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.
When Long Beach Poly and Los Alamitos face off this Veterans Day at Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Jackrabbits and Griffins will be renewing their rivalry for the 11th time. Since their inaugural meeting in November of 1994, these local powerhouses have played in a number of meaningful games–usually at their shared home field along Clark Ave.
Poly owns an 8-2 all-time record in the series, out-scoring Los Al by a combined margin of 211-116. Each of the first six meetings between these teams came in the Division 1 playoffs, followed by four straight regular-season meetings from 2016-19.
Here is a brief look at every meeting between the Jackrabbits and Griffins on the gridiron:
November 25, 1994 – CIF-SS Quarterfinal – Veterans Memorial Stadium
Los Alamitos 7, Long Beach Poly 0
The Griffins won the first-ever meeting between the two schools in front of a standing-room only crowd estimated at over 12,000. The 1994 season was Los Al’s first in Division 1, and the win over Poly extended their winning streak to an impressive 47 games. That streak would be snapped the following week as the Griffins fell 28-24 to eventual CIF champion Mater Dei in front of over 31,000 fans at Anaheim Stadium.
November 22, 1996 – CIF-SS First Round – Veterans Memorial Stadium
Long Beach Poly 22, Los Alamitos 16
Long Beach Poly got its revenge on Los Al two seasons later, eliminating the Griffins in the playoff opener. Poly’s stud running back Herman Ho-Ching ran for 175 yards and 2 TDs in the win, and it was Ken-Yon Rambo’s 84-yard kickoff return TD that sealed the win late for the Jackrabbits.
December 4, 1999 – CIF-SS Semifinal – Veterans Memorial Stadium
Long Beach Poly 35, Los Alamitos 9
Approximately 10,000 fans were on hand at Vets to see the most lopsided game between these two schools. The comfortable win for Poly sent them to the CIF title game at Edison Field, where they played to the infamous 21-21 tie against archrivals Mater Dei.
The Jackrabbits were simply unstoppable, led by sophomore RB Herschel Dennis who broke off a 71-yard TD run on Poly’s second play from scrimmage. He would add a 99-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, finishing with 139 rushing yards on 14 carries with 4 TDs.
November 30, 2001 - CIF-SS Semifinal - Veterans Memorial Stadium
Long Beach Poly 28, Los Alamitos 7
The Griffins scored first in this one, but Poly dominated the rest of the way with 28 unanswered points. This Poly team was one of the most talented in California history, and would go on to win a third straight CIF-SS title, appearing in five consecutive title games.
Los Al would bounce back the next season, however, winning the program’s first ever Division 1 championship with a 41-14 drubbing of Mater Dei.
December 10, 2004 - CIF-SS Championship Game - Angel Stadium
Long Beach Poly 21, Los Alamitos 6
This game remains the most iconic meeting between these two programs. It’s the only time they’ve played for a championship, and both the stage and the star power involved make this the quintessential meeting of this rivalry.
This game is often remembered as “The DeSean Jackson Game” and for good reason. The All-American put on an impressive display–particularly on defense–as he helped lead the Jackrabbits to the title. Jackson opened the scoring with a 68-yard Pick 6 in the first quarter to put Poly up 7-0, and contributed as a receiver, defensive back, and return man.
Jackson added a second interception later in the game as Poly’s defense picked off Los Al senior QB Jimmy Barnes three times, allowing him to complete just 13 of 31 passes for 146 yards. Barnes, the highly-touted son of longtime Griffins head coach John Barnes, set a school record with 37 TD passes that season and would later sign with Alabama.
Barnes connected with future NFL cornerback Orlando Scandrick to put the Griffins on the board and bring them within a point, 7-6, in the fourth quarter, but Poly put the game away from there. The Jackrabbits got short TD runs from QB Theodisthree Scott and RB Troy Guthrie to seal the victory.
November 20, 2009 - CIF-SS First Round - Veterans Memorial Stadium
Long Beach Poly 24, Los Alamitos 7
It’s now been 13 years since Poly and Los Al last met in the postseason, and this game had plenty of storylines coming in. The Griffins’ quarterback, Dylan Lagarde, started the season at Poly before transferring to Los Al.
An early interception by the Los Al defense set the Griffins up at the Poly 1-yard-line, allowing them to take a quick 7-0 lead. Poly’s defense was absolutely dominant from then on, led by the late Corey Waller who had two sacks and a forced fumble for the Jackrabbits.
The Poly defense collected a pair of safeties, blocked two Los Al punts (scoring a TD off one) while adding a handful of sacks and an INT.
August 26, 2016 - Cerritos College
Long Beach Poly 27, Los Alamitos 20
The first regular season meeting between these two was hosted at Cerritos College in Norwalk, with Poly needing to come back for the win. Los Al led 20-7 midway through the second quarter, but Poly’s rushing attack was unstoppable. The RB tandem of Mike Mauai (20 carries, 165 yards, TD) and Aaron Shampklin (26 carries, 126 yards, 2 TD) carried the offense as Poly completed just five passes in the game but ran for a whopping 339 total yards.
A fourth-down TD pass from Nolan McDonald to younger brother Camren McDonald proved to be the game-winner in the fourth quarter, breaking a 20-20 tie and giving the Jackrabbits the final score of the night with 7:32 left to play. Poly’s defense didn’t allow Los Al to score in the second half, getting interceptions from seniors Jizan Stinson and Josh Talbott.
August 25, 2017 - Veterans Memorial Stadium
Long Beach Poly 28, Los Alamitos 10
This was the Poly debut for star quarterback Matt Corral, who went on to a terrific career at Ole Miss and was a third-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in last year’s NFL Draft. After he opened the scoring with a TD toss to Camren McDonald, Los Al scored 10 straight points to take a brief lead in the second quarter.
It was all Jackrabbits after that, starting with a 95-yard kickoff return from Malachi Tolliver. Corral had a terrific game to lead Poly’s offense, hitting Keon Markham for a 97-yard TD strike and finishing with a line of 21/31, 416 yards, 2 TDs. The Poly defense was also dominant, hauling in 5 interceptions including a pair from Desmond Talley.
August 31, 2018 - Cerritos College
Los Alamitos 20, Long Beach Poly 6
This meeting was in Week 3 and it’s the best result of the series for Los Al, winning the game with Poly legend DeSean Jackson looking on from the sidelines. The Griffins have never scored more than 20 points against a Poly defense, but suffocated Poly’s offense in this one to grab their first win over Poly in 24 years.
The Griffins took a 14-0 lead before Poly finally cracked the scoreboard midway through the fourth quarter on a TD pass to Kejuan Markham. Los Al was able to put the game away thanks to a game-sealing TD from RB Keanu Norman, handing Stephen Barbee his first loss as Poly head coach.
September 6, 2019 - Veterans Memorial Stadium
Long Beach Poly 20, Los Alamitos 14
The most recent meeting of this rivalry was a televised game between two winless teams as 0-1 Poly hosted 0-2 Los Al at Vets.
The Jackrabbits got on the board first in the second quarter thanks to a safety from linebacker Bryun Parham, then Ramil Brown returned the ensuing kickoff for a score to make it 8-0 Jackrabbits. QB Mehki Jordan ran in a one-yard TD plunge to make it 14-0 Poly at the half, with the Los Al offense gaining just 8 net yards in the first 24 minutes of play.
Los Al twice pulled within a score in the second half, but a 44-yard TD run by Malachi Rice was the deciding score as the Jackrabbit defense locked down the win.