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ERIC SONDHEIMER / ON HIGH SCHOOLS

Dorsey defense is the difference against Crenshaw

The Dons defeat the Cougars, 7-6, and take control in the Coliseum League.

November 03, 2011|Eric Sondheimer

If Dorsey Coach Paul Knox ever decided to put white stickers on the helmets of players who record sacks, the green that covers defensive end Jeremiah Allison's helmet would disappear.

Fifty-seven times Allison has dropped quarterbacks in his varsity career, and the only statistic more impressive than that is Allison's record of having never received a grade other than A on his report card in high school.

His all-out pursuit of quarterbacks is contagious for a Dorsey defensive unit that proved Thursday night that it ranks as the best in the City Section after recording six sacks to help the Dons pull out a 7-6 victory over Crenshaw that clinched Dorsey at least a share of the Coliseum League title.

"If you don't block him with two people, you're asking for problems," Knox said. "He's just a relentless player."

Allison had only one sack on the night, but three times Crenshaw players were called for holding penalties trying to block him, and another time he forced an intentional-grounding penalty.

"The defense stopped them every time we needed a stop," Dorsey safety Jaydon Mickens said.

Max Lyons of Dorsey scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 4 minutes 38 seconds left in the first half for a 7-0 lead. Crenshaw closed to 7-6 with 4:59 left in the third quarter on a 25-yard touchdown reception by Andre Edwards, but the extra-point attempt was no good.

And when the Cougars (5-3, 3-1) failed on a 25-yard field-goal attempt with 9:57 left, they saw their last good scoring opportunity vanish in a game in which both teams were whistled for more than 100 yards in penalties.

There were outstanding individual efforts. Crenshaw quarterback Jerry McConico showed toughness while enduring the Dons' pass rush. He finished with 273 yards passing. Crenshaw junior receiver Dominique Hatfield gave every indication he's a future All-City player, catching nine passes for 142 yards.

Dorsey punter Michael Robert was his team's unsung hero. He kept kicking the Dons (8-1, 4-0) out of trouble, including punts of 47, 44, 49 and 44 yards.

How big is the Dorsey-Crenshaw football game?

"It's bigger than UCLA-USC," Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Brian Price told me earlier in the week by phone. Price played at Crenshaw and UCLA.

Dorsey hadn't beaten the Cougars since 2006 and was demolished last season, 53-12, so the Dons' hunger for a victory was immense.

Traffic police were out in force 31/2 hours before game time at Crenshaw. A street was closed off to double-park cars. People lined up to buy tickets by the dozens.

This time, the Dons' defense came through again and again.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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