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High Schools | SOUTHERN SECTION FOOTBALL REPORT

Culver City Duo Is Well Received

October 23, 2003|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

Michael Bumpus and Jaison Williams are Culver City Coach Tom Salter's dream duo. They are also a nightmare for opposing coaches.

How else would you describe trying to defend two of the top wide receivers in Southern California -- at the same time?

Both are graceful athletes with soft hands and sprinter speed. They are highly sought college recruits and are a big reason for Culver City's 5-1 start.

The Centaurs' only loss came in Week 1 to top-ranked Los Alamitos. Last year, Culver City was 12-2, losing to eventual champion Lompoc in the Southern Section Division X semifinals.

"You don't usually find two receivers like them on the same team," Salter said. "They make it hard to defend us. Because of them, it opens up our running game."

Running backs James Magee and Armon Delauney average more than 7.5 yards per carry for a Culver City offense that averages 36 points per game.

Bumpus, who is 6 feet and 185 pounds, has been a top prospect since he broke a Culver City school record with 55 catches as a sophomore two years ago. He shattered that with 75 catches last year.

He has narrowed his college choices to Washington State, Louisiana State, Washington, Oregon and USC.

But things are going a little differently for Bumpus this year. He has missed two games because of injuries and started two others at quarterback when starter Chris Cueva had a concussion.

Bumpus has six catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns and has rushed 19 times for 337 yards and six touchdowns.

"It's fun having two of us out there," Bumpus said of playing with Williams. "We feel like when we're together and playing good, this offense can't be stopped. Last year, they tried to double me all the time, but now they've got to spread it out."

Williams, 6-4, 225, has just begun to shine. He played tight end last season out of necessity, but is making a mark as an offensive force this season with 17 catches for 319 yards -- an 18.6-yard average -- and four touchdowns.

He also has an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and has rushed 11 times for 119 yards and four touchdowns. He will choose among Michigan, Oregon, Washington and USC.

He credits playing alongside Bumpus for his development as a football player.

"I played Pop Warner, but I can honestly say I wasn't that good," Williams said. "Playing with Michael gave me goals. It showed me where I needed to be, and now I've reached that level and it's made our team pretty difficult to stop."

*

Redlands East Valley has suffered some one-sided beatings since making its varsity debut in the Citrus Belt League and Southern Section Division I six years ago, but the Wildcats are beginning to deliver some of their own.

Redlands East Valley (4-1-1, 1-0), which has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the Division I coaches' poll this season, hopes to exact some revenge from Redlands (0-6, 0-1) on Friday at the University of Redlands. The Wildcats have lost all six of their games against Redlands by a combined score of 237-6.

"The advantage they have is the mental advantage," said Redlands East Valley second-year Coach Kurt Bruich. "At the same time, our junior class has never lost to them [in lower-level games], so I hope that mental advantage is now gone.''

Last season's game, won by Redlands, 47-6, drew a standing-room-only crowd of 8,000 to Redlands.

*

When it comes to passing statistics, nobody has made greater strides in the last year than Anaheim Katella quarterback Ethan Haller.

Haller, a senior, spent last season as a backup for the Knights, taking only a few snaps late in one-sided games. Haller is making up for lost time this fall, throwing for a Southland-leading 1,783 yards and 19 touchdowns through six games. He threw for six touchdowns in a 49-7 victory over Anaheim Loara on Friday.

"We didn't expect him to mature as much as he has," Coach Dominik Unger said. "He seems to always find time to get the ball to his receivers."

Haller has two favorite targets: Brandon Barnes (32 receptions for 724 yards and nine touchdowns) and Daniel Wheat (30 receptions for 519 yards and five touchdowns).

They'll need to be at their best tonight when the Knights (4-2, 1-0) play host to Orange Lutheran (5-0, 1-0), ranked No. 7 by The Times, in an Empire League game at Glover Stadium in Anaheim.

*

Perhaps no rivalry has begun with as much intensity as the one between Temecula Chaparral and Temecula Valley. The first four games between the teams have been settled by a combined 14 points, including a triple-overtime thriller three years ago.

Chaparral Coach Dennis Amador said his players get especially pumped up for the game, which will be played Friday at Temecula Valley, because they're so familiar with many of the Golden Bears (4-2, 0-0). In the last two seasons, Amador has coached a player whose brother played for Temecula Valley.

"It's like the old Civil War, brother versus brother," said Amador, whose team is 4-1, 1-0 in the five-team Southwestern League.

*

Beaumont and Banning will play for the 70th consecutive year Friday night at Beaumont. The teams first met in 1929 and have met every fall since 1934, making it the longest continuous rivalry in Riverside County.

Banning (1-5, 1-2) leads the series, 40-31-7, but Beaumont (5-1, 3-0) won the De Anza league game last season, 21-0.

Another established rivalry that will continue Friday is Rialto Eisenhower traveling to Fontana for a Citrus Belt League game. The teams have played 39 times, with 16 of the last 17 deciding the league championship.

Fontana has won 27 games in the series, but Eisenhower has won the last six.

Times staff writer Dan Arritt contributed to this report.

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