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Crenshaw's defense dominates Dorsey in 44-7 win

The Cougars held the Dons to three first downs in their quest to become the first L.A. City Section team to secure an invitation to a CIF state championship bowl game.

November 07, 2009|Ben Bolch

As stumbling blocks go, it wasn't exactly Mt. Everest.

Los Angeles Crenshaw's football team continued its pursuit of history Friday night with an easier-than-expected 44-7 victory over archrival Dorsey in a Coliseum League game played at Crenshaw.

The top-ranked Cougars are bidding to become the first L.A. City Section team to secure an invitation to a CIF state championship bowl game, and they unveiled a championship-caliber defense against the Dons.

Crenshaw forced two turnovers, pestered a quarterback into throwing away the ball in the end zone for a safety and held Dorsey to 18 total yards. The Dons never reached Cougars territory on offense.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday, November 09, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 National Desk 1 inches; 23 words Type of Material: Correction
High school football: A photo caption in Saturday's Sports section misidentified a Crenshaw High School receiver as Michael Cunningham. It was Geno Hall.

"They showed up," Cougars Coach Robert Garrett said of a defense that also held Dorsey to three first downs, including one by penalty. "I can't say enough about them. They did a good job tonight, on all cylinders."

Dorsey had averaged 37 points coming into the game, but the Dons' only touchdown came on an 82-yard kickoff return by Robert Herrion late in the second quarter.

Crenshaw didn't have any problems moving the ball.

The Cougars churned out 257 rushing yards, with Geoffrey Norwood gaining 156 yards and two touchdowns in 14 carries.

Norwood, who also plays linebacker, made an interception and kept playing despite sustaining a swollen eye in the third quarter when he was inadvertently hit by a teammate.

"I couldn't let my team down," Norwood said, "so I stayed in the game."

Fullback Hayes Pullard scored two touchdowns and tailback DeAnthony Thomas had 72 yards and a touchdown for Crenshaw (9-0, 4-0), which has won the last three meetings in the rivalry.

The Cougars were on their way to a comfortable victory after taking a 21-0 lead late in the first half on touchdown runs of 31 and 16 yards by Norwood and five yards by Pullard.

Dorsey (7-2, 3-1) used three quarterbacks but wasn't able to generate momentum with any of them.

Jorrian Washington took snaps exclusively on running plays and had 14 yards in 15 carries. The only pass Joshua Williamson completed in five attempts was an interception to Norwood.

Seeking a spark, the Dons turned to Joseph Gray at quarterback in the third quarter, but he completed only four of 12 passes for seven yards.

"We've been studying their plays and we had a linebacker always watching their quarterback in case he rolls out so we could go get him," Norwood said.

Linebacker Ronald Stovall forced Gray into a safety late in the third quarter when he pursued the quarterback into the end zone and Gray tried to throw the ball away while in Stovall's clutches.

Norwood said the key to Crenshaw's defensive performance was its preparation. The Cougars, who feature several key players who play both ways, spent three of their four practice days working exclusively on defense.

"We knew if we stopped them," Norwood said, "that would be the key."

To receive a bowl invitation, Crenshaw would likely have to win five more games.

The Cougars have one regular-season game remaining against Jefferson before opening the playoffs, where they could meet No. 18 Carson, No. 25 Venice or defending City co-champions Harbor City Narbonne and San Pedro.

"It would definitely shock the world, a City team in a state bowl game," Thomas said. "That would be great."

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ben.bolch@latimes.com

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