbonne High may have one of the City Section's rising football programs but the Gauchos found out Friday night that they still are not good enough to defeat a solid Southern Section team like Peninsula.

Dan Maloney scored two touchdowns and Cabot Denny added another as the Panthers used a bruising running game to overpower Narbonne, 24-6, at Gardena High and improve to 2-0.

"We just go out and try to stuff it right in [opponent]'s faces," said Maloney, who rushed for 130 yards in 22 carries. "I would say that we did that tonight."

With Peninsula quarterback Garrett Smith completing as many passes to his own receivers as he did to Narbonne defenders, it was a good night for the Panthers' ground game to be effective.

"Dan is a good football player," said Peninsula Coach Gary Kimbrell, whose team rushed for 261 yards but completed only one of three passes for four yards. "But we have good depth at running back."

Peninsula took an 8-0 lead late in the first quarter when Maloney broke two tackles during a 38-yard touchdown run and then added the two-point conversion.

What helped the Panthers was Narbonne's inability to hold on the football. Three Gaucho drives ended with fumbles in the first half, including one by Austin Uku late in the second quarter.

Peninsula took the second half kickoff and drove 68 yards in 10 plays to take a 14-0 lead on a four-yard touchdown run by Maloney. On the drive, Maloney gained 46 yards in six carries.

Narbonne finally scored late in the third quarter to cut Peninsula's lead to 14-6 when David Crockett, who caught a key 34-yard pass on the drive, scored on a two-yard run.

Peninsula then clinched the game with a 23-yard field goal by Scot McMorris early in the fourth quarter and added a three-yard touchdown run by Denny with 24 seconds to play.

"I told our kids before the game that [Narbonne] is a tough team," Kimbrell said. "They really came to play."

The Gauchos, who nearly reached the City Section 4-A Division championship game last season, did not help themselves by completing only four passes for 60 yards. With the loss, Narbonne dropped to 1-1.

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