Los Angeles Preps: Elijah Asante

Kurt Scoby transfers to St. Paul

May, 3, 2012
Running back Kurt Scoby, who had a stellar sophomore season at Charter Oak last fall, has transferred to St. Paul.

The junior-to-be rushed for 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns last season at Charter Oak. He transferred to Duarte from Charter Oak last month.

According to new St. Paul coach Elijah Asante, Scoby's legal guardian enrolled him at St. Paul due to the faith-based institution's family environment and spiritual emphasis.

"He's got a Walter Payton stiff arm," Asante said. "He's the real deal. His body is strong, and he's a tough kid with a strong will to win. He's got that look in his eye."

Scoby gives Asante, who coach at Carson last season, an offensive weapon to build around. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune earlier reported the news.

Trenchmen Academy set for this weekend

February, 13, 2012
St. Paul football coach Elijah Asante, who led Carson to the CIF Los Angeles City Section championship game the last two seasons, is continuing his linemen camp at the new digs.

Asante's "Trenchmen Academy" is scheduled for the upcoming weekend at St. Paul in Santa Fe Springs. It kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. with an information session on academic requirements for college qualification. On Saturday morning, linemen will weight train, study film and go through a variety of competitions. The camp closes Sunday with two hours of community service.

A number of elite lineman participated in the camp last year, including Santa Margarita's Max Tuerk (USC), Dominguez's Lacy Westbrook (UCLA) and Corona Centennial's Milo Jordan (Arizona State). Registration is $100. For more information, contact Asante at coachelijah@gmail.com.

St. Paul recently hired former USC offensive lineman Zack Heberer as offensive line/strength and conditioning coach.

City Div. I: Carson 24, No. 11 San Pedro 19

December, 2, 2011
SAN PEDRO – There’s a science to repeat matchups against teams in the same league.

More times than not, especially in the rough-and-tumble City Section’s Marine League, the winner of the first game in a given season loses the second.

And the Carson Colts and second-year coach Elijah Asante appear to have perfected that science. Five weeks after getting shut out at home against No. 11 San Pedro in a surprise 21-0 final, the Colts topped the previously-undefeated Pirates 24-19 Friday night to advance to the City Section championship game against Narbonne next week.

“Here’s the differentiation between the winner and the loser in a matchup like this,” Asante said before Friday’s game as his team warmed up on the field at San Pedro. “Psychologically, you make adjustments, based on the fact that what you did last time didn’t work.

“And, psychologically, they often don’t. They’re content with what they have, and that’s usually the difference.”

It looked like it Friday. Carson couldn’t score in 48 minutes the last time the two teams played. It took the Colts about six minutes to score this time.

For the game, 5-7 running back Roger Jones carried the ball 17 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns for Carson. USC-bound receiver Darreus Rogers added four catches for 51 yards and a touchdown, which was called back for offensive pass interference. Colts quarterback Kevin McMahon played almost mistake-free football, completing 13-of-17 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions.

“We weren’t going to lose twice to these guys,” McMahon said afterward. “We had redemption on our minds.”

San Pedro, No. 11 in the ESPNLosAngeles.com prep football Top 25 rankings, got 145 rushing yards from mobile quarterback Kenny Potter but produced little else offensively.

(Read full post)

City Div. I: Carson 24, Garfield 7

November, 18, 2011

CARSON -- They say a first win is always the toughest to get, so Carson coach Elijah Asante asked his team to do one thing.

Toughen up.

The No. 5-seeded Carson Colts responded to early adversity, scoring 24 unanswered to beat No. 12-seeded Garfield, 24-7, in the first round of the CIF City Section Division I playoffs Friday night. Next up for Carson is No. 4-seeded Venice, which beat Taft, 41-14. The defending Division I runner-up Colts (6-5) also eliminated Garfield in last year’s quarterfinals.

It wasn't necessarily Carson's cleanest performance but what mattered to Asante was that they advanced.

"It's a playoff game," Asante said, "you take it."

