The powerful feeling of a 43-0 win over rival Beverly Hills will be tested Friday at 7 p.m., when Culver City High School visits top-seeded Serra High School (Gardena) in the first round of the CIF Western Division championships.
The Ocean League’s at-large Centaurs (3-2 in league, 7-3 overall) have been an offensive juggernaut posting two 50-point games and six 40-point games in their 10-game season, but Mission League champion Serra Cavaliers (5-0, 8-2 overall) is expected to clamp down on Culver City’s quickness.
“The Cavaliers are young but they are the same old Serra, with both speed and size on its line,” said prep sports writer Joe Snyder.
The Cavaliers defeated Chaminade, 35-29, last week without their top running back, junior Arterio Bateman, who injured his ankle in Serra’s 70-21 blowout at Harvard-Westlake a week earlier. He is questionable for the game against Culver City.
Serra still has Ronnie Vaughn, who rushed for 227 yards and two touchdowns in Serra’s win last week. Sophomore quarterback Jalen Greene also had a very good game, rushing for 135 yards and one touchdown.
Defending Western Division champion Serra upended Arroyo Grande, 35-10, last year in the finals. And, Pac-7 champion Arroyo Grande is the number-two seed this year.
Against their only common opponent, visiting Serra lost to Narbonne, 26-20, in late September. The Narbonne Gauchos topped the Centaurs in Culver City, a week later, 49-23.
Culver City rebounded from a 17-14 loss to league-leader Santa Monica at home prior to blanking Beverly Hills to close the season last Thursday. The Normans dropped to 2-8 overall.
The Santa Monica Vikings, who won the Ocean League title (5-0), play second-place Channel Islands of the Pacific View League.
Inglewood, which finished second in league at 4-1, goes up against number-four seed Chaminade. Inglewood’s only loss in the Ocean League was to Culver City.
The Centaurs finished alone in third place. Hawthorne, Morningside and Beverly Hills finished with 1-4 marks.
Senior Centaur quarterback Lucas O’Connor more than doubled the passing yardage this season of any Ocean League quarterback, amassing 1,940 yards in the air. Junior Akili Skannal was the league’s second-leading rusher with 535 yards on the ground. Senior Alex Jackson had the most receiving yards at 570. Junior Julius Wilson was third, with 465 yards for the season.