The Long Beach Poly football team’s dominant run through the Moore League took another step on Friday as the Jackrabbits celebrated the school’s 125th anniversary on Homecoming night. It was the first game that the full marching band, drumline, choir, and others were allowed to join the cheerleaders, and the game had a festive atmosphere.
The action on the field was more of the same as the Jackrabbits pitched their second shutout in as many Moore League games, beating Compton 45-0.
Poly outgained Compton 353 yards to 90. Through two games against Compton and Lakewood, Poly has outscored its opponents 86-0 and outgained them 764 yards to 72.
“Compton runs their double wing and it poses problems, we know every year it’s going to be one of the more physical games we’re going to play in,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. “So the kids knew from years past, they had to be ready.”
They were indeed, and perhaps none more so than junior lineman Wendell “WoWo” Moe, who is increasingly looking like the breakout star of the city this football season. The 6’4” 340 pound lineman plays both ways, and barely comes off the field from playing offensive guard and defensive tackle. He was dominant defensively in stopping Compton’s run game (which gained just 48 yards) and in powering Poly’s rushing attack, which piled up 228 yards and four touchdowns.
“He’s one of the best all around linemen in California,” said Barbee. “He plays both sides, he’s so good we can’t get him off the field, and he’s really embraced that, he wants to dominate both sides of the ball.”
For Moe, he’s happy to get to stay on the field.
“I thought I’d only be able to play defense but the coaches gave me the opportunity to play both, and I really appreciate that,” he said.
Not as much as the Poly running backs appreciate it, as Jaden Bridges gained 119 yards and scored two touchdowns on seven carries. Devin Samples carried it 10 times for 114 yards and two scores.
Poly quarterback Shea Kuykendall distributed the ball evenly, hitting Keyonta Lanier for a one-handed highlight-reel touchdown catch. Other defensive standouts for Poly included Ike Mikaele, who had four tackles for a loss and an interception, and David Bakalar, who scored a special teams touchdown after a bad snap on a punt by Compton.
The Compton team kept fighting despite losing several players to injury over the course of the game, and held Poly to a 3-0 advantage in the third quarter by forcing a pair of red zone fumbles. Compton’s best chance to score came late in the game when a big run by Erick Barrios brought them to midfield and then a long pass from QB Allen Monroe Jr. to Tyler Huffman brought them into the Poly red zone.
But Moe had a tackle for a loss, as did his older brother, Uiti. Mikaele had a tackle as well and then had an interception on the fourth down attempt, ending Compton’s chance to score.
Poly (3-0) will be on the road at Jordan next week while Compton will face Lakewood.