Colts quarterback Kevin McMahon, who Asante nicknamed “The Cannon” prior to the season, wasn’t a factor throwing the ball, but his one-yard sneak with 10:05 remaining made it a two-possession game at 17-7. The final blow was dealt about four minutes later when linebacker Manoah Pearson recovered a fumble and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.

"That was a wrap," Pearson said.

Junior tailback Roger Jones rushed for 100 yards on 12 carries. USC-bound receiver Darreus Rogers had three receptions for 32 yards, and carried the ball three times for 26 yards and a score. The Colts capitalized on a Bulldogs turnover for their first touchdown, which came on Rogers' 17-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

A 30-yard field goal by kicker Edgardo Angel with 1:10 remaining in the first half put Carson in front for good.

"We prepared them for this," Asante said. "We faced different kinds of adversity and we told them we might get down in this game but to keep fighting and that’s what they did."

Carson didn't meet its lofty expectations during the regular season, finishing in third place in the Marine League after losses to titlist San Pedro and runner-up Narbonne. A section championship would undoubtedly make up for the shortcomings.

Garfield’s final record wasn’t indicative of the kind of team coach Lorenzo Hernandez had. The Bulldogs (5-6) opened the season with five straight losses, a byproduct of ambitious non-league scheduling. Garfield lost to Bishop Amat, Huntington Beach Edison, Dorsey and St. Paul, and then fell to Eastern League winner South East, the top seeded team the in Division II bracket.

Larry Ravelo’s three-yard scoring run capped Garfield’s 13-play, 83-yard opening drive, and had the Bulldogs thinking upset. The run-heavy Bulldogs didn’t attempt a pass in the first half, sticking with the one-two punch of tailback Lance Fernandez and the fullback Ravelo that had worked well in the East L.A. Classic rivalry win against Roosevelt.

But the Colts zeroed in on the duo in the second half. It proved to be the difference.

"We stepped it up and got tougher," Pearson said.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.

No. 24 Narbonne 38, Carson 37

October, 22, 2011

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.

(Read full post)

Colts. Gauchos. Friday.

October, 18, 2011

Blair Angulo / For ESPNLosAngeles.com
Narbonne's Troy Williams leads the section in passing yards (1,549) and is tied for third in touchdowns (11).
Are the Narbonne Gauchos favored heading into Friday night's Marine League doozy against Carson? They might be.

Here's the reasoning: Carson lost to Long Beach Poly by 20 on Sept. 9 and, a week later, Narbonne did a little better, falling to Poly by just three. If those margins against a common opponent are any indication, the Gauchos appear to have the edge, right?

Well, Narbonne coach Manual Douglas isn't buying it.

"They lost, we lost," he said. "We're both losers."

Friday's loser will face an uphill climb in league. Narbonne (4-2), the 2008 champion, has won three straight since losing at Tesoro. Carson (3-3) has won two in a row since losing to Mission Viejo and has claimed the league title the last two years. Undefeated San Pedro (6-0) is also in the mix.

"They talk a lot and believe in themselves," Carson coach Elijah Asante said of Narbonne. "They talk -- you hear it from their coaches, you hear it from their players. They're definitely not scared of us. They want it."

Narbonne has reason to be confident with Troy Williams, the top quarterback in the City Section, calling the shots. The strong-armed junior leads the section in passing yards (1,549) and is tied for third in touchdowns (11). He has also ran for five scores.

Asante knows exactly what his team is up against. He got a firsthand look at Williams while coaching at USC's "Rising Stars" camp in the summer and came away impressed.

"He's something else," Asante said. "He is raw but his progression over the summer, what I saw is that he's got it. We're going to go after him. We're not going to make it comfortable for him."

The Gauchos' counter?

"We have a stallion back there," Douglas said, "and we have to protect him."

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Following him on Twitter.

Carson's Elijah Asante has no regrets

October, 11, 2011
Elijah AsanteBlair Angulo/For ESPNLA.comCarson coach Elijah Asante has his team as well prepared as any with his ambitious nonleague scheduling.

