Cabrillo Compton Football

Football: Compton Wears Down Cabrillo, Wins Moore League Opener

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The562’s coverage of football in 2023-24 is sponsored in part by the MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center Foundation and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Foundation.

Friday’s game between Compton and Cabrillo will not be preserved in a museum, and neither head coach is probably looking forward to film study. But Compton High emerged from a disjointed and sloppy game with a 13-6 victory at Jaguar Stadium, winning their Moore League opener to improve to 3-2 on the season.

“Our guys are resilient, they played really well in the second half,” said Compton head coach Calvin Bryant after the win. “I felt like we didn’t score all the points we should have, but you gotta tip your hat to Cabrillo, I told Coach Gonzales he’s doing an excellent job, his guys are spirited, they battled, and I like what they’re doing over here. We’ve got a lot of work to do, we’ve gotta look at the film and evaluate and clean up some of the mistakes we’re making.”

One of the bright spots for Compton was senior John John Bledsoe, who ran the ball 21 times for 104 yards to lead the Compton rushing attack, scoring the game-winning touchdown with 7:21 left to play. He had 59 yards rushing in the fourth quarter to help run out the clock and preserve the win.

“Tonight we did great. We’ve got some things to work on, a lot of mistakes, but we’re gonna cut them down in practice for sure,” said Bledsoe after his nice game. “I’m ready to do whatever helps the team. I just wanted to win with my boys, that’s all. It’s my last year, I gotta remember these moments.”


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As a team, Compton ran it 37 times for 176 yards, averaging 4.76 yards per carry. Behind Bledsoe, freshman Nate Willard had 10 carries for 50 yards and a score.

Meanwhile it was a frustrating night for Cabrillo (2-3) as they played a sloppy game in front of their home crowd. The Jags were called for 20 penalties totaling 185 yards, while Compton was penalized just nine times for 54 yards.

“I’m proud of the boys and the way they competed and fought for four quarters, it’s just unfortunate penalty situations with us,” said Jags coach Shane Gonzales. “We definitely have a problem when it comes to penalties and discipline. That’s the thing we’ve been trying to work on and it just hasn’t been able to go our way.”

Cabrillo made the first big play of the night as Demeyon Love recovered a Compton fumble on the game’s opening drive. That led to a 14-play scoring drive the other way for the Jags. After a quick first quarter, freshman quarterback was able to punch in a 2-yard rushing touchdown for Cabrillo, making it 6-0 Jags with 11:31 until halftime.

The Jags defense was able to get a stop on the ensuing possession, but a costly personal foul on the Compton punt kept possession with the visitors, who would ultimately turn that break into points. Facing fourth and goal at the Cabrillo two-yard-line, freshman Nate Willard took the end around handoff and punched in the touchdown to tie the score, 6-6, going into halftime.

Cabrillo took the second half kickoff and drove down deep into Compton territory, but they were forced to settle for a field goal try that doinked off the upright. That was Cabrillo’s best chance to score in the second half, as Compton’s defense was able to swarm Leanos consistently in the backfield.

Compton had the ball to start the fourth quarter, and drove down with nine consecutive run plays as they switched to their trusted double wing formation packed tight at the line of scrimmage. Bledsoe capped the drive with a two-yard TD plunge to put Compton on top, 13-6, with 7:21 left to play.

Cabrillo then responded with its biggest play of the night as Leanos hit D’Jon Pittman (5 catches, 70 yards) for a 33-yard gain. However, a couple of costly penalties and a sack would spoil that drive.

Cabrillo was eventually able to get the ball back with 39 seconds left, but a desperation heave was intercepted by Diontae Dill to end the game.

Next Friday, Compton will be at Wilson while Cabrillo visits Lakewood.

VIDEO: Compton vs. Cabrillo, Football
PHOTOS: Compton vs. Cabrillo, Football
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.