Winning a championship is one of the most difficult achievements in sports.
Culver City High School’s football team found out the hard way last Friday when they were beaten by Covina 57-56 in overtime.
It was an electrifying CIF semi-final in front of a packed house inside the Jerry Chabola Stadium.
“I am consistently reflecting on the game,” said Culver City Coach Jahmal Wright days later.
“It was heartbreaking. But the boys fought hard. They gave it their best. They fought through adversity.
“A tough way to lose. It was just unfortunate to be on the losing end.”
No one play could define the game. It was like an old Ali-Frazier fight. Toe-to-toe. One team would score, then the other.
Sixteen touchdowns, almost 1200 yards of offense.
It came down to a three-yard two point play in overtime.
Covina running back Erick Cuellar gained a whopping 311 yards on 49 carries. He scored five touchdowns. Covina ran 89 offensive plays and Culver City ran 54 plays.
“We did not realize Covina’s running game was that good,” said Coach Wright.
For the Centaurs, Kevin McGuire had 300 yards of offense. He ran for 112 yards on seven carries and caught 12 passes for 188 yards.
And he scored four touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Jonathan Martin completed 18 of 22 passes, 378 yards and five touchdowns.
Culver City was ranked No. 1 for 12 weeks before the loss to Covina.
Finishing with an 11-2 record, the Centaur future is bright.
“Because of injuries we had to play a lot of young players,” Coach Wright said. “That will help us in the future.
“We are certainly one of the best football programs on the Westside.”
Mr. Finley may be contacted at email@example.com
Mr. Laase may be contacted at GMLaase@aol.com