North Torrance’s Kyle Cryer already had established himself as a standout receiver, but he opened eyes with a prolific performance Thursday night at Redondo. Cryer rushed an eye-popping 44 times and gained 244 yards. He scored one touchdown and had three runs of 20 or more yards, including a long of 27 yards. “I knew he had numbers like that in him in an all-purpose role, but I would have been surprised if you told me he’d have that many rushing yards, considering he’s a receiver,” North coach Todd Croce said. Cryer had more than 200 receiving yards in Week 1. He moved to the backfield to help North try to snap a winless streak that has reached three games. Cryer didn’t care about his rushing totals. “We’re just trying to piece together a season,” he said. “We’ve got five guys up front and that’s all we’ve got.” Calling in reinforcements With a rising number of premier local cross country teams bolting from the South Bay Cup, Torrance coach Israel Pose knew he needed to make a drastic change. So he called in Saugus, the No. 2 girls team in CIF Division I, to add legitimacy to the meet. Look for an intense Saugus-Mira Costa showdown on the girls side. “Maybe getting Saugus will spark an interest,” Pose said. We’ve got a lot of good teams in the South Bay, but there’s coaches who don’t bring their teams to this meet, and it’s discouraging,” Pose said. The South Bay Cup is expected to have 15 teams, including Torrance, West Torrance, South Torrance, Mira Costa, North Torrance, Leuzinger and San Pedro. Saugus is coached by Rene Paragas, a former El Camino College runner who has known Pose for years. “Rene asks me every year if he could compete,” Pose said. “I always told him no before, but maybe we need to start bringing in some outsiders. Loyola and Lakewood have asked about this meet in the past.” The Hill has no love for this event. Peninsula, Palos Verdes and Chadwick opted not to run in this year’s version of the South Bay Cup. Redondo is expected to use its lower-level runners. Rain follies Friday’s rainy football games yielded an interesting statistic. There were seven safeties in the 10 games involving local teams. St. Bernard recorded a safety against Palos Verdes, Inglewood gave up one up in its game at San Clemente, Morningside got one against Animo, Westchester allowed two in its game with Washington and El Segundo and Mary Star each had one in its matchup at El Segundo. “I think any time you get the first rains of a season, the kids aren’t used to it, the fields aren’t ready for it and there’s a learning curve that goes with playing in wet weather,” El Segundo coach Steve Shevlin said. Shevlin said El Segundo’s field is in particularly poor shape and is not equipped to handle the wear and tear the teams put on it en route to a strange final score. El Segundo won the game, 11-2. “I’m sure it was a pretty interesting score to look at,” Mary Star coach Dino Andrie said. Close, but still, a cigar Palos Verdes girls volleyball coach Pinter Aguirre had a good reason for missing Tuesday’s match against Torrance. Aguirre informed Athletic Director Mike Boyd that he would not be attending the match so that he could be with his wife, Melissa, during the birth of their son, Connor James. The 6-pound, 12-ounce, 20-inch baby was born at 8:03 p.m. Tuesday. Palos Verdes captain Joanna Bahl called Aguirre to inform him of the team’s five-game loss to Torrance shortly after Connor was born, but her reason for calling wasn’t strictly volleyball-related. “She wanted to talk about the birth first and the match second,” Aguirre said. Quick ascension Redondo’s Hayward Gray was No. 3 on the Redondo depth chart as a junior, but this year he might be one of the quickest running backs in the South Bay. Gray rushed 26 times for 288 yards Thursday against North. He has the benefit of fullback Joe Rubio, who rushed 12 times for 55 yards. “We work well together,” Gray said. “He hits the hole and I come up behind him. I think it’s a good combination.” Linsky commits Peninsula baseball coach Dennis Gonsalves said that right-handed pitcher Lenny Linsky has made a verbal commitment to play at the University of Hawaii. – John Klima, David Saunders, Tony Ciniglio160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Torrance High will retire the uniform number of the late Kim Blankinship as the highlight of a girls volleyball tripleheader on Saturday at Torrance. Blankinship, the most decorated female athlete in Tartars history with 12 varsity letters, died unexpectedly at age 31 last October. She was a first-team All-CIF selection for two years in volleyball, soccer and track. The Tartars will retire the No. 14 jersey that she wore in both volleyball and soccer following the 5 p.m. Redondo-North Torrance match and prior to the 7:30 South Torrance-Torrance match at the Torrance Challenge. “She was everything right about Torrance,” Torrance girls volleyball coach Nathan Jones said. “We’ve had big athletes come through here. Louis Zamperini has the track stadium named after him. Fred and Jason Kendall have the baseball field named after them. We thought it was appropriate to honor Kim in this fashion.” Jones said Blankinship’s parents are expected to attend the uniform retirement ceremony along with several family members. The showcase kicks off with a West Torrance-El Segundo match at 3 p.m. The Redondo-North showdown follows and Torrance closes out with South Torrance in a Pioneer League match. Tickets for the full day cost a minimum $5 donation, and the proceeds will go to the Kim Blankinship Memorial Fund. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to be wiping away tears as we go down to play our match,” Jones said. “The Blankinships are such nice people.” Cryer in the rain