Carson coach Elijah Asante has unquestionably been the most ambitious scheduler in Los Angeles County this year, aiming to improve his squad against elite competition. He reached for the stars but, in the end, was content just to land on the moon.

After losing to Long Beach Poly, Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo in consecutive weeks, the Colts (2-3) got back on track last Friday with a victory at San Diego Lincoln. And despite the ugly record, you can make the case that no team is better prepared for Marine League play.

That's where the dilemma lies for high school coaches -- sacrifice wins for progression or go for perfection? San Pedro is 5-0 but its opponents have a combined 9-16 mark. Carson's five opponents have gone 17-11; Narbonne's have gone 19-8.

"We got an opportunity to feel the heat, to feel the fire," Asante said. "And it was hot.

"We exposed ourselves to the very best and we aren't quite at that level right now. ... The Marine League isn't going to be a cakewalk either. You've got teams that are playing really well, like San Pedro. You've got Narbonne, which has one of the best quarterbacks [Troy Williams], probably, in the nation. They've got a very dynamic team."

The Colts open league play Friday night at home against Banning (2-3), whose losses were to Cathedral, Crenshaw and Gardena Serra.

"That's a rivalry game," Asante said. "It doesn't matter what our records are -- that's going to be a huge game."

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.

Football: No. 3 Mission Viejo 31, No. 22 Carson 0

September, 30, 2011

CARSON -- No Jahleel Pinner, no problem for unfazed Mission Viejo.

An ankle sprain limited Pinner to cheering duty and the Diablos' leading rusher had plenty to root for, as Mission Viejo breezed past Carson, 31-0, on Friday night. The replacements, Marcus Collins and Daniel Marx, combined for 164 yards of total offense while filling in for the USC commit.

"We have guys that can step in," Mission Viejo quarterback Alex Bridgford said. "Marcus Collins stepped in very well and Daniel Marx, who we got back from a concussion, is a great player. He's huge, he's fast, he's a hard worker ... and he's just a sophomore."

Bridgford did his part, too, bouncing back from a shaky first half to finish with 207 yards and three touchdowns on 7 of 18 passing. D.J. Wilson, the Diablos' other dynamic weapon, had only two receptions -- one of 75 yards and another of 27 -- but he reached the end zone on both.

Mission Viejo (4-1), the No. 3 team in the ESPN Los Angeles top 25 rankings, took a narrow 10-0 lead into the locker room at the break. The Diablos emerged a more determined bunch, with Bridgford hitting Max Redfield for a 74-yard score on his first pass of the second half.

"We had those earlier in the game, but I just missed those reads," Bridgford said.

The offensive improvements weren't needed, really. Mission Viejo's defense was superb, shutting out a Carson spread that had put up 26 points against Mater Dei and 21 against Santa Margarita. USC-bound Darreus Rogers was targeted often but was held to only one catch, for a mere 13 yards.

(Read full post)

L.A. South: The Top 10

September, 18, 2011
The top seven teams held their ground in our latest south Los Angeles County rankings. Defending Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia fell off after losing to rival Arcadia, opening the door for a newcomer from the Western Division. Our top three teams hit the road Friday, so there could be movement next week. (Note: Last week's rankings are in parentheses.)

1. (1) Long Beach Poly (3-0)
The Jackrabbits bent but didn't break, holding on against a gritty City Section contender. Afterward, coach Raul Lara stressed how important it was to maintain the momentum they've built. Last week: Beat Narbonne, 19-16. Next: at Mission Viejo, Friday.

2. (2) St. John Bosco (3-0)
Senior quarterback Rene Medina threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Royce Moore had 150 yards rushing in a rout. Now, the Braves and their high-powered offense hit the road. Last week: Beat Santa Fe, 51-0. Next: vs. Loyola at L.A. Valley College, Friday.

