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Compton Football Lakewood

PREVIEW: Lakewood 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 Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.

Lakewood and Compton are looking for very different things from their regular season finale on Friday night at Compton College. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The Lancers (4-5, 3-2) are trying to maintain good momentum headed into the CIF Southern Section playoffs next week, while Compton (3-6, 1-4) wants to send its seniors off on a winning note after a challenging season.

After a convincing win over Wilson last week, Lakewood has already clinched third place in the Moore League and the automatic playoff spot that comes with that. The Lancers have won three of their last four games by adding little wrinkles to their offense and defensive schemes.

On offense, Lakewood quarterback Kade Casillas has benefited greatly from those changes that has more Lancers in the backfield with him for misdirection and more run/pass options. According to MaxPreps, the sophomore has thrown for 1,727 yards and 17 touchdowns while completing 68.6 percent of his pass attempts. Casillas is also averaging 9.7 yards per rush attempt.

“You can kind of see him growing week to week,” Lakewood coach Justin Utupo said of Casillas last week. “He’s a special talent, not only what he can do in the air, but he can also escape and extend plays on the ground.”

On defense, Lakewood’s Red Swarm unit has been adding new ways to get pressure in their opponents backfield. That’s opened up a lot of lanes of attack for linebackers like Tyree McCowen. The senior already has 107 tackles this season and 11 of them are for loss of yardage, according to MaxPreps. Lakewood has come up with 64 tackles for loss, 25 sacks, 13 interceptions and six fumble recoveries as a defensive unit.

Compton has once again relied on its double-wing rushing attack on offense to rack up 1,556 yards and 23 touchdowns this season, according to MaxPreps. Freshman Nate Willard leads his team with 523 yards and nine touchdowns. The Compton defense has struggled to be disruptive with just 31 tackles for loss and four forced turnovers.

These teams have split their last two meetings, but Compton has won three of its last four against Lakewood.

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By The562 Network Inc

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.