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Football Long Beach Poly Millikan

Football: Long Beach Poly Tops Millikan in Edison Passing League Tournament

Edison High School hosted one of the best 7-on-7 tournaments of the summer on Saturday, bringing together the best high school football teams in Southern California for a passing league showdown. 

Long Beach Poly and Millikan were two of the teams competing, and the Moore League rivals got the chance to face off during pool play. The Jackrabbits got the best of the matchup with a 28-6 win over the Rams, helping Poly to advance out of Pool B.

“I saw a lot of competing,” said Poly head coach Stephen Barbee, who got to see contributions from a lot of new faces in the secondary. “We have a lot of our guys down, just holding them out to get them back for the season, and the kids are stepping up. I told the team at the end of the last game I’m very happy with us coming out and competing and not being content.”

Among the standouts for Poly was senior wide receiver Raiden Brown, who caught three touchdowns against the Rams. Defensively, the Jackrabbits did very well against a talented Millikan offense. Junior linebacker Dylan Williams had the big play with an interception of Millikan QB Myles Jackson.

After an entertaining and competitive game against Romeo Pellum’s team last season, Barbee offered praise for the Millikan program, and was happy to see a couple Long Beach teams going head-to-head at a marquee event.

“I really like just seeing our kids compete against each other,” said Barbee. “Romeo has done a great job with that program and they’ve got some great players. It’s great, you know, they’re Long Beach kids and of course I’m rooting for them. We’re going to compete at the end of the day, but it’s good to see where that program is going.”


Poly’s offense was led by junior quarterback Darius Curry, who had a solid day slinging the ball around the field. Curry has been Poly’s quarterback this summer as he works his way back from a knee injury suffered last season. Notably, the Jackrabbits were without 5-star QB Nico Iamaleava for this event. Barbee offered no comment on Iamaleava’s availability going forward.

For Millikan, the Rams got the chance to play against some top-tier competition and had some mixed results. A victory over Servite was a huge positive, and the Rams were able to score three times in their last game of pool play against eventual tournament champions, Mission Viejo. Still, Pellum sees plenty for his team to work on in order to be consistently competitive against top schools.

“It’s about us,” said Pellum. “When we don't play in sync, we're not gonna win. When we have miscommunication on defense, or we’re not getting to our jobs, not working our technique, and jogging routes, collectively it’s bad. So we have to get better and if we don’t it’s going to be a long season.”

With terrific weapons on offense like QB Myles Jackson and a wide receiver corps that includes Ryan Pellum, Jordan Anderson, Angelo Miranda and Matt Martinez, the Rams will once again have the ability to score, so defense will be a key for the Rams. At this early stage, Pellum said he likes the trajectory of his defense, though there’s plenty of work left to do.

“Defensively I think we're starting to gel together,” Pellum said, “I think we're far away from where we want to be, but I think we're in the right direction … It’s just pieces that have to gel together. We like what we have, we just have to get it together as a team.”

The regular season starts for both teams on Thursday, August 18. Poly will hit the road to face Clovis while Millikan visits Santa Ana in the opener. The Jackrabbits and Rams will square off in a crucial Moore League showdown on September 30 at Millikan.

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Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.