3. (3) Bishop Amat (2-1)
Talk about bouncing back. Playing big, bad Servite seems to have paid immediate dividends. Senior tailback Jalen Moore broke out for 303 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Last week: Beat La Mirada, 49-13. Next: at Damien, Friday.

4. (4) Carson (1-1)
Rested and refocused following a humbling loss to Long Beach Poly, the Colts begin the latter half of their rigorous nonleague schedule. The bye might have come at the right time for coach Elijah Asante's bunch. Last week: Idle. Next: vs. Santa Margarita, Friday.

5. (5) Lakewood (2-1)
The "Milk Bucket" trophy stays in Lakewood for at least another year, as the Lancers came back from a halftime deficit to beat their rivals from the north. Brock Dale threw for three scores. Last week: Beat Mayfair, 42-29. Next: vs. Leuzinger, Friday.

6. (6) Narbonne (1-1)
Dual-threat quarterback Troy Williams had only 102 passing yards and eight on the ground, and the Gauchos still nearly pulled off a shocker at Veterans Stadium. Last week: Lost to Long Beach Poly, 19-16. Next: at Tesoro, Thursday.

7. (7) Serra (2-1)
The young Cavaliers overcame the absence of Anterio Bateman (ankle) and Raymond Ford (ankle), with tailback Ronnie Vaughn shouldering a heavier load. Sophomore Jalen Greene keeps showing progress at quarterback. Last week: Beat Mira Costa, 33-0. Next: at Banning, Friday.

8. (10) Charter Oak (3-0)
This offense is supercharged. Senior quarterback Travis Santiago accounted for six touchdowns, throwing for 336 yards on 18 of 24 passing and adding 72 rushing yards. Last week: Beat Esperanza, 54-28. Next: vs. Rancho Cucamonga, Friday.

9. (8) West Covina (2-1)
More proof the Bulldogs are more than just a one-man team. Top player Chris Solomon (ankle) isn't 100 percent but it didn't matter, as Jimmy Frazier ran for 242 yards and four touchdowns. Last week: Beat South Hills, 35-33. Next: vs. Glendora, Friday.

10. (NR) St. Paul (2-0)
The Swordsmen showed why they're ranked No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Western Division poll, steamrollering a helpless Norwalk team to the tune of nearly 300 yards rushing. Last week: Beat Norwalk, 48-6. Next: at Garfield, Friday.

Dropped out: Monrovia (9)

Five more, in alphabetic order: Cathedral, Claremont, Crenshaw, Gahr, St. Francis.

Agree or disagree with the "L.A. South" top 10? Did your favorite school get snubbed? Leave a comment on this post or contact ESPNLosAngeles.com preps writer Blair Angulo directly on his Twitter page.

Football: Roger Jones lands at Carson

September, 2, 2011
Former Compton running back Roger Jones has transferred to Carson, Colts coach Elijah Asante confirmed Thursday after Jones' paperwork was approved by the CIF City Section.

Jones, an All-Moore League selection as a sophomore last season, had been conditioning with the Colts as he went through the transfer process. Asante said Jones is all set for No. 9-ranked Carson's opener Friday night against No. 12 Mater Dei.

"This dude is vicious," Asante said. "This guy is a franchise player. He's a difference-maker. ... This kid puts us in another place. With this kid, it legitimately raises the question: How the heck are you going to stop us?"

Jones joins another newcomer in the backfield. Former South Torrance quarterback Kevin McMahon transferred to Carson in the summer, giving the Colts a formidable replacement for All-City selection Justin Alo.

Here is Jones' sophomore highlight tape:

LA South: Preseason Top 10

August, 31, 2011
We catapult into the high school football season and bring you a preseason look at the top 10 teams in south Los Angeles County. Eight of the 10 were ranked in our final regional rankings last year -- St. John Bosco and Narbonne are the only newcomers. And although teams such as Lakewood, Serra, Crenshaw and West Covina graduated a ton of talent, they'll need to falter before they're bumped from the list. We'll release new rankings every Tuesday. (Notes: Last season's records are in parentheses; this top 10 is independent of ESPNLA.com's prep football top 25 rankings).

