20221021 Nap0028 Scaled
Compton Football Long Beach Poly

PREVIEW: Long Beach Poly vs Compton Football

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

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly is sponsored by Bryson Financial.

Long Beach Poly (7-1, 4-0) hosts Compton (3-5, 1-3) Friday night at Veterans Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. on Senior Night in what could be the Jackrabbits’ last home game of the year. While a league title in previous seasons would guarantee a team a home game to start the playoffs, the new CalPreps-based rankings could mean that Poly is on the road in the postseason.

Friday’s game will be an interesting matchup of a highly-favored Poly team against a Compton squad that’s situated to take advantage of Poly’s biggest weakness this year: run defense. Compton’s double-wing approach combined physicality and misdirection, and is hard to stop in any year. But for a Poly team that’s given up 200 yards rushing in multiple league games? It’s a pre-playoff test.

“We’ve given up more yardage on the run game than we historically have,” Poly coach Stephen Barbee acknowledged. “Compton obviously does a great job of running the ball in that double wing and single wing and it’s always tough. Calvin Bryant does a great job.”

Barbee said that he welcomes the challenge for his team, and that he’s always appreciated getting Compton late in the regular season schedule.

“I really look forward to it, because it is one of the most physical games that we have every year, and it leads into playoffs,” he said. “They’re a ground and pound team, you better answer that bell every single time, and I’m excited to see how we’re going to compete this year against them.”

Compton’s playoff hopes are slim–they’d have to beat Poly and Lakewood to finish at 3-3 and hope that Wilson beats Lakewood to create a potential four-way tie for third place. For Poly, the playoffs are an inevitability, but where the Jackrabbits will land (Division 1 vs. Division 2) is still very much up in the air.

“I think we’ve done everything that we can do in our schedule to put ourselves in position (for Division 1),” said Barbee. “Wherever the computer puts us, it puts us. We’ve lost to the number one team in the nation on MaxPreps and we’ve beaten everyone else we’ve played–but we can’t control any of that, and we aren’t going to overlook Compton, or overlook Jordan next week. We’re playing great teams and we need to execute. If we handle business then whatever division we end up in, we end up in.”

Monthly Subscribers to The562

By The562 Network Inc

Subscribe to the562 on GiveButter to make a recurring donation and keep Long Beach sports coverage free!
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.