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CIF Crystal Ball Looks into Weekend Semifinals
ESCAPE: At 5-4, Carson tailback Myles Johnson is hard to tackle and a big reason why the Colts are favored in their rematch against Narbonne Friday - Scott Kurtz for SentinelBy Evan BarnesSentinel Sports Editor
Here are my predictions for several local teams in their semifinal matchups.
Crenshaw vs. Dorsey: This one appears easy to call but don't underestimate how well Dorsey has played the last two games.
Dorsey quarterback Joseph Gray found his rhythm in the first two rounds of the postseason and if his offensive line gives him better protection than the first meeting with Crenshaw, he could open things up for tailback Jorrian Washington
Neither San Pedro or Taft, however, had the defensive speed to compare with the Cougars. Over the last two months, they have only allowed four touchdowns and challenge each other on every play to win their matchups.
It's safe to say this won't be a repeat of their first meeting where Crenshaw dominated from the opening play. But with too many gamebreakers and playing their best ball of the season, the Cougars should win this rematch and start planning for the Coliseum next Saturday.
Carson vs. Narbonne: Another rematch with another no-so-surprising low seed. If you believed Narbonne was really a No. 11 seed, then I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you.
The first meeting on November 6 saw Narbonne blow a 20-7 lead and fall 41-28 to the Marine League champs. Will anything change this time?
I've been impressed with Narbonne's defense, having watched them dominate L.A. Jordan and then seeing them hold off a solid but overrated Venice squad. But they also had trouble keeping up with Jordan's All-City quarterback De'Shawn Beck.
That doesn't bode well if they're looking to contain Carson's tailback duo of Dion Willis and Myles Johnson. Willis torched the Gauchos for 212 total yards and three touchdowns in their last meeting
Rematches always tend to favor the losing team who knows exactly what to prepare for. But I'm sticking with my gut all year and that is Carson being the second-best team in the City. They win this one at home, setting up a showdown with Crenshaw in the finals.
Serra vs. St. Joseph's (Santa Maria): It's almost unfair that the Cavaliers have to travel back north after going all the way out to Nipomo last week (173 miles there and back). At least this trip is "only" 138 miles one way.
All the more reason that they find a way to win on Friday. This game a mere formality for next week's showdown for Oaks Christian so they had better use this game to tighten everything up.
Dominguez at Alemany (Mission Hills): The Dons are a great story after a year and a half of dormancy. Coach Willie Donerson has them playing with speed and purpose that resembled his former CIF title teams.
Against the once state-ranked Warriors, they have to find a way to stop Oregon State bound tailback Malcolm Marable, one of the Valley's best. But Alemany will have to do same with Devonte Carter and Will Gregory.
I say the Dons run ends here. No disrespect to the team's success so far but they'll be climbing a steep hill against a tougher foe than Redondo or Culver City. Then again, they weren't favored in that match either...