08172017 Games To Watch

Lakewood and Jordan played a thrilling regular season finale last year that decided the final Moore League playoff team.

Here are the games you should be looking out for this season.

Aug. 25

Long Beach Poly vs. Los Alamitos

Ray Fenton’s Griffins are taking on two of the Moore League’s playoff teams to start the year, with home games against the Jackrabbits and Lakewood. Los Al will know where they stand after this tussle with the nationally-ranked Jackrabbits while Poly hopes to make a season-opening statement that it’s the real deal.

Sept. 8

Wilson at St. Anthony

The battle for Seventh Street returns this season as St. Anthony hosts Wilson at 7 p.m. at Clark Field in week three in what has become a great rivalry for Long Beach. The matchup is in its fourth year, as Wilson pulled out a close 16-13 win at home last season. St. Anthony fumbled inside the 10-yard going in to score with 1:17 left in fourth quarter to seal it for the Bruins.

“It ended up being a pretty big win for us,” Wilson head coach Mark Ziegenhagen said. “The intensity of the game has picked up the last couple of years. It’s a local game and (St. Anthony) is one of the top teams in their division.”

“It’s a community-based game with a big connection between the two schools,” St. Anthony head coach Mario Morales said. Morales was the head coach at Wilson from 2004 to 2011.

“It’s a healthy rivalry and we’d like to keep it going.”

Sept. 15

Long Beach Poly vs. Mission Viejo

The Jackrabbits’ toughest regular season test will be Mission Viejo, in a game at Vets on Sept. 15. In addition to an edge talent-wise, Poly will have the benefit of a week off in between facing Narbonne and taking on the Diablos.

Sept. 22

Jordan at Lakewood

This was the best Moore League game last year, and it decided the last playoff spot. It was classic ground and pound, smash mouth that had both defenses gassed in the second half. Lakewood quarterback Taylor Dunlop’s touchdown pass to Anthony Oliver with 2:13 remaining lifted the Lancers to a 35-34 comeback victory at Jordan.

Sept. 29

Long Beach Poly vs. Wilson, Veterans Memorial Stadium

The Moore League championship could be decided in a clash between the Jackrabbits and Bruins, the best two teams in the league each of the last three seasons. Wilson has to give up a home game due to field construction so the game will be played at Vets — it’s a bummer for the Bruins to give up home field, but good for local sports fans as there will be room for all who want to come watch the rivalry matchup. This game will be played at the new Wilson field for the next two years to make up for the location change this season.

Oct. 6

Compton at Millikan

This doesn’t look like a game that anyone would circle, but you can bet these two programs are looking at it as a huge opportunity to get a league win. Compton and Millikan have combined to win four Moore League games over the last two seasons, two of which came against each other.

Oct. 19

Cabrillo vs. Millikan, 7:30 p.m.

With construction beginning at Cabrillo, this game will be played at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Thursday night. The Friday night schedule will stay the same with Poly hosting Jordan at 7 p.m.

Oct. 20

St. Anthony vs. St. Genevieve

The Saints outscored their three Santa Fe League opponents 151-22 last season while winning the title. This likely will be the last league challenge for St. Anthony before the regular season finale at rival St. Monica. Both games are on the road.

Oct. 27

Lakewood vs. Long Beach Poly

A decade ago, this matchup was rightfully referred to as the Moore League Super Bowl. That hasn’t been the case in recent years as the Jackrabbits have left the league behind while the Lancers try to rebuild. A good showing in a game like this could be the boost Lakewood needs.

Nov. 3

Long Beach Poly vs. Serra

The Jackrabbits get one final tuneup before the playoffs start on the road against Serra, as the two high schools who have sent more players to USC than anyone else get a chance to renew their recent rivalry. If Poly goes into this game with an unblemished record, this could be the last big contest to decide the playoff seedings for the CIF-SS Division 1 bracket.

JJ has covered Long Beach sports for more than a decade. He's written for multiple newspapers in Southern California, produced professional event videos and won numerous awards for his writing and community service.