1. Long Beach Poly (8-3)
Expectations are always high at Poly, but they're up near the moon this year. The Jackrabbits return a plethora of talent, including five players that are committed to Arizona State. Poly will go as far as senior quarterback Chaiyse Hales takes them. Up next: at Sacramento Grant, Friday.

2. Bishop Amat (9-2)
There might not be a team in the Southland more antsy to get on the field than Amat. The Lancers were a perfect 9-0 to start 2010 but faltered late, losing to Alemany in what amounted to a Serra League title game and stumbling against Tesoro in the first round of the Pac-5 playoffs. Up next: vs. Garfield, Friday.

3. St. John Bosco (5-5)
We present the best team that didn't make the postseason last season, an award coach Jason Negro would probably not be too happy with. On the bright side, the Braves are now a year wiser. The rest of the Trinity League should be on its toes. Up next: vs. Mission Hills, Friday.

4. Carson (11-3)
Someone might want to check Elijah Asante's sanity level. The second-year coach has lined up the area's most difficult nonleague schedule, undoubtedly trying to play the best to become the best. The Colts aren't shying away from anyone, that's for sure. Up next: vs. Mater Dei, Friday.

5. Dominguez (10-2)
A defense littered with college prospects, including cornerback Brandon Beaver and lineman Damion Turpin, promises to be this team's strength. The offense, meanwhile, will most likely run through top blocker Lacy Westbrook. Up next: vs. Crespi, Friday.

6. Lakewood (10-2)
New coach Vince Lobendahn takes over for the popular Thadd MacNeal with one clear objective: getting the ball to Darius Powe, the area's top uncommitted wideout. Big Red is rebuilding but Lobendahn thinks a Moore League title is within grasp. Up next: vs. Locke, Friday.

7. Serra (14-1)
The Cavaliers aren't as loaded as they have been recently, but they're still considered a contender in the Western Division. UCLA commit Raymond Ford has the tough task of filling George Farmer and Marqise Lee's big shoes. Up next: vs. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Friday.

8. Narbonne (6-6)
With junior Troy Williams, perhaps the top signal caller in the City Section, under center, the Gauchos have set their sights on making a trip to the Memorial Coliseum in December. The defense will be key. Up next: vs. Palos Verdes, Sept. 9.

9. Crenshaw (12-2)
Stud De'Anthony Thomas is now in Eugene, so the pizzazz might not be as high as it has been for the defending back-to-back City Section champs. Still, coach Robert Garrett figures to have his Cougars ready every week. Up next: vs. Alta (Utah) at Mission Viejo High, Saturday.

10. West Covina (13-1)
The Bulldogs are led by one of the better players you've never heard of, tailback/safety Chris Solomon. West Covina captured the Southeast Division crown last year and look like the early favorites again this fall. Up next: vs. Covina at Covina District Stadium, Saturday.

Five more to watch, in alphabetic order: Charter Oak, Mira Costa, Monrovia, St. Paul, Venice.

Agree or disagree with the "L.A. South" preseason top 10? Did your favorite school get snubbed? Leave a comment on this post or contact ESPNLosAngeles.com preps writer Blair Angulo directly on his Twitter page.
Carson ColtsAlex Gallardo For ESPNLA.comCarson played in the City Section title game last season and is looking for big things in 2011.

Get your seat cushions and pom-pons ready, high school football is finally here.

And to get you even more prepared, we present this weekly feature that highlights five must-see games in south Los Angeles County. The opening week -- or zero week -- offers a handful of doozies. Keep in mind that some highly anticipated contests, such as Long Beach Poly at Sacramento Grant, are not included on this list because they are scheduled to take place outside the "L.A. South" boundaries.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Bonita vs. San Dimas at Citrus College, Thursday, 7 p.m. -- This annual battle, locally pegged as the "Smudge Pot," might be as competitive as it has ever been. Bonita is coming off a runner-up finish in the Southeast Division but graduated a deep group of seniors. San Dimas lost to eventual Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia in the semifinals last year and also looks to avenge a 41-20 defeat at the hands of the Bearcats. The Saints lead the all-time head-to-head series, 22-16-1. For more analysis on this game, check out the San Gabriel Valley Tribune's "Two-Minute Drill."

