Football Long Beach Poly Wilson

High School Football Preview: Wilson vs. Long Beach Poly

We’ve broken down every angle we can think of to make sure you can fully appreciate Friday night’s Big Game between Long Beach Poly and Wilson, where the Bruins will try to beat Poly for the first time since 1991 and try to be the first Moore League team to beat Poly on the field since Millikan did it in 2009.

We told you about how the game was moved to Cerritos for a few hours, and then moved back to Wilson.

We told you about how the game is sold out, and you shouldn’t bother coming if you don’t have a ticket already (we’ll have live updates here and on Twitter!).

We told you about the history of the rivalry, which is older than 26 of 32 teams in the NFL.

We told you about the Hall of Fame class Wilson is inducting at halftime.

We talked about everything related to the game on our weekly sports podcast.

We’ve got scouting reports on:

Wilson passing game vs Poly secondary

Wilson running game vs Poly linebackers

Wilson O-Line vs Poly D-Line

Poly passing game vs Wilson secondary

Poly running game vs Wilson linebackers

Poly O-Line vs Wilson D-Line

WATCH VIDEOS from the Wilson season

WATCH VIDEOS from the Poly season

If that wasn’t enough, we’ve got team outlooks below. Check it out, and come back Friday night for live updates!


Wilson (6-0, 2-0) is already having one of its best seasons in school history, but it may be deja vu all over again for the Bruins on Friday night.

The last time Wilson started a season 5-0 was 1961, before losing to Poly 34-13. Wilson started the 1963 season 4-0, and then they played Poly to a 20-20 tie. In 1964 Wilson was riding high with a 4-0-1 record before a 49-21 drubbing from the Jackrabbits.

With all of that history, Wilson coach Mark Ziegenhagen knows he doesn’t have to do much to motivate his team.

“I’m not making the game bigger than it has to be,” Ziegenhagen said. “I just want the kids to stay focused, prepare the way we’ve been preparing, and then show up and play hard like we have been. This history of the rivalry comes up every year because I think the alumni and guys who graduated in the 50’s and 60’s get more out of it than our current kids.”

Despite being undefeated while putting up impressive statistics, Ziegenhagen said he knows his team has yet to put it all together in one game.

“We haven’t played perfectly yet,” Ziegenhagen said. “We have to play a perfect game to beat Poly. Obviously their record doesn’t fool us, they’ve played some really good teams in the preseason. Poly is Poly. They’ve got dudes still.

“Do we have much more in the tank? Yes we do. We have more show and prove on both sides of the ball.”


The Jackrabbits (2-3, 1-0) got off to a 1-3 start, the worst at the school since 2012. But not all losses are created equal, and the Poly coaches pointed out that their three losses came to Corona Centennial (No. 20 in the nation), Serra (No. 6 in Division 1) and Punahou (No. 2 in Hawaii).

The combined record of the three teams Poly has lost to is 15-4.

“We’re a good football team,” Poly coach Stephen Barbee said bluntly. “We played really good teams to get us ready for the regular season and the playoffs.”

In Poly’s first game against a Moore League opponent, they certainly looked ready, blowing out Millikan last week as they piled up 350 yards rushing on 10+ yards per carry. 

“Our kids have really embraced the history and tradition of the rivalry and I know they’re looking forward to it,” said Barbee of his team’s game against the Bruins. “They’re a good team, coach Ziggy’s got them rolling over there.”

VIDEO: The Big Game! (No, we can’t get you tickets) * Long Beach Post Sports

On this week’s “The Show” Mike and JJ examine Friday’s Big Game-not A Big Game but THE Big Game-between the Poly and Wilson football teams-and no, they can’t get you tickets (Asia). They’ll look at the history of the rivalry and the stakes of the rivalry-with Wilson at 6-0 for the first time in its …

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