STORY & VIDEO BY MATT SIMON
Coach Calvin Bryant usually keeps his cool after games regardless if the Compton football team wins or loses.
On Friday night, he couldn’t stop himself from smiling after the Tarbabes defeated Lakewood 30-26, a come-from-behind victory that was Compton’s first win over the Lancers since 1997.
With the game on the line, the Tarbabes didn’t turn to the legs of one of their backs, but the arm of junior quarterback Allen Monroe Jr.
Monroe and the Tarbabes threw one pass Friday night and delivered as he connected with senior Keilan White for a 34-yard game-winning touchdown.
“We’ve been watching film all week,” Monroe said. “We saw if we roll out or fake the run, the corners and safeties are going to bite, 100 percent, they’re going to bite. And they did bit and I just saw my boy Keilan running straight and I just threw it. He caught it and we scored.”
It was a play that will go down in history for a Compton team that bounced back from a disappointing Jordan loss to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“This is huge,” Bryant said. “It’s crazy because back in the (Mike) Christenson days we’d be up 21-0, 21-7 and they’d come back and beat us. And when (Thadd) McNeil was there they’d just kill us. I don’t think many people can talk about Lakewood more than I can. They just whooped my butt over and over again. It just felt real good to have this win and hats off to them, they played an excellent game.”
Lakewood (4-5, 3-2) didn’t make it easy for the Tarbabes as running back James Voorhies scored three touchdowns and ran for 240 yards.
Compton’s defense came up big in the second quarter with an interception by freshman Erick Baritz and a turnover on downs to go to half down 14-8.
With some injuries, the Tarbabes (5-4, 2-3) got a big lift from senior Zelen Dotson who moved from guard to fullback.
The senior rushed for 113 yards on 12 carries and made sure to run hard whenever he got the ball.
“I just have to give it up to my line,” Dotson said. “They played great and really made it easy for me.”
As a team the Tarbabes ran for 360 yards and Jaheim Hunt and Jai Smith combined for four touchdowns.
Tarbabes will look to lock up a playoff spot next week when they host Cabrillo and Lakewood still has a good chance at making the postseason.