All City Football Long Beach Poly

All-City Game of the Year: Long Beach Poly Football vs. Orange Lutheran

The night began with frustration for the Long Beach Poly football team, and it ended with glory. The Jackrabbits were late to their own CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoff game thanks to a mixup with buses, and then for the first quarter of their opener against Orange Lutheran, it looked like the Poly offense missed the bus completely as they fell behind 14-0.

CIF Football: Long Beach Poly vs. Orange Lutheran

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But that consternation gave way to jubilation thanks to the late-game heroics of senior quarterback Mehki Jordan, who had a game-tying two-point conversion to send the game to overtime, and the game-winning touchdown to give Poly a 27-24 OT win over the Lancers.

“Nobody gave us a shot in this game except you guys and the kids in our locker room,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee after the game. “We’ve been hearing Trinity League this and Trinity League that. This is a big win for our program to show that we play pretty good football over here, too.”

The win was huge for the Poly program, which ended up as one of the last 16 teams standing in Southern California in Division 1 and 2–but it was also the most exciting game of the season, with a deafening roar from the crowd as Mekhi Jordan scored his walk-off overtime touchdown. It was Poly’s first overtime playoff football win in more than 20 years and the first for any Moore League team in a decade.

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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.