Football Long Beach Poly

PREVIEW: Long Beach Poly Football vs Jordan

History is on the line tonight for the Long Beach Poly football team as they celebrate Senior Night and host Jordan at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Jackrabbits have been on a historic run through the Moore League this year and could put their names in the record books this evening. Poly has outscored the league 259-6 so far this year, and if they post a fifth consecutive shutout tonight, they would tie for the fewest points allowed in Moore League history in a season with the 1973 Millikan Rams.

It’s a shot at the history books for a Poly defense that is packed with talent, and has only allowed 70 points in nine games this year.

“It’s a testament to our coaches and to our players,” said Poly coach Stephen Barbee. “We aren’t motivated by that stuff but it does represent a lot of work by our coaches and it would be a great honor for the kids. We don’t say ‘Oh we gotta get a shutout’ we just coach them to play to the standard, and when we do the little things it takes care of the big things.”

Poly’s domination of the Moore League this year doesn’t stop at the scoreboard. The Jackrabbits have had a running clock in the fourth quarter of every league game, in the third quarter of half of them, and in the second quarter of one game. The only score they gave up was with the backups in to Lakewood while holding a 42-0 lead with 4:35 left in the game. They’ve held the league to 372 total offensive yards in five games, while scoring two touchdowns themselves, taking the ball away five times, and sacking opposing QBs 19 times. 

What makes the domination this year especially impressive is that it’s the most talent the Moore League has had in a decade. Millikan features multiple top-flight recruits, Lakewood and Compton have multiple Division 1 prospects, and Jordan features Jordan Washington, the second-fastest high school athlete in the state of California.

Barbee is aware that his defense is facing one of the best players in Southern California this evening.

“It’s great to see Jordan have the success that they’ve had,” said Barbee. “They’ve got a number of great players and obviously one of the fastest guys in the state and we’re going to have to be focused all game.”

Poly and Jordan will both await CIF-SS playoff football brackets, scheduled to be released Sunday morning. Poly looks like a lock to be in Division 1 while we’re projecting Jordan will get in as an at-large with a plus-.500 record, regardless of the outcome this evening.

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.