Compton Football Lakewood

PREVIEW: Compton vs. Lakewood, Football

The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.

Another week, another de facto playoff game for the Lakewood football team. Things couldn’t have gone much better last week for the Lancers (4-5, 3-2) as they dominated Wilson for a 41-0 victory, and now they’ll be at home hosting Compton (4-5, 2-3) for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday.

Whichever team wins the game will earn the third seed out of the Moore League and head to the postseason.

Last year, it was an envelope draw that decided the Moore League’s third automatic playoff bid. Earlier this week, the league decided that due to the existing head-to-head tiebreakers, that final playoff spot will be earned on the field.

The Lakewood defense was impressive in stopping Wilson’s running attack and completely stifling their offense a week ago. That defensive front led by DT Rahkeen Moore will be tested in a new way thanks to Compton’s double wing offense.

Support The562.org

Compton has won three straight meetings against the Lancers, including a 24-16 victory a season ago. The Tarbabes have had some key injuries throughout the season, but hope to be closer to full strength for this crucial game. Senior QB/LB Aava Lilomaiava has missed the past few weeks, but is expected to be back under center for Compton which will provide a huge emotional lift.

The Compton backfield hasn’t really seen Lilomaiava and running backs Erick Barrios and Jon Jon Bledsoe all fully healthy at the same time, so perhaps that running game will be the best it's been all year long.

Despite a shutout loss against Poly last week, the Tarbabes’ offense has been pretty consistent this season. Compton has scored 20 or more points in every other Moore League game, despite not being at full strength. This makes them a tricky and potentially dangerous matchup for a Lakewood team that’s rested and fired up after their win at Wilson.

The Lancers’ offense didn’t need to put together too many long drives last week thanks to their defense, but the running game was solid with Kaleb Foster leading the way behind s trong performance from Lakewood’s O-Line. He should remain the focal point of the Lakewood offense, and QB Brayden Downen’s ability to extend plays and use his feet outside the pocket gives Lakewood the ability to keep defenses honest and extend drives.

Lakewood has more depth and should be playing with confidence with the home field advantage. However, if Compton can use its big offensive line and handful of hard-nosed runners to control the clock and move the ball consistently, it could shorten the game and put pressure on the Lancers to score. Ultimately, turnovers and penalties could be a key difference maker in this game.

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.