November 17, 2010

Stars of Week Ten

Crenshaw athlete De'Anthony Thomas is the Section Sports Athlete of the Week for Coastal Southern California. Thomas starred as the Cougars crushed previously-undefeated Dorsey to take the Coliseum League title. The Cougars led 47-0 midway through the second quarter and wound up with a 53-12 win, their fifth consecutive victory over the Dons.

Thomas rushed for 96 yards on 11 carries and caught three passes for a total of 84 yards. The 5-foot-9 senior scored four touchdowns; two rushing and two receiving. All four touchdowns came from more than 20 yards out. He also helped out on defense, where had had two tackles and his second interception of the season.

Thomas and the Crenshaw secondary gave Dorsey quarterback Joseph Gray a difficult time. Gray had entered the game with over 2,400 passing yards and 28 touchdowns on the season. He completed 11 of his 32 passes against Crenshaw, finishing with 149 yards and no touchdowns. Dorsey's running backs averaged less than three yards per carry.

Thomas, who verbaled to USC in May, ends the regular season with 1,004 rushing yards on only 92 carries. He has scored 15 rushing touchdowns and has four touchdown receptions.

Crenshaw may not be done with Dorsey. The rivals could meet again in the City Section championship game. Crenshaw enters the playoffs as the No. 2 seed and faces Granada Hills in Friday's first round; fourth-seeded Dorsey opens against Gardena but will have to get past Taft and No. 1 seed Carson to earn another shot at the Cougars.

Northern California

Danville Monte Vista wide receiver Bryce McGovern is the Section Sports Athlete of the Week for Northern California. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound senior caught 13 passes for a season-high 241 yards and three touchdowns in the Mustangs' 38-31 win over crosstown rival San Ramon Valley. McGovern also carried the ball seven times for 35 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He scored three of his four touchdowns during the second quarter.

McGovern has 63 receptions for 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns this season. The win over San Ramon Valley was his first multi-touchdown game of 2010. As impressive as McGovern's receiving numbers are, they are down from last season, when he caught 106 passes and amassed a state-record 2,063 receiving yards. This year, he also has four interceptions, 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery for the Mustangs' defense.

The Mustangs and Wolves both qualified for the North Coast Section Division I playoffs. No. 3 seed Monte Vista hosts San Leandro and San Ramon Valley faces Deer Valley. If both teams win as expected, they will meet again in next week's quarterfinals.

Inland Southern California

Justin Gheorghe's career night was not enough to salvage J.W. North's season but it did earn the junior quarterback the Section Sports Athlete of the Week Award for Inland Southern California. Gheorghe led the Huskies to a 30-26 win over King in the regular season finale, eliminating the Wolves from postseason contention in the process.

Gheorghe completed 18 of his 32 passes in the game, totaling 358 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 121 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds left to secure the victory.

North started the season 0-6 but defeated city rivals King and Poly to end the season on a high note. North will hope for some improvement in 2011, with Gheorghe returning behind center along with leading receivers Aaron Peck and Garrett Biggers and 6-foot-4 tight end Marcus Baugh.

Small Schools

The series between Holtville and Calipatria is one of the best small school rivalries in Southern California. The Imperial County teams play nearly every season in what is simply called The Axe Game. Last week's matchup ended in a 36-33 win for Holtville after Calipatria botched a potential game-tying field goal in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Vikings running back Ethan Ming carried the ball 41 times for a season-high 351 yards and four touchdowns in the win, which secured third place in the Pacific League and possession of The Axe which Calipatra claimed after last year's game.

Ming and the Vikings move on to the San Diego Section Division V playoffs, where they will host league rival Army-Navy in the first round. Holtville handed the Warriors a 28-22 defeat back on Oct. 22. Ming rushed for 245 yards and three touchdowns in that game.

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