Saturday, October 22, 2011
No. 24 Narbonne 38, Carson 37
By Blair Angulo
HARBOR CITY -- Troy Williams got on one knee and looked on, hoping he'd get his hands on the football at least one more time.
Turns out, he didn't have to.
Narbonne and its star junior quarterback earned a pivotal Marine League victory Friday night, 38-37, thanks to a bad snap by Carson's special teams unit on the potential game-tying extra-point attempt. With just over a minute remaining, quarterback Kevin McMahon had soared into the end zone from a yard out, pulling the Colts to within one. But, as fate would have it, the bad snap got away and Narbonne's sideline erupted.
The Gauchos snapped Carson's 15-game league winning streak.
"I had a feeling they'd miss," Williams said. "That was real fortunate for us right there."
Narbonne, No. 24 in the ESPN Los Angeles prep football Top 25 rankings, covered up the ensuing onside kick and Williams picked up a crucial first down with his legs to seal it. He scored the go-ahead touchdown on a three-yard sneak with 3:02 left in the game. Williams passed for 231 yards and two touchdowns, completing 15 of 27 attempts, and added 78 yards rushing.
"We've been talking about this since my freshman year," Williams said.
Carson coach Elijah Asante, one of the most rah-rah personalities in the area, defended his decision not to go for two points and the win.
"You kick the extra point and you go into overtime," Asante said. "That's what you do. That's the proper way to approach the game. You play in overtime and give yourself a chance to come back. If you miss [the extra point], you lose."
Narbonne (5-2) now appears to be the favorite in league and has a monster matchup against undefeated San Pedro (7-0) looming on Nov. 4 which will likely decide the champion.
"We're trying to win Game 14," Narbonne coach Manual Douglas said. "If we win all five league games, we'll probably be the top seed in the playoffs. That gets us that much closer to winning Game 14, which is in the Coliseum."
An interception by Bruce Hicks early in the fourth quarter gave Narbonne the ball deep in Carson territory and Johnell Jackson punched it in from eight yards out for the go-ahead score. But, three minutes later, the Colts answered on a McMahon eight-yard touchdown pass.
Earlier, Williams found A.J. Richardson with a 14-yard pass in the back of the end zone and the Gauchos’ third two-point conversion tied it at 24-24 with six minutes left in the third quarter.
Carson (3-4) made their intentions known right from the start, returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for the quick lead. A 24-yard field goal made it 10-0 Colts midway through the first quarter.
But the Gauchos answered back the only way they know how: fast.
Narbonne’s uptempo spread attack usually doesn’t forgive excessive blinkers. Williams led his troops down the field in a hurry, connecting with Antoine Anderson for a 24-yard touchdown strike. A two-point conversion made it 10-8.
A bad snap on a Carson punt attempt gave the Gauchos the ball at the Colts’ 7. Tray Boone did the dirty work, stuffing it in from four yards out to give Narbonne its first lead. Another two-point conversion made it 16-10 and, in a matter of minutes, the fast-paced Gauchos had taken control.
Carson returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards but a block in the back penalty erased the go-ahead touchdown. The Colts regained the lead anyway when McMahon hit Darreus Rogers for a three-yard score with no time remaining in the first half. Rogers did not appear hampered by a fractured a finger suffered in last week’s win against rival Banning. The USC-bound receiver finished with six catches for 98 yards.