There are two Long Beach-based club teams competing in club football leagues right now, and the Long Beach Grind played one of the best games of the Winner Circle Athletics Champions League last weekend in Chino. The local boys went toe-to-toe with the WCA team made up of top California talent and players from out of state, but lost on a last-second touchdown 21-14.
“We’re a team with players from the same area,” LB Grind quarterback Shea Kuykendall said. “They’re an all-star team getting kids from all over California. We don’t like the outcome (of the game) but we’re proud of our team.”
Kuykendall’s touchdown passes to Kyren Rachel and Keynote Lanier gave LB Grind the lead twice in the second half. WCA running back Seven McGee, an Oregon signee from New York, scored twice in the last three minutes of the game to steal the victory.
The game between these two previously undefeated squads started with both defenses dominating. Linebacker Aupiu Moe almost gave LB Grind a lead at the beginning of the second quarter when he burst through the line on a delayed blitz. He sacked the quarterback inside the one-yard line– narrowly missing the safety. Meanwhile, Jalen Duncan led a feisty secondary that kept the WCA quarterbacks in check.
WCA came out of halftime in a scoreless game and went for it on fourth down deep in its own territory. LB Grind got the stop, and two plays later Kuykendall found Kyren Rachel over the top for the first points of the game.
Two possessions later, WCA running back Terayon Sweet tied the game with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Kuykendall answered with a strong drive that included a 20-yard run of his own and an easy touchdown pass to Lanier on a perfectly called flag route with 4:23 remaining.
WCA fed McGee for the rest of the game, and the talented runner scored the winning touchdown on fourth and one at their own 35-yard line with nine seconds remaining.
LB Grind plays another game on Saturday as the league schedule concludes.