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Compton Football Long Beach Poly

PREVIEW: Long Beach Poly vs Compton Football

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 Poly football team (8-0, 4-0) takes an undefeated record and a No. 22 national ranking by MaxPreps up to Compton, where they’ll face host Compton High at Compton College Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The game’s late start is due to Compton honoring its seniors before the game.

The game will pit a Poly defense that has allowed just one score in four Moore League games against the punishing, grind-you-down offense of Compton. 

“It’s great to see all of coach Bryant’s guys be seniors, they run the double wing in different sets and they’re really good at it,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. “They’ve been able to run with some big chunks of yardage against everybody they’re playing. It’s smart, and it’s smash mouth football. We’re going to have to match that intensity and make plays on offense.”

The Jackrabbits have allowed just six points in the Moore League, tied for least in league history for a full season, and they’ve put up three straight shutouts. Barbee said his coaching staff doesn’t use those statistics as motivation for his team, and they aren’t talking about them going into Friday’s game.

“We don’t talk about it at all, to be quite honest,” he said. “It’s more about us playing to our standard. We say every day, it’s not who we play but how we play. It’s about welcoming the process every week and being excited about it. We just try to go out there and stack good quarters of play, stack the games, and put that in our season’s bank.”

Long Beach Poly O vs Compton D

The Jackrabbits have been throwing the ball almost exclusively the last few weeks. With injuries to top receivers Jason Robinson and Raiden Brown, Poly has been looking to test its depth and develop strong connections between QB Darius Curry and his young receiving corps. Jordan Malau’ulu has been a consistent target as has sophomore standout Jadyn Robinson, both of whom had two touchdown catches last week.

The Jackrabbits have also been without running backs Devin Samples and Xavier Jones, neither of whom is expected back this week. 

The Compton defense features Defensive Lineman of the Year Kingston Moa, who the Poly O-Line will need to keep away from Curry. The league’s top passrusher last season can flip a game quickly, as he did against Lakewood last year with four sacks.

Compton O vs Long Beach Poly D

The Compton offense is unique in the Moore League with its double-wing approach, relying on misdirection, precision, and possibly the most physical offensive line in the league. They’ve been without QB Aava Lilomaiava due to injury the last few weeks, which would change things considerably. Either way their line is as big and tough as anyone’s, something Poly coaches have often been complimentary of.

The Jackrabbit defense is no slouch, though, and they’ve been able to shut down every rushing attack they’ve seen thus far, from Serra to Mission Viejo to the other league teams. Defensive linemen Dominic Lolesio and Phoenix Tusa have been arguably the best in the city and will spearhead a deep group that also has a strong linebacking corps behind them.

Poly will host Jordan for its regular season finale next week while Compton will visit Lakewood in a game that will potentially have massive playoff implications.

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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.