De'Anthony Thomas runs into the endzone for one of his four touchdowns and lets everybody know that Crenshaw is really No. 1.
Shaquille Shelton gave Crenshaw a 34-0 first quarter lead with this 57-yard touchdown run. He finished the game with 143 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Photos by Jason Lewis
Crenshaw dominates Dorsey 53 -12 to win the Coliseum League title and their 5th consecutive victory over their rival.By Jason LewisSentinel Sports Editor
This year’s Crenshaw/Dorsey rivalry game was marked on many people’s calendars for the past month. The game was sold out, the sidelines were packed, and the players were pumped. This was a big time football event. The game started and it was the battle of the titans. Two rivals playing for the league title and for bragging rights. But that was as close as this game was. By the end of the first quarter Crenshaw had everybody stunned as they led 34-0. It was not stunning that Crenshaw could rout Dorsey, because they had done it five times in a row leading into the game, but this was supposed to be Dorsey’s year, and to have it all unravel in one quarter was a bit shocking. The thought that Crenshaw was not the championship team that they were a year ago was quickly erased in just 12 minutes of play. It was amazing to see one team just have their way with one of the top teams in the City Section. Crenshaw played great, but Dorsey also shot themselves in the foot a number of times in the first quarter. On their first drive, after a three and out, they botched a punt, setting up Crenshaw at Dorsey’s 26-yard line. Crenshaw running back Qujuan Floyd rushed up the middle for a 12-yard touchdown. Dorsey’s next drive was another three and out, and a bad punt set Crenshaw up at Dorsey’s 40-yard line. Crenshaw moved the ball right down the field, setting up running back Shaquille Shelton’s one-yard touchdown run, giving Crenshaw a 13-0 lead.
After another Dorsey three and out, this game snowballed out of control, as Crenshaw scored three touchdowns in the final 31 seconds of the first quarter. Shelton had a 30 yard run before running back De’Anthony Thomas ran for a 23-yard touchdown, making the score 21-0 with 31 seconds remaining in the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Dorsey did not field the ball, giving Crenshaw the ball on Dorsey’s 31-yard line. It appeared that Crenshaw wanted to get one more touchdown before the quarter ended, because quarterback Jerry McConice threw the ball into the endzone, where Marquis Thompson made an amazing diving one handed catch for a touchdown, making the score 27-0. With a play like that it seemed like Crenshaw was playing a video game. On Dorsey’s next drive, three incomplete passes stopped the clock after each play, and Dorsey had to punt the ball back to Crenshaw with six seconds remaining in the quarter. On the final play of the quarter Shelton ran for a 57-yard touchdown, making the score 34-0. Crenshaw continued to pour it on in the second quarter. On their next possession, early in the quarter, Thomas out jumped two Dorsey defenders in the endzone for a 31-yard touchdown. That prompted a Crenshaw player to yell out, “We still got three quarters to go!” as Crenshaw took a 41-0 lead. Thomas added a 24-yard touchdown reception on Crenshaw’s next drive, giving them a 47-0 first half lead. Dorsey was able to get on the board before the half, but they were lucky that Crenshaw did not score more points. Just before the half Thomas intercepted a pass and raced for a touchdown, but a flag was thrown for an illegal block, which nobody at the stadium appeared to see. Dorsey’s spread offense did not do them any favors, and it did factor in the score getting out of hand so quickly. Dorsey has historically had a power running game, but their new offense relies heavily on the passing game. The offense was pretty much on the shoulders of senior quarterback Joseph Gray because Dorsey never tried to establish a running game. Gray, who has been lighting it up all season long, missed a number of open receivers early in the game, and only completed 5-of-17 passes for 51 yards in the half. The clock stopped after each incomplete pass, giving the ball right back to Crenshaw without burning much time off the clock. That allowed Crenshaw to have six first quarter drives, five of which went for touchdowns. Crenshaw scored three touchdowns in the final 31 seconds of the first quarter, and Dorsey had a drive in between the final two scores. Crenshaw’s performance showed that they are still clearly the best team in the city. It would be hard to believe that anybody can compete with them. But the voting committee, which is the head coaches from City Section schools, did not see it that way, as they awarded Carson with the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. The Marine League, which Carson plays in, was determined to be the toughest league in the city, and Carson went 5-0 on their way to the league title. Carson also had a tough non-league schedule, with games against Mission Viejo, Santa Ana Mater Dei and Santa Margarita. A win over Mater Dei and going undefeated in the toughest league was enough to give Carson the top seed over Crenshaw. Crenshaw may have the No. 2 seed, but they appear to be light years ahead of everybody. Carson has the No. 1 seed because they played in a tougher league, but if these two teams play for the City title, Crenshaw will be the clear-cut favorite. At this point it looks like they would have to play Gardena Serra for some real competition. Venice is the No. 3 seed, and Dorsey is the No. 4 seed. If there is a potential Crenshaw Dorsey rematch, it will be in the championship game at the Coliseum. But that may not go Dorsey’s way. Last year Crenshaw blew them out in the regular season, and then again in the playoffs. City Section Division I playoffsFirst-round FridayNo. 16 Sylmar (5-5) at No. 1 Carson (8-2)No. 9 Kennedy (5-5) at No. 8 Garfield (6-4)No. 12 West Adams (2-8) at No. 5 Taft (7-3)No. 13 Gardena (2-8) vs. No. 4 Dorsey (9-1) No. 14 Locke (5-5) at No. 3 Venice (6-4)No. 11 Westchester (6-4) at No. 6 San Pedro (7-3)No. 10 L.A. Jordan (6-4) at No. 7 Narbonne (5-5)No. 15 Granada Hills (4-6) at No. 2 Crenshaw (8-2)City Section Division II playoffsFirst-round FridayNo. 16 Hamilton (4-6) at No. 1 Reseda (10-0)No. 9 Fairfax (6-3-1) at No. 8 Marshall (8-2)No. 12 Franklin (7-3) at No. 5 Jefferson (9-1)No. 13 Roosevelt (6-4) at No. 4 Arleta (9-1)No. 14 Panorama (5-5) at No. 3 South East (7-3)No. 11 Hollywood (7-3) at No. 6 Chatsworth (8-2)No. 10 Lincoln (9-1) at No. 7 Palisades (5-5)No. 15 El Camino Real (4-6) at No. 2 Poly (8-2)