The result papers over the cracks for the time being as the Blues were still largely unconvincing, but the fans were clear in voicing their support for the manager 1 Jose Mourinho breathed a big sigh of relief at Stamford Bridge, as his Chelsea side boosted their chances of making the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev.The luck Chelsea have been looking for in recent weeks finally came in the first half, when they were struggling to find an opening. After Willian found space on the right, Aleksandar Dragovic headed into his own goal.Jose Mourinho felt aggrieved once again before the break as Diego Costa was denied a penalty when he was taken down in the box, but a foul would have been a harsh decision.The Kiev defender made amends as he levelled Kiev 13 minutes from time, after Begovic’s error, when he could finish into a virtually open goal.After offering little in the first half, Kiev looked on top in the second and the tension was clear around Stamford Bridge. That was until in-form Willian showcased a moment of pure quality to put Chelsea back in front with a well-crafted free-kick from 25 yards to seal a much-needed win for Mourinho after a torrid few weeks. It was unconvincing as the Blues lacked belief, but the home crowd were clear in their support for the Portuguese manager, often chanting his name. Mourinho dropped out-of-form star Eden Hazard to the bench for the clash, while Cesc Fabregas returned to the starting XI, along with Baba Rahman and Nemanja Matic, who came in to replace Gary Cahill and John Obi Mikel respectively.The hosts started brightly as Costa was one of the Blues players that looked lively and their first chance came after eight minutes. Cesar Azpilicueta played a neat one-two with Fabregas before pulling a low cross to the penalty spot, where Oscar’s shaped shot was whipped past his marker but straight at goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy.The visitors rarely posed a threat and it was nearly two when Fabregas floated a free-kick to Matic, who headed across goal and Chelsea could not bundle the ball home.They took an inevitable lead after 34 minutes when Willian made a dangerous run down the right, crossing towards Costa and defender Dragovic headed at the front post, past the goalkeeper and into his own net and that was a stroke of good fortune which the club have been lacking in their recent form.Chelsea were appealing frantically for a penalty in stoppage time before the interval, when Costa made a bursting run into the box and, after beating Dragovic, Yevhen Khacheridi was tracking back and the Spanish forward went down easily for the penalty.Mourinho smiled ironically, after angry appeals, but the referee probably made the right decision as Costa should have continued en route to goal.Costa had to be refrained at the break, as he was incensed with the officials and Matic and Terry had to force him away.The Ukranian champions started the second period brightly, but they could not make it count despite stretching the Chelsea defence.Chelsea did not have a second stroke of luck as Shovkovskiy made a stunning save. Willan’s cushioned header was destined for the bottom corner before the goalkeeper managed to get a hand it, palming it clear from danger.The away side were the ones appealing for a spot-kick when Ramires appeared to handle the ball after it went through a crowd of bodies in the box, but the referee was defiant.Kiev had their moments as Begovic saved well to deny Junior Moraes, as the anxiety grew into the home side and they looked to be hanging on.Vitaliy Buyalskiy was lucky to still be on the field after he was shown just a yellow, after sticking his studs into Costa’s thigh.The Stamford Bridge side could sense a Dynamo goal and it came when Terry and Begovic’s misunderstanding led to a corner.The set piece was whipped in, the Bosnian goalkeeper went to punch the ball clear, and it fell kindly to Dragovic at the far post, who controlled the ball before coolly lashing the ball home between the Chelsea defenders on the line.It made for a nervy final 13 minutes in west London.Those nerves were soon dashed when Chelsea hit back with a reply, through one of their most impressive players in recent weeks. The Blues were awarded a free-kick near the edge of the box and Willian curled a fine effort over the wall and into the top corner to bag a vital goal for Mourinho’s men who go second in Group G.Elsewhere, group rivals Porto were 3-1 winners at Maccabi Tel Aviv.