Compton Football

Football: Compton Thumps Centennial in Season Opener

It turned out the only thing that was able to slow down Compton High’s running attack on Friday evening at Centennial High School was Compton’s own defense. The visiting Tarbabes started with a flurry on the defensive side of the ball, returning three interceptions for touchdowns within the first 4:25 of game time. That sparked Compton to a 44-0 leader after one quarter and an emphatic 60-0 win over their city rivals.

“I thought that our guys were pumped up to get an opportunity to play the first game of the year,” said Compton head coach Calvin Bryant after the win. “We just wanted to go out and see how well we could play against 11 guys we didn’t know.”

Compton’s offense only ended up running eight plays from scrimmage in the first half, but had nonetheless put eight touchdowns on the board. Eric Barrios opened the scoring defensively, intercepting a pass on the opening drive of the game and returning it for a Compton touchdown.

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After Compton recovered a fumble on the ensuing Centennial drive, it took just one handoff to Deon Johnson to make it a 14-0 lead as he broke off a 22-yard touchdown run. On the very next play, Johnson stepped in front of a Centennial pass and returned it to the end zone for his team’s second pick-six of the day.

Next it was Taijon Direaux who collected a pick-six for Compton, returning the ball 68 yards for a score to make it 28-0 witn 7:35 left on the first quarter clock. The Compton defense also had 10 tackles for loss in the game and collected three sacks.

Barrios added a 15-yard touchdown run later in the quarter and Kenny Cox capped off the opening frame with a 40-yard TD scamper to make it 44-0 after 12 minutes. Deshawn Shepperd capped the first-half scoring with a 38-yard scoring run to make it a 52-0 lead at the break.

After halftime, Barrios capped off Compton’s longest drive of the day (8 plays, 49 yards) with a 29-yard touchdown run for his third score of the day. He ran it five times for 58 yards and two scores to go with his pick-six. Despite his big night, Barrios was already looking ahead to next week’s tough contest with Inglewood.

“It was fun coming out here and playing,” Barrios said. “We just want to focus on next week because we know the team we’re going to play wants to throw the ball a lot and they have good receivers and good running backs, so we just want to focus on that.”

Johnson had five carries for 60 yards and a score to start off his season. As a team, Compton averaged just under 15 yards per carry, racking up 209 rushing yards on 14 carries with the starters in the game.

Compton (1-0) will continue its season at Inglewood next Friday at 7 p.m. before the Hub City Championship Game against Dominguez the following week.

VIDEO: Compton vs. Centennial, Football

PHOTOS: Compton vs. Centennial, Football

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.