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Crenshaw gets early jump on Dorsey in 56-6 victory

The second-seeded Cougars open a 35-0 lead in the first quarter and win their ninth consecutive game to set up a semifinal matchup against No. 3 Venice.

November 16, 2012|By Steve Galluzzo
  • Crenshaw quarterback Ajene Harris leads the team down the field against Dorsey.
Crenshaw quarterback Ajene Harris leads the team down the field against… (Steve Galluzzo / For The…)

Often it is hard to beat the same team twice in one season, especially a crosstown rival.

"I'm not thinking about that," Crenshaw Coach Robert Garrett said about a possible finals meeting against the defending section champion. "We can only control what we're doing here. We're just going with the flow."

Second-seeded Crenshaw (11-1), which has won nine in a row since its 44-41 intersectional loss at Westlake Village Westlake, will host third-seeded Venice in the semifinals next Friday. 

Corey Walker capped the Cougars' opening drive with a one-yard run, then Dominique Hatfield returned a fumble 17 yards to give Crenshaw a 14-0 lead with 8:30 left in the first quarter.

After Crenshaw recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Jacob Knight scored on a two-yard run. On Dorsey's next play, quarterback Reginald Bell attempted a backward pass but it skipped off the turf and Kass Albert returned it 25 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-0 halfway through the first quarter.

Less than two and a half minutes later, Nolan Grigsby blocked a punt and returned it 23 yards for another score to increase the Cougars' lead to 35-0 with 3:36 left in the first quarter.

Crenshaw intercepted four passes by Bell when it beat Dorsey, 34-14, in Coliseum League play. This time, Noah Whitney took over for Bell early and finished nine of 13 for 113 yards with two interceptions. 

"The first game against them was closer in the beginning," said Crenshaw's senior tailback and defensive back Max Lyons, who transferred after three years at Dorsey. "We looked at film and noticed things we could do different. We got those three turnovers in a row and capitalized on each one. That was pretty much it." 

Jacob Knight's five-yard run made it 56-0 midway through the third quarter. Dorsey averted the shutout on a 40-yard pass from Whitney to David Williams three minutes later. A running clock was used in the fourth quarter.

"The defense was flying to the ball, making fundamental plays and that's what caused a lot of the turnovers," said Crenshaw quarterback Ajene Harris, who completed 12 of 16 passes for 209 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown to Michael Simmons on the first play of the second quarter. "It was surprising to put up that many points so fast, but we were fired up and ready to go from the start."

Seventh-seeded Dorsey (7-5) committed five turnovers in the first half and all but one of them was converted into a touchdown. The Dons did not gain a first down until 3:50 remained in the second quarter and they finished with 170 yards from scrimmage.

"I was shocked how easily we won but it shows how much better we are and how much more confidence we have," said Crenshaw receiver Mossi Johnson, who caught two passes for 39 yards. "We believe we have enough heart to make it anywhere."

Hatfield had four receptions for 89 yards and Lyons added three catches for 43 yards for Crenshaw.

In other City Section Division I quarterfinals, Narbonne remained undefeated with a 45-0 victory over Los Angeles Garfield, Venice edged San Pedro, 27-24, and No. 4 Carson beat Lake Balboa Birmingham, 33-14.

sports@latimes.com

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