No. 11 Crespi at No. 19 Dominguez, Friday, 7 p.m. -- It's the classic offense versus defense matchup. Despite losing record-breaking quarterback Kenny Stenhouse and top receiver Devin Lucien (UCLA) to graduation, Crespi figures to feature a strong offensive attack. On the other side of things, Dominguez might have the best defense in the area, with highly touted defensive back Brandon Beaver leading the way. The Dons eked out a 14-11 win last season and we might be in for a repeat of that on Friday.

No. 12 Mater Dei at No. 9 Carson, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Carson coach Elijah Asante knows that Mater Dei will be plenty motivated, given that the Colts upset the Monarchs, 14-10, in 2010. Asante's group is the early favorite in the City Section, and a favorable outcome here could validate expectations. Colts fans will get their first opportunity to catch a glimpse of Kevin McMahon, a senior quarterback transfer from South Torrance who Asante has dubbed "The Cannon." A win here gives Carson good momentum heading into difficult games against No. 4 Long Beach Poly, No. 6 Santa Margarita and No. 3 Mission Viejo.

Notre Dame at No. 25 Serra, Friday, 7 p.m. -- Gone are standouts George Farmer (USC), Marqise Lee (USC) and Conner Preston (Southern Methodist). It doesn't end there, though. Cavaliers coach Scott Altenberg must fill a void at nearly every spot, with only five total returning starters. Serra undoubtedly begins a reloading phase, hoping to get back to a CIF State bowl game in the near future. This matchup serves as a solid first test. Can't make it out to Gardena? The game will stream live on FOXSportsWest.com as part of the website's Prep Zone platform.

Covina vs. West Covina at Covina District Field, Saturday, 7 p.m. -- The lone hiccup for West Covina in 2010? A season-opening loss to Covina. How it went down is perhaps even more agonizing for the defending Southeast Division champion Bulldogs. West Covina led 21-2 late in the fourth quarter before Covina scored 25 unanswered points to pull off the improbable comeback. The Bulldogs reeled off 13 consecutive wins and captured the hardware, but the Colts have had area bragging rights for a year.

Don't agree with this list of top games? Does another game deserve more notoriety? Leave a comment on this post or contact ESPNLosAngeles.com preps writer Blair Angulo directly on his Twitter page.

Football: No. 9 Carson

August, 27, 2011
Talking about last season's shortcomings opens up healed wounds, so Carson coach Elijah Asante would rather keep those thoughts in the past. The Colts, Asante says, will carry nothing over from last year's 45-7 drubbing at the hands of Crenshaw in the City Section Division 1 title game at the Memorial Coliseum. It's just a terrible memory now, one that he doesn't even want to use as motivation.

"It doesn't give us any extra anything," Asante says. "It was a game we lost. Crenshaw out-coached us and outplayed us. But that was last year."

With that being said, this year is this year and these Colts aren't shying away from anyone, setting up inter-sectional duels against Mater Dei, Long Beach Poly, Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo to open up the season. "People are giving the teams we'll play more credit than they're giving us," Asante says. "People aren't looking at Carson like it's a tough game for [other teams]."

Here is a closer look at the Colts:

Team: Carson

Coach: Elijah Asante, second season.

2010 Record: 11-3, lost in the CIF City Section Division I championship game.

Returning starters: 12 total. Six on offense, six on defense.

Key players on offense: WR Darreus Rodgers (USC commit), QB Kevin McMahon, RB Kendell Sparks, RB Kameron Walker

Key players on defense: DB Jerrod Moton, DB Jordan Lasley, DL Pu'e Togia

Difference maker: Rogers caught 45 passes for 1,347 yards (29.9 average) and eight touchdowns last season, earning first-team All-City honors as a junior. And that came on a team that generally ran more than it threw. He's the leading receiver among all returning players in Los Angeles.

