The big play ability of Culver City turned out to be a big problem for Dos Pueblos on Friday night.
The Centaurs scored three touchdowns on plays of 70 yards or more and walked away with a 34-20 victory in the opening round of the Western Divsion CIF playoffs.
Culver City’s sophomore defensive back/receiver Stanley Norman scored on a 72-yard screen pass in the first half and intercepted two passes in the third quarter, running the second back 70 yards for his second touchdown of the game.
“”I knew what to expect. We’ve been watching film on them all week,” Norman said. “Studying, studying and studying because I knew we needed this win.”
Julius Wilson added to the fireworks in the fourth quarter with a 75-yard sprint to the endzone.
“We were definitely confident,” Wilson said. “We knew we were faster than them.”
Wilson showed his explosiveness on another big play, a 90-yard punt return in the second quarter that was called back because of an illegal block.
“You can’t get what you can’t catch, so that’s how we felt,” Wilson said.
Dos Pueblos was the team that drew first blood. Anthony Spiritosanto scored his 10th touchdown of the season on a 10-yard run outside the tackles in the first quarter.
“Early on, 7-0, we had momentum and were playing the field position well, and we can’t give up big plays,” said Chargers head coach Nate Mendoza. “I don’t know. When we’re up 7-0 we just needed to keep that momentum and unfortunately we gave up the big plays.”
Dos Pueblos biggest gain from scrimmage was a 56-yard pass completion from LeShon Bell to Nico Bornand in the third quarter.
The senior tight end scored two plays later on a 4-yard catch. Bornand collected seven receptions in the game and was 2-for-2 on field goals from 29 and 48 yards.
“You can’t say enough about Nico,” Mendoza said. “He’s just a phenomenal player with a phenomenal will. He’s a great leader that’s going to be deeply missed from our team.”
The Chargers, co-Channel League champions, finish their season 7-4.
Mendoza had much to say about his team.
“There’s a lot of things you look at that are positive from the season,” he said. “It’s going to be hard going into the locker room right now saying goodbye to 30 seniors. They laid a foundation for us that’s going to continue on for the future. They started to build this program, and we’re going to continue to build it and build it. We’ll always think of the 2012 Chargers.”