So far this football season, Culver City’s defense coached by defensive coordinator Derrick Huezo has proven to be a bright spot for on a team that has several bright spots.
Everyone wants to talk about the Centaurs high powered offense but it’s the defense that has come up with big plays.
Last Friday night in the high desert against Palmdale they came up with five turnovers. “I am proud of the defense,” said Culver City head varsity football coach Jahmal Wright. “I was very pleased the way they played against Palmdale.” Those turnovers led to a 44-7 victory over Palmdale. They will have to continue to play at a high level this Friday because they will be facing one of the top quarterbacks in the nation in Warren’s Nico Iamaleava. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Warren.
The 6’6 205-pound Iamaleava is rated as the No. 3 ranked high school quarterback in America, but Culver City is thrilled to be in the game.
“We are excited about the challenge that is in front of us,” said Wright last Monday after practice. “We have a lot of respect for Warren. We have had some very good games against Warren in the past, so we expect this game to be a hard-fought contest. We know all about Nico and we are excited to play such a talented player.”
Both teams will go into the contest with 2-1 records and both teams appear to be solid in all three phrases of the game, offense, defense and special teams.
“We have the ultimate confidence in our team,’ said Wright. “If we play the way we are supposed to play we can win the game.”
If they play like they played against West Torrance (35- 13) and Palmdale they have a fighting chance.
Against Palmdale Centaur quarterback Sammy Silvia, who is having an outstanding season completed 16 out of 33 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns.
“Sammy did a good job,” said Wright. “He spread the ball around to a lot of different receivers. It was a good team win.”
Silvia connected with seven different receivers and back up quarterback Alejandro Ortega was able to connect with two other receivers and he also threw a touchdown.
Nine different receivers caught passes.
“It’s a team game,” said Wright. “Everybody on the team works so hard. They deserve an opportunity to get on the field and get some playing time. It’s good for team morale when everybody can get on the field and get a piece of the action.”
Getting a big piece of the offensive action against Palmdale was running back Maurice Burgess. The 5’10 185-pound senior carried the ball 17 times and gained 90 yards. “It was exciting for the offense to have 59 total plays,” said Wright. “That’s the number of plays we want to run to maximize our offense and get the ball in to the hands of some of our explosive players.”
Against Warren the offense will need to score points but the key to winning the game will be if the defense can stop Warren’s offense. “We love playing on the road and we are excited about playing Warren on the road Friday night,” said Wright.
The Culver City girls’ volley- ball team currently has a record of 9-2. The Lady Centaurs have a match against the No. 9 rated team in the nation when the face 11-4 Redondo Union on Thursday, September 15, at home at 3:30 p.m. and they travel to Peninsula on Wednesday, Sept. 21, for a 4:45 p.m. match.