The Compton Tarbabes and Eisenhower (Rialto) Eagles faced off Thursday night at Centennial High School with the Eagles prevailing 22-8.
Tonight’s main question was how would Compton fare without the playmaking ability and senior leadership of Prince Brown, Erick Barrios, and Jeremiah Hall, who were all injured all last week against Paramount.
“I want to be out there, especially it being my senior year. But coaches and my mom want me to rest up for league,” said Brown.
“It sucks standing on the sideline, but I’d rather be ready for league,” agreed Barrios.
Both offenses struggled to get anything going in the first quarter, especially Eisenhower being swarmed by the Compton defense. The Tarbabes defense forced an interception, almost recovered a fumble, and forced a missed field goal on the Eagles’ first two drives. The first quarter would end with no scores.
Compton began the second quarter with the ball, and they were driving down the field with success. The Tarbabes were creeping near the red zone with a 4th and eight on the Eisenhower 22. They had the right play drawn up with a wide open corner route, yet Eisenhower’s defense pressured, causing the turnover on downs.
The Eagles would strike back with two quick passes, with aid of blown coverage, and the Eagles were soon knocking on Compton’s end zone. The Tarbabes’ defense made the goal line stand, thanks in part to a “lawn chair folding” blindside sack by senior defensive end Kingston Moa, forcing the Eagles outside the red zone and turnover on downs.
The Tarbabes used this momentum to bring them down to the Eagles’ 15 yard line. However, with no timeouts and a sack that sent Compton back to the 30, the Tarbabes ran out of time, and the score would remain 0-0 at half.
“We need to establish our run game, and we can’t keep missing blocks and assignments,” elaborated Compton head coach Calvin Bryant at half time, with oranges in everyone’s mouths.
Coming out of the half, the Tarbabes would draw first blood with a 50 yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Hayden Ginn. The Tarbabes would follow up with a nifty over-the-shoulder direct snap for the two point conversion to go up 8-0 with 9:24 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles would soon copy the Tarbabes’ offensive style with an all out run game. They would strike back and get the two pointer to tie the game at eight a piece at 4:09 in the third quarter. It would be all tied up at eight at the third quarter’s end.
Compton carried momentum starting in the fourth, with the aid of Eisenhower penalties. However, the lack of big play ability hampered the Tarbabes’ offense, causing a turnover on downs at the Eisenhower 31.
The Eagles would make the Tarbabes pay for this, with long back-to-back explosive runs that eventually lead to an Eagle score with under seven minutes left. The Tarbabes’ tried to put a late quarter, go-ahead drive, but a holding penalty, a critical drop on the Eagles’ 15, and a deep tackle for loss made it 4th and 35. The Tarbabes would turnover the ball on downs with a disheartening dropped screen pass.
The Eagles would soon put the final scoring dagger with under two minutes left. The final score ended 22-8, Eisenhower.
“I am proud of [the players’] effort, battling until the end. It would help for our guys to be healthy, but we also need the next guys up to make plays and take advantage of their opportunities. We had our chances, but we let them slip away from us,” head coach Bryant explained.
Moore League play begins next week. The Tarbabes (2-2) face undefeated Cabrillo (4-0) on Sept. 16. It will be Homecoming for the Tarbabes that night; kick-off is 7 P.M. at Compton College.