LOS ANGELES -- They call him "Ocho" because the number eight is stitched onto his jersey. But with the way Dorsey defensive end Jeremiah Allison played Thursday night, the moniker could stand for the amount of blockers Crenshaw should have used to keep him away from the quarterback.
An Allison-led defense played quick and physical in a 7-6 win before a standing-room only crowd at Crenshaw, helping Dorsey snap a four-year losing streak to its biggest rival. A win against Locke next week would give the Dons their first Coliseum League crown since 2006.
Allison made it difficult on Crenshaw's offensive line all night, rushing the edge and forcing quarterback Jerry McConico into quick decisions. It's the way Dorsey (8-1, 4-0) has been winning all season.
"Just speed," Allison said. "We keep preaching speed. We can't get complacent. We've got a lot of senior leadership on this team. We've got to keep going 100 miles per hour."
Junior Max Lyons broke the scoreless tie with a lunge from three yards away in the first quarter, and Dorsey's defense made it stand. The Cougars (5-3, 3-1) got on the board with a 25-yard pass from McConico to Andre Edwards in the third quarter but a missed extra-point attempt kept them from tying it. Crenshaw could have taken the lead early in the fourth but Anthony Matombe missed a 25-yard field goal.
"We put the game in the defense's hands," Dorsey coach Paul Knox said. "They've done a great job. To hold a really good team like this to one touchdown is really an accomplishment."
The Dons appeared to take a two-touchdown lead late in the second quarter but Reginald Bell’s 61-yard heave was called back when it was ruled that he stepped out of bounds before his release. Bell, a junior, appeared flustered under the big game's bright lights. He finished with 65 yards passing and completed only one of his seven second-half attempts.
McConico threw for 273 yards but had to pick himself up off the turf on numerous occasions. Crenshaw’s first series began on the Dorsey 35 but the Cougars turned the ball over on downs. It was only an indication of things to come. Allison had nine sacks heading into the night and added at least three to that number Thursday. He had 20 sacks as a junior last season.
The Cougars got the ball back at their own 20 with 28.3 seconds remaining but it proved too big of a task for McConico and Co. This year, Crenshaw didn't have De'Anthony Thomas, now a freshman phenom for the Oregon Ducks, on its side. The Cougars stormed into Rancho Cienega Park last season, beating Dorsey 53-12 behind Thomas' 171 yards and four total touchdowns.
Not facing Thomas was "very easy, very easy," Dorsey's Jaydon Mickens said. "The speed of the game slowed down from last year and the year before. It slowed down and we got to execute."