Newcomers: QB Kevin McMahon (transfer from South Torrance)

Not to be missed: vs. Mater Dei, Friday, Sept. 2. Arguably the area's most intriguing opener, Carson has a chance to build momentum heading into its next three doozies. Perhaps Asante put it best: "Mater Dei is not trying to lose this game. They're whole reputation is at stake. They can't lose to Carson three years in a row. They can't ... under any circumstances."

Coach’s comment: "We set up a really tough schedule and we expect to win every single one of those games. That's our expectation."

Final analysis: Sure, Carson wants to win its third consecutive Marine League championship. That's always the first goal -- win league and get into the postseason. But make no mistake about the Colts' aspirations: anything short of a City Section Division 1 title would be classified as disappointing. Things have set up nicely for Asante's offense, with the addition of McMahon, who he has pegged as "The Cannon." The Colts hope that a multidimensional attack, coupled with some defensive improvement, has them leaving the Memorial Coliseum with hardware at season's end.

Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

The Cannon, Carson's new weapon

August, 11, 2011
Transfer quarterback Kevin McMahon, formerly of South Torrance, is as hyped as any player heading into the football season. And Carson coach Elijah Asante, the beneficiary of McMahon's transfer, is fine with all the fuss ... primarily because he's the biggest believer.

"This dude, man, his nickname is 'The Cannon' for a reason," Asante said. "He's really going to be a shot in the arm."

The Colts needed one after losing All-City first-teamer Justin Alo (2,534 yards passing, 793 rushing, 21 total touchdowns) to graduation. Carson needed someone that could get the ball to standout receiver Darreus Rogers, a USC commit.

As a junior last year, McMahon led South Torrance to a 12-2 record and the Northwest Division title game. He threw for 15 touchdowns and completed 58 percent of his passes.

"He has great leadership ability, great command, great presence," Asante said. "He's 6 feet, 4 inches, 220 pounds. He's got all the intangibles you need."

Carson is a favorite in the City Section this season.

LA South: Five things from the weekend

January, 17, 2011
1. It didn't take long for Fairfax to realize that it wasn't in Canada anymore. Two-time state champ Westchester (16-5) dominated the Western League showdown, winning 67-40 and perhaps hinting that there might not be much competition between the two this season. Fairfax (10-5), which easily won three games at the Snowball Classic in Canada, didn't respond well to the loss. The Lions fell to University, 56-48, a night later. Both defeats came at home.

2. All of Chris Reyes' game-high 19 points came before the fourth quarter, yet La Verne Damien (15-1) managed to erase a halftime deficit and claim its first-ever victory at Chino Hills (14-4). The Spartans went into the locker room down three before winning 59-50. J.P. Chakbazof had 13 points for Sierra League-leading Damien.

3. Long Beach Poly doesn't have just one great basketball team. The girls' team is ranked No. 2 in the nation for a reason; Long Beach Wilson found that out the hard way. The Jackrabbits (14-2) forced 38 turnovers -- or more than one per minute -- in a blowout, 63-24 win over Wilson. Poly's only two losses have come against Brea Olinda.

4. Carson football coach Elijah Asante announced on his Twitter account that senior dual-threat quarterback Justin Alo (2,534 yards, 18 touchdowns) received an offer to play at Hawaii. After speaking to him following a playoff game in November, Alo -- a first-team All-City selection -- was sure he would eventually land an offer or two. He had a rough time against Crenshaw's defense in the City Championship, but he proved to be a valuable player throughout the season.

5. Alo and the Black team defeated the White team, 21-8, in the first-ever Polynesian All-American Classic at Cathedral High on Saturday. The four-day event is designed to give players one more shot at earning a college scholarship. But that doesn't mean top prospects are excluded. J.R. Tavai (Mira Costa/USC) and Junior Pomee (Rancho Verde/undecided) were among the participants.