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Dorsey Takes to Air to Topple Comets

City football: Dons score three touchdowns with the pass to beat No. 4 Westchester, 20-14.

November 22, 2001|GARY KLIEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dorsey High advanced to the City Section football semifinals Wednesday night with an uncharacteristic passing attack that produced a 20-14 victory over fourth-seeded Westchester in a quarterfinal at Westchester.

Dorsey quarterback Theron Shakir completed seven of 12 passes for 124 yards and three touchdowns, two to receiver Tremaine Towns, as the Dons held off a late charge by the Comets for their sixth consecutive victory.

Dorsey (8-3) will play Fremont, a 24-21 winner Wednesday over top-seeded Van Nuys Birmingham, in a semifinal Nov. 30 at a site to be determined.

"Other teams come in thinking all we can do is run, but we can pass too," Shakir said. "We don't throw it a lot, but when we do, we can be dangerous."

Westchester (9-2) came into the game having lost only to two-time defending Southern Section Division I champion Long Beach Poly. Dorsey knew it had to control Westchester's big-play capability to beat the Comets, and the Dons were mostly successful.

Quarterback Brian Johnson connected with Mike Sanford on a 77-yard touchdown pass play with 11:44 left in the second quarter as Westchester took a 7-6 lead, but the Comets otherwise were kept in check by a Dorsey defense that limited the Comets to 209 yards.

"We came out strong early but we kind of died off in the second half," said Johnson, who completed nine of 20 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns. "They didn't let up. They kept coming."

Dorsey took a 12-7 lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Shakir to tight end Jerome Johnson with 9:32 left in the third quarter.

Towns, who produced Dorsey's first touchdown on a 26-yard pass play in the first quarter, scored what proved the game-winning touchdown with a leaping catch that completed a 45-yard scoring play.

Dorsey defensive back Marques Binns set up the touchdown by intercepting a halfback-option pass by Sam Calhoun with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.

Two plays later, Shakir lofted a pass down the right sideline and Towns, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior, out-jumped the 5-9 Sanford to catch the ball for an 18-7 lead. LeMark Henderson rushed for the two-point conversion to increase the margin to 14 points.

"We run that play in practice all the time and the coaches are always telling me I have to go up because I usually don't," said Towns, who also played a stellar game at defensive end.

"But I [jumped] that time--and I'm sure glad I did."

The teams traded possessions throughout the fourth quarter until Westchester took over at its own 36-yard line with 2:24 left.

Johnson then completed five consecutive passes, including a 17-yard touchdown to Kenny Franklin that brought the Comets to within seven points with 1:12 left.

Westchester tried an onside kick, but Dorsey recovered and ran out the clock.

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