The Bruins have a pair of fresh running backs ready to run headlong once more unto the breach that is the Poly front seven. Senior Dillon Harris is the speedy starter, and senior Peter Sio is the interesting newcomer with a specific style.
“He has the rugby style running, a little high but they twist their shoulders one way of the other to get by a guy,” Ziegenhagen said. “Harris is more of a flash runner. A side stepper. He creates some holes for us as well.”
Harris impressed the Jackrabbits with his efforts in this game last year, and started this season with back-to-back 100+ yard efforts against Mayfair and San Jacinto. An injury held the 5’8” 175-pound senior out for two consecutive games this year, but he came back with a 20-carry, 123-yard, three touchdown performance in the blowout win at Compton.
Harris has gained over 500 all-purpose yards and scored six touchdowns in four games.
Sio is a rugby player from Samoa who is playing his first year of organized football. He had a breakout performance in relief of Harris against St. Anthony where he rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
Long Beach Poly’s linebackers aren’t the biggest group the Jackrabbits have ever had. Bryun Parham, Anthony Parker, Jonathan Scott, and David Bakalar go 5’10”, 5’8″, 6’, 6’, and average 204 pounds. But what the Jackrabbits lack in physical size, they’ve made up for in versatile skill set. All three players have shown the ability to bring big hits in stopping the run, and quick speed in rushing the pass.
Parham has opened eyes already this season. He blitzed the A-gap for a safety sack against Los Al, and has an interception as well as a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles. Parham is from a legacy Poly family and has been waiting for several years to get on the field and make a name for himself–something the junior has definitely done. Parham is probably the most physical player on the field for Poly, and has played fullback as well as a result.
Parker and Scott are a biggers player who will also play at defensive end as a hybrid outside linebacker/edge rusher. They’re sure-handed tacklers that have stood out at both positions so far this season.
Bakalar, a transfer from St. John Bosco, brings athleticism to the group, as well as physicality. The extra man is Khilyn Neal, who has been all over the field for Poly at linebacker, defensive end, tight end, and fullback this year.