Writeups by Ronnie Flores, Mark Tennis
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In a matchup of Southern California’s two top-ranked clubs, L.A. City Section Division I champ Narbonne was the higher ranked team, but Centennial’s offense was the one Gauchos head coach Manual Douglas emulated to get his team to elite status.
Chalk one up for the teacher as the CIF Southern Section Inland Division champions from Centennial earned its fourth CIF bowl game berth, and its first in the open division, with a 41-34-victory over Narbonne.
Centennial dominated early on the Cerritos College turf and took a 27-8 halftime lead. Narbonne dominated the second half and eventually tied the game at 34-34 with 1:09 remaining in the game on a three-yard run by A.J. Richardson out of Wildcat formation.
Centennial, however, didn’t panic and punched its ticket for Carson on a 14-yard swing pass from junior quarterback Robert Webber to running back Tre Watson with 22 seconds left.
Narbonne potentially had a chance to take a 35-34 lead on its last touchdown, but Richardson, the holder on extra points, was injured on the score.
Douglas decided to go for a two-point conversion. It was no good.
“I couldn’t be that guy to lose the game for my team,” Watson said. “This is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life. Starting on Monday, this is all in the past.”
Centennial will face De La Salle of Concord in a CIF Open Division bowl game rubber match. The two juggernaut problems split games in Division I back in 2007 and 2008. Centennial’s 21-16 victory over De La Salle at the conclusion of the 2008 season also represents De La Salle’s last loss to a California opponent.
“We know what De La Salle brings to the table; they are what they are,” said Centennial coach Matt Logan. “They are the pinnacle of high school football. At first I wasn’t sure about the regional bowl game concept, but this felt like the state playoffs…something you’d see in Texas.”
Narbonne (14-1) had trouble slowing down Centennial junior quarterback Robert Webber, especially in the first half. Running Logan’s no-huddle spread offense to perfection, Webber completed 20 of 37 passes for 319 yards with four touchdowns. He also rushed for 67 yards on nine carries.
Webber’s performance was just enough to offset the massive effort of Narbonne all-state quarterback Troy Williams. The Washington commit accounted for 462 total yards and four touchdowns: 28 of 37 for 367 yards passing and 11 rushes for 105 yards on the ground while trying to protect a less than 100 percent throwing shoulder because of an injury suffered in the L.A. City Section semifinals. Williams threw three touchdowns and an interception and added a 27-yard touchdown run to pull Narbonne within five points (27-22) with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter.
Centennial has experience against De La Salle, but now has to get emotionally and physically up for the three-time defending CIF open division bowl game champs and it will be hard for the Huskies to top this gutsy performance.
Serra sends Edison back to the beach with D2 triumph
Super-talented Serra of Gardena punched its ticket for next Saturday’s CIF Division II bowl game by exploding in the second half for 20 unanswered points in a 27-10 win over Edison of Huntington Beach.
It was no secret Serra (13-2) had more team speed, but Edison (13-2) led 10-7 at halftime before a mostly pro-Charger crowd at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. The Cavs then took a 14-10 lead on quarterback Jalen Green’s four-yard keeper to cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive early in the third quarter.
After a 20-yard field goal and a 41-yard interception return by Serra linebacker Malachi Mageo early in the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers were in complete control. Junior Adoree Jackson’s 59-yard interception for a score with just under three minutes to go rounded out the scoring.
Greene accounted for 165 yards, while Serra’s defense forced three turnovers. Edison QB Aleksander Torgersen scored Edison’s only touchdown on a one-yard quarterback sneak on Edison’s first drive.
Serra, ranked No. 6 in the state overall and likely to climb into the top five this week, will now try to win its second CIF state title against Oakdale of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section after splitting games in 2009 and 2010. The school Serra lost to in the 2010 D2 state bowl game, Folsom, was eliminated in the NorCal Open Division on Saturday with a 49-15 loss to De La Salle of Concord. The school that Serra beat in the 2009 D3 state bowl game, Marin Catholic of Kentfield, will be back in this year’s D3 state contest.
Madison motors past Monrovia on late kickoff return
It was only two years ago when members of the San Diego Madison football field trudged off a mudbath at The Home Depot Center following their loss to Escalon in the CIF Division III state bowl game.
The Warhawks will now get a chance to erase those memories next week after they got past Monrovia 21-17 in the CIF Division III Southern California regional bowl game on Saturday night at Monrovia.
The home folks were still rocking with just more than six minutes left after the Wildcats took a 17-14 lead on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Blake Heyworth to Anthony Craft. They were then socked in the gut when Madison’s Lee Walker grabbed the ensuing kickoff and ran it back 91 yards for a touchdown.
Although Monrovia (13-2) had two more chances to re-claim the lead, neither one materialized. Madison iced the win with 20 seconds left on an interception by Michael Garner.
Madison’s Jamie Gomez had a sensational game. He scored once on a three-yard run, added a 25-yard interception return for a score and came up with another huge interception in the end zone early in the fourth quarter.
In addition to the two picks by Gomez, Monrovia also lost a fumble on its own 27-yard line and missed two field goals.
According to the Pasadena Star-News, Heyworth had a solid game with 194 yards passing and the one TD.
Madison seemed to get stuck in the muck two years ago against an Escalon team that enjoyed the slop. If the Warhawks think another Escalon-type team will face them next week, they’ll be mistaken. Marin Catholic of Kentfield can zip it all over the field, led by quarterback Jared Goff (who was named as one of the nation’s Elite 11 quarterbacks last summer).
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