The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Poly alum Jayon Brown and PlayFair Sports Management.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by JuJu Smith-Schuster and the JuJu Foundation.
The Long Beach high school football game of the year is happening tonight at Millikan, with the city’s two top teams meeting as the Rams host Long Beach Poly. The two teams played a 14-point game last year, one of the closest games the Jackrabbits have had in the Moore League in 13 years, which was the last time they lost a league game on the field. The team that beat them in 2009? The Rams, in a double-overtime thriller at DeHaven Stadium.
Both teams are obviously amped up for tonight’s game, which will almost certainly be a sellout and which will also be streamed live on Bally Sports–the562 will also be providing live updates with frequent video clips.
“Millikan is a very talented team, they have playmakers all over the field, very highly touted playmakers,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. “They’ve got quite a bit of athleticism on both offense and defense. From our standpoint, we have to be able to control our emotions.”
The matchup will pit a bunch of highly-touted prospects against each other on both sides of the ball.
Long Beach Poly Offense vs Millikan Defense
The Jackrabbits offense has showcased the ability to score in a variety of ways, but their bread and butter is still a power-run game with bruising backs. Devin Samples is likely out for tonight’s game with injury, but Karon Green and Noodles Cason have both been power runners for them this year behind a big and physical offensive line.
The Rams struggled to stop the run against Jordan last week and while Poly might not have a speed-back like Jordan Washington, they do have an O-Line that’s been able to establish the run in all their games this year. That matchup of Millikan and Poly’s fronts could decide this game.
The star power, of course, is in the air. Poly QB Darius Curry has a variety of weapons including USC commit Jason Robinson at his disposal, and Millikan has a host of playmakers in the defensive backfield, including Ryan Pellum.
Millikan Offense vs Long Beach Poly Defense
The Rams may be down their starting RB, but Jaden Hunt filled in capably last week to give the Rams the ability to maintain their multifaceted offense. The star of the show has been QB Myles Jackson, who gives Millikan a chance in any game he suits up in. He put up eye-popping stats in the Rams’ win over Jordan last week–but will also be facing the best pass rush and defensive backfield he’s seen so far this year.
The biggest question here is likely Millikan’s ability to protect Jackson. If he has time to throw he’s as good as anyone–if he’s on the run or on his back it’ll be a long night. The Rams suffered some injuries at receiver last week but still have a very deep receiving corps headlined by Pellum.
Poly (5-0, 1-0) will travel to Wilson next week while Millikan (1-4, 1-1) will visit Lakewood.