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Carson scoops up a victory over Garfield

The battle-tested Colts shake off a slow start to defeat the Bulldogs, 24-7, in first round of City Section Division I playoffs.

November 18, 2011|By Steve Galluzzo

Perhaps there's something to be said for playing a strong schedule after all.

Carson overcame a sluggish start to score the last 24 points of a 24-7 victory over Garfield in the first round of the City Section Division I playoffs Friday night at Carson High. The Colts will travel to fourth-seeded Venice in the quarterfinals next Friday.

Defensive end Manoah Pearson scooped up a fumble and went 24 yards for the clinching touchdown with 6:07 left in the fourth quarter. Roye Love intercepted a pass at Carson's 35 on the Bulldogs' ensuing drive.

"It was a bad pitch that bounced off the helmet of No. 40 [fullback Larry Ravelo] and landed right in my hands, and I took it in from there," Pearson said. "It was almost like we started off in the playoffs with all the tough teams we played early, so this felt more like a regular-season game for us."

Kevin McMahon's one-yard quarterback sneak capped an 11-play, 54-yard drive that gave the fifth-seeded Colts (6-5) a 17-7 lead with 10:05 left in the fourth quarter.

"This whole week the coaches were telling us how the playoffs are all about adversity," said McMahon, who completed seven of 12 passes for 41 yards. "We've always gotten the ball first, so it caught us off guard when they went down and scored first, but we didn't let it get to us."

Garfield (5-6) drove 83 yards in 14 plays on the game's first possession, scoring on a three-yard run by Ravelo to take a 7-0 lead. Lance Fernandez rushed for 84 yards in 14 carries for the Bulldogs.

Carson Coach Elijah Asante filled his nonleague schedule with Santa Ana Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly, Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo and San Diego Lincoln, and the strategy was scrutinized after Carson finished third in the Marine League behind San Pedro and Narbonne.

"The Marine League is no joke and it would be great to play either San Pedro or Narbonne again," McMahon said. "We have Venice next, though, and that's all we're concentrating on."

—Steve Galluzzo

Huntington Beach 31, Loyola 21: Michael Chislock had two touchdown passes and ran in another as the Oilers (9-2) won the Pac-5 Division playoff opener at L.A. Valley College.

Birmingham 21, Arleta 18: Trae Smith's three-yard touchdown run with 1:07 left gave Birmingham the first-round City Division I win. De'Jon Coleman of Arleta set the City Section season record with his 47th touchdown.

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