Long Beach Poly Football
Football Jordan Long Beach Poly

Football: Long Beach Poly Youth Leads To Jordan Win

Friday night’s game between Long Beach Poly and Jordan was dubbed as the schools’ “Staff Appreciation Day.” It also served as a Youth Appreciation Night, as the Jackrabbits were able to empty their bench in a lopsided win over the Panthers, 52-7.

“Everyone played, everyone who dressed got in, that was the really good thing for us,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. 

Jordan lost last week to Cabrillo, a team Poly dispatched 69-0, which meant the Jackrabbits obviously went in confident. They spent the game developing their youth, with starting running back Malachi Rice only carrying the ball five times, for example.

“We’ve been working on some new stuff, we’re trying to get some different looks in terms of personnel groupings and styles,” said Barbee. “Our focus is on beating Lakewood to win the Moore League championship next week and then being ready for the playoffs.”

The Jackrabbits outgained Jordan 453 yards to 36 and had 11 players carry the ball and seven receivers notch a catch. Twenty-seven different players recorded a tackle for the Jackrabbits.

Poly scored on their first drive with a 25-yard run from running back Zakar Carter, then held Jordan to a three-and-out. Khilyn Neal, a tight end/defensive end for the team, lined up at running back and scored Poly’s next touchdown. After another three and out by the Poly defense, quarterback Mehki Jordan hit Kyren Racheal for a 14-yard score. Jordan hit Anthony Curtis for the next Poly score, then ran it in himself. Rice opened the second half with a 20 yard touchdown, then sophomore QB Shea Kuykendall found Makyle Jackson for a score. Carter finished the scoring for Poly with a 48-yard run.

The Jackrabbit defense played a solid game, but Jordan got on the board on a busted coverage as quarterback Isaac Ochoa found the Panthers’ best playmaker, Jaylon Morgan, for a 53-yard touchdown in the second half. The Panthers also got a long kickoff return from Nehemiah Condon as their other big highlight.

Poly (6-3, 5-0) will host Lakewood next week trying to sew up an undefeated league title, while Jordan (4-5, 1-5) concludes their 2019 season as they have a bye next week.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.