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Football Long Beach Poly

High School Football Preview, Long Beach Poly vs. Mission Viejo

Fresh off a tough loss against Serra last week, Long Beach Poly (0-1) is preparing for another tough test in their home opener tonight against Mission Viejo at Veterans Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m., in a game that will be televised on Bally Sports.

“Watching the film, it was disappointing because we made so many mistakes,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee of his team’s first game. “But a lot of the mistakes are fixable, so we’re working on those and we need to do a better job executing this week.”

Poly will still be shorthanded in the defensive backfield, with star junior Daylen Austin still out along with transfers Timmy Tuiagamoa and Kylen Allen, who haven’t been cleared yet. That’s going to be a tough challenge for a Jackrabbit defense that struggled to get off the field against Serra last week, neither getting pressure on Texas commit QB Maalik Murphy nor making life hard on his receivers.

“MIssion Viejo is very well coached, coach Johnson does a phenomenal job with that program,” said Barbee. “They’re tough kids that are going to be ready to play. We need to minimize our mistakes.”

Offensively for the Jackrabbits, there was a lot more to like last week, with both quarterbacks Shea Kuykendall and Darius Curry showing skills to be optimistic about. The Jackrabbits will need to be more effective (and patient) running the ball to sustain drives against the Diablos.

We’ll have live updates from the game Friday night.

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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.