Football: Dorsey gets second shot at crosstown rival
Los Angeles is buzzing with excitement on the eve of Saturday afternoon's USC-UCLA showdown at the Rose Bowl, but an equally intense grudge game will take place tonight when neighborhood rivals Crenshaw and Dorsey clash in the quarterfinals of the Los Angeles City Section Division I playoffs.
The schools are only 2.6 miles apart and bragging rights are on the line any time these rivals meet, but especially in the playoffs. The teams have split their last two playoff games, Crenshaw winning 35-6 in 2009 and Dorsey prevailing 29-15 in 2004.
Crenshaw (10-1) enters tonight's game as the clear favorite, having already beaten the Dons 34-14 in Coliseum League play Oct. 19--a game in which the Cougars intercepted Dorsey quarterback Reginald Bell four times. Second-seeded Crenshaw has won eight in a row since its 44-41 intersectional loss at Westlake Village Westlake. The Cougars eliminated Arleta 38-7 last week.
Seventh-seeded Dorsey (7-4) has won five of six since dropping its final three nonleague games and is coming off a 62-22 rout of Palisades in the first round. To pull off the upset the Dons will need strong performances from Bell and junior wide receiver Jermale Jefferson.
A key matchup in tomorrow's Battle of Los Angeles will pit UCLA's all-time rushing leader and 2008 Dorsey alum Johnathan Franklin against USC linebacker Hayes Pullard, a senior on Crenshaw's City championship team in 2009.
Kickoff is at 6 p.m. and Varsity Times Insider will provide scoring updates throughout the game.
-- Steve Galluzzo