Los Angeles Preps: Jerry McConico

No. 21 Dorsey 7, Crenshaw 6

November, 4, 2011
LOS ANGELES -- They call him "Ocho" because the number eight is stitched onto his jersey. But with the way Dorsey defensive end Jeremiah Allison played Thursday night, the moniker could stand for the amount of blockers Crenshaw should have used to keep him away from the quarterback.

An Allison-led defense played quick and physical in a 7-6 win before a standing-room only crowd at Crenshaw, helping Dorsey snap a four-year losing streak to its biggest rival. A win against Locke next week would give the Dons their first Coliseum League crown since 2006.

Allison made it difficult on Crenshaw's offensive line all night, rushing the edge and forcing quarterback Jerry McConico into quick decisions. It's the way Dorsey (8-1, 4-0) has been winning all season.

"Just speed," Allison said. "We keep preaching speed. We can't get complacent. We've got a lot of senior leadership on this team. We've got to keep going 100 miles per hour."

Junior Max Lyons broke the scoreless tie with a lunge from three yards away in the first quarter, and Dorsey's defense made it stand. The Cougars (5-3, 3-1) got on the board with a 25-yard pass from McConico to Andre Edwards in the third quarter but a missed extra-point attempt kept them from tying it. Crenshaw could have taken the lead early in the fourth but Anthony Matombe missed a 25-yard field goal.

"We put the game in the defense's hands," Dorsey coach Paul Knox said. "They've done a great job. To hold a really good team like this to one touchdown is really an accomplishment."

The Dons appeared to take a two-touchdown lead late in the second quarter but Reginald Bell’s 61-yard heave was called back when it was ruled that he stepped out of bounds before his release. Bell, a junior, appeared flustered under the big game's bright lights. He finished with 65 yards passing and completed only one of his seven second-half attempts.

McConico threw for 273 yards but had to pick himself up off the turf on numerous occasions. Crenshaw’s first series began on the Dorsey 35 but the Cougars turned the ball over on downs. It was only an indication of things to come. Allison had nine sacks heading into the night and added at least three to that number Thursday. He had 20 sacks as a junior last season.

The Cougars got the ball back at their own 20 with 28.3 seconds remaining but it proved too big of a task for McConico and Co. This year, Crenshaw didn't have De'Anthony Thomas, now a freshman phenom for the Oregon Ducks, on its side. The Cougars stormed into Rancho Cienega Park last season, beating Dorsey 53-12 behind Thomas' 171 yards and four total touchdowns.

Not facing Thomas was "very easy, very easy," Dorsey's Jaydon Mickens said. "The speed of the game slowed down from last year and the year before. It slowed down and we got to execute."

City Division I: Crenshaw 45, Carson 7

December, 12, 2010

LOS ANGELES -- Aesthetics are a matter of opinion. Things are more beautiful to some than they are to others.

But everyone in attendance at the Coliseum on Saturday would agree that countless penalties and 12 combined turnovers made for some ugly, sloppy football.

It was a beautiful sight in Crenshaw’s eyes, though, as the Cougars captured their second straight City Section Division I title with a 45-7 win over Carson.

After all, championship trophies are always pretty.

Really, Crenshaw’s defense was its best offense, scoring three touchdowns and forcing nine turnovers. The Cougars (12-2) didn't get an offensive score until the fourth quarter, when Jerry McConico found Reggie William for a seven-yard touchdown to make it 25-0.

The Cougars picked off Carson quarterback Justin Alo five times -- three of which were returned all the way back for scores.

Crenshaw star DeAnthony Thomas scored on one of his two interceptions and added a fancy touchdown run to push the lead to 31-0.

"I just try to be a big player, you know," said the 5-foot-9 Thomas, who cried after playing his final high school game.

Thomas will be back the Coliseum next fall, with many expecting him to be an immediate impact at USC. Despite concerns about his size, he plans on being a running back at the next level.

"I can make plays on the offensive side and defensive side," Thomas said. "I’m trying to go for the Heisman (Trophy), make plays and be a leader for USC."

Thomas and teammate Marquis Thompson got emotional near the end of the game, embracing each other without an attempt to fight back tears.

"This was a young team," Thompson said. "We had to pull it together. We had to make these young dudes work hard."

The hard work paid off. Alo threw two interceptions in the first quarter, while Myles Johnson and Dion Willis each lost fumbles. Both of Alo's interceptions were returned for touchdowns -- Thomas had one of 16 yards, Shaquille Shelton had the other for 43 yards.

The Cougars weren't much better in their attempt to move the ball, which kept Carson (11-3) within striking distance. Tracy Harris intercepted McConico twice -- once in the end zone, the other near the goal line -- in the first quarter. The Colts failed to capitalize.

Alo's third interception -- this one by Qujuan Floyd -- put Crenshaw inside the Carson 10 with 23 seconds remaining in the first half. But the Cougars settled for a Jose Arias 26-yard field goal when McConico missed his receivers on consecutive throws.

Crenshaw’s offense didn’t get many style points in this one, but that didn’t seem to matter to coach Robert Garrett. When a few players tried to surprise him with the patented Gatorade bath, Garrett spotted them and opened his arms wide as if to say, “Come and get me."

Before the season, the Cougars had hoped to return to the CIF State Open Division Bowl game. Two losses to start erased those aspirations, but Thomas was proud of the way his team bounced back.

"I knew the first two games would be tough with a lot of sophomores on the team," Thomas said. "But they came through. By the sixth week we were rolling.

"A lot of us have been playing together since we were little. I’m glad we got this last win."