Compton Football Wilson

PREVIEW: Wilson vs. Compton, Football

The last automatic CIF Southern Section playoff bid from the Moore League will be handed out at Wilson High tonight where the Bruins are hosting Compton.

Wilson (5-4, 3-2) can clinch third place in league with a win, but Compton (6-3, 2-3) would force an envelope draw tiebreaker with a win, and a Lakewood win over Cabrillo.

“Our destiny is in our hands,” Wilson coach Mark Ziegenhagen said. “If we win, we’re in.”

“It’s definitely not a good place to be in, but I’d take it rather than being in a situation where we didn’t have an opportunity,” Compton coach Clavin Bryant said.

The Bruins are coming off of a devastating last-second loss to Millikan last week despite committing a season-high four turnovers.

“For us to be in the game after four turnovers said something about our character and heart,” Ziegenhagen said.

After a slow start to the season, Wilson has leaned on its rushing attack in league play. Senior running back Marcos Nottingham has rushed for over 700 yards this season, and over 400 yards and four touchdowns in the last three games behind the offensive line of Conrad Christian, Terren Monette, Jakob Belton, Jaylen Farrera and Adrian Tejeda.

“Our offense is going to have to sustain some drives and keep their offense off the field,” Ziegenhagen said.

After three consecutive league losses, Compton set up this playoff scenario by beating Carbrillo 38-6 last week.

“We have to be able to close games out,” Bryant said. “We just need that one play that puts us over the top. If we could do that we wouldn’t be in this situation right now.”

Compton has also relied on its rushing attack this season to the tune of 315 yards rushing per game. Senior Niles Hibbert has a team-high 976 yards rushing with 11 touchdowns.

READ MORE about Hibbert and his journey at Compton.

“We have to really play disciplined football,” Ziegenhagen said. “But it’s going to take us a quarter or so to get used to the flow of the game. It’s going to come down to who is going to be in shape in the fourth quarter.”

“It’s going to be a good game and we’re excited about the physical battles that will occur,” Bryant said. “We’re going to have to play a perfect game to come out on top.”

Other than the Wilson forfeit in 2013, Compton hasn’t beaten the Bruins since 2008.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.