Kejuan Markham didn’t like the way he played in Long Beach Poly’s season opening win over Dorsey last week, and the Jackrabbits’ home opener against Narbonne didn’t start well either. Markham muffed a punt return to give the Gauchos a short porch and their first score of the game. Over the next 45 minutes he didn’t just redeem himself, he etched himself in Poly history by returning three interceptions for touchdowns in a defense-fueled 26-3 win.
“I’ve never done anything like that, not even in Pop Warner,” said Markham, who has several scholarship offers. “It was just like, ‘Wow they’re going to keep throwing it to me.’”
Poly’s offense sputtered in the first half but the Jackrabbit defense stepped up in a big way, with two red zone stands. In the second half, Markham snagged a pass and took it to the house to put Poly up 7-3. On the next play, defensive lineman Elijah Dolphin knocked a ball out of the Narbonne QB’s hands in the end zone, and Bryson Parham dove on it for a score. Two players later, Markham snagged his second interception and returned it for a touchdown again.
Narbonne was in the red zone again in short order, but Markham snagged a 90-yard interception return, his third of the game. That put Poly up 26-3.
The Jackrabbits had five takeaways (Tim Williams also had an interception), six sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, and four scores.
“Kejuan had a great week of practice, I’m not surprised by anything,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee, whose career record now stands at 2-0. “I told him before the game, he’s going to have a great game tonight. With a true team it’s going to be somebody different every week.”
The Poly offense still has some work to do with less than 100 yards total.
“WHen the offense was struggling the defense took it over,” said Barbee.
Poly (2-0) will face Los Alamitos at Cerritos College next Friday.