Saturday, December 10, 2011
City Div. I: Narbonne 48, Carson 32
By Blair Angulo
MONTEREY PARK -- The "Tray Way," as Narbonne folk have come to know it, was the only way Friday night.
Tray Boone, Narbonne's emotional leader, did all he could to make people proud, then did all he could to fight those pesky tears. In the end, it was far too much to take in.
Behind Boone's six rushing touchdowns, the Narbonne Gauchos beat neighboring rival Carson, 48-32, claiming the City Section Division I championship at Weingart Stadium on the campus of East Los Angeles College. Narbonne won its first title since sharing the throne with league foe San Pedro in 2008. Carson, which has 11 championships to its name, lost in the final for the second year in a row.
"This was my last high school game with these guys," said the glossy-eyed Boone. "To win the championship is amazing."
The game was a rematch of the Oct. 21 thriller in Harbor City, which Narbonne won, 38-37, when Carson botched a potential game-tying extra-point attempt in the final minute. Following last week’s blowout of Coliseum League champion Dorsey, junior quarterback Troy Williams acknowledged how difficult it would be to beat a team twice during the same season.
Thanks to his dynamic tailback, Williams’ worst fears never materialized.
Boone had 200 total yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone, and the senior finished with 316 yards, showing no ill effects from last week’s head injury that knocked him out at halftime.
"That's the man right there," Williams said as Boone walked by with the championship plaque in hand.
Meanwhile, Williams -- the City Section's leading passer -- wasn’t his usual self, visibly hobbling to his spot after every play. After passing for a season-low 75 yards, he admitted that he might have a fractured left leg. But Narbonne (11-3), making its third finals appearance in four years, still clicked offensively.
Among his six touchdowns, Boone had scoring runs of 36, 35 and 11 yards. He touched the ball 33 times, averaging nine and a half yards per touch.
"I never thought I'd run the ball so much in my life," Gauchos offensive coordinator Tim Kaub said. "I'd be stupid for not giving the ball to Tray Boone."
Fifth-seeded Carson (8-6) started the game the way it needed to. Safety Jerrod Moton intercepted Williams’ second pass of the night to set the Colts up near midfield. On the very next play, tailback Roger Jones stormed into the end zone for the quick 7-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for the high-powered Gauchos to drive down the field, but Moton intercepted Williams again, this time in the back of the end zone. The Colts couldn’t do much with that turnover.
The tidal wave, or the "Tray Way," arrived shortly thereafter -- the Colts forced a punt but muffed it at their own five-yard line, setting up Boone’s game-tying soaring dive three plays later.
"He put on a championship performance for the ages," Narbonne coach Manual Douglas said. "He would not quit. He's the heart and soul of our team."
Then, USC-bound Darreus Rogers was brought down at his own 11 on a rugby-style punt attempt. Boone struck again on the next snap. Two more Carson mistakes -- lost fumbles by Jones and Tony Ingram -- led to Narbonne touchdowns and 35-7 score at the break.
Carson cut the deficit to 42-32 with under three minutes left, but Boone's 36-yard scoring scamper sealed it.
With so many key players returning next year -- including Williams, the ESPNU 150 watch list member -- Narbonne, undoubtedly, is a team to watch for a possible state bid in 2012.
"We're getting it again next year," Boone screamed as Douglas was presented with the trophy. "I won't be here, but we'll get it."
Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.