NARROW ESCAPE: Crenshaw's Hayes Pullard dives for a touchdown against Norco but questions surround the Cougar defense as they face AB Miller on Friday.Â Photo Credit: Jason Lewis for Sentinel
Three-headed running attack spurs Compton offense
By Evan Barnes
Sentinel Sports Editor
Most teams are lucky to have two steady tailbacks - one big play threat, one bruiser. For Compton, they showed the potential for three in their debut against Centennial.
It starts with James McConico III, who powered his way to 123 yards with his 6-0, 215 lbs. frame. Then comes fellow senior Bryant Hayes (96 yards) and speedy sophomore Roger Jones (91 yards), both of whom excelled in the Tarbabes' double-wing offense
"We've never had three explosive backs before," Compton coach Calvin Bryant said after the game.
McConico gets most of the ink as the returning starter weighing several college offers. There are few tailbacks like him who can mix speed with power.
But the big surprise of the trio is Jones, who had a big third quarter with a 92-yard kickoff return and two rushing touchdowns, including one for 60 yards.
Besides showing off his speed, he also showed his power, dragging Centennial defenders in the end zone on his first touchdown.
"We knew he has great potential, but I was shocked at how well he did," Bryant said.
Jones is also no slouch in the classroom, carrying a 4.0 grade point average.
But the Tarbabes' three-headed running attack will face a tougher test Friday in Dominguez, under new/old leadership with Willie Donerson. Compton won last year's game 12-8, a game where McConico earned his stripes with a long touchdown run.
Good luck to any team trying to stop three tailbacks with big-play ability but don't underestimate the revenge factor for the Dons trying to reclaim their edge after their worst season in years...
Alright Crenshaw, you've defeated two Southern Section powers and at least one colleague of mine thinks that an undefeated season is only a formality.
Slow down that march to the Home Depot Center just yet. Right now the Cougars know they can hang with anybody but they have serious concerns on defense that need to be shored up.
"We got a lot of work to do," Crenshaw coach Robert Garrett said.
After surviving a passing offense in Lakewood and one of the state's best running attacks in Norco, the road will get easier but it's a cause for concern when you evaluate them down the road.
For now, this is a mature team that can rise to the occasion and win close games. But their defense, especially their front seven, will have to tighten up if the Cougars want avoid tripping on their way to destiny.
WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK TWO
- BIG MATCHUPS: Long Beach Poly at Narbonne and Serra at Carson headline a week of big action across the region.
It's a chance for the Marine League to make a statement although by now, Poly's shortcomings have been on display twice as a young team with plenty of room to grow after losing 57-14 to Servite and St. Bonaventure.
Narbonne, meanwhile, started off with a 46-6 victory over South East in Week One and looks like they're ready to pick up with they left off as City co-champs last week. Senior tailback Melvin Davis had 143 yards as the Gauchos racked up 438 yards of offense.
The Serra-Carson game, a rematch of last year's 21-19 thriller won by Serra, will be a chance to see not only the state's best receiving corps, but also perhaps the City's most improved team in Carson.
Carson (2-0) destroyed Fontana A.B. Miller last week 56-21 behind quarterback Justin Alo, who had six TD's (five passing) and tailback Dion Miller (80 yards, 3 TD's). But they'll need show off their athleticism to compete with the fine-tuned offense of Serra.
The Cavaliers (2-0) have outscored their opponents 110-14 and while this game won't be a blowout, it's hard to imagine any defensive backs keeping up with the likes of Robert Woods, George Farmar and Paul Richardson.
It's the first major test for both teams; expect one of the best clashes of this young season.
- FIELD DAY: Dorsey (1-0) has their home opener against Hamilton, the first game since their field at Jackie Robinson Stadium was renovated this summer.
It's the first renovations since the 1984 Summer Olympics and prior to the game; there will be a ceremony to formally christen the new field.
This is something long overdue for one of the City's proudest programs and it's good that they finally have a field that matches the rich tradition of what the school has done over the past three decades.
The Dons are coming off a 33-7 victory at Chatsworth, while Hamilton (2-0) is flying high after their 60-0 win over Los Angeles
"It should be a good, physical game," Dorsey coach Paul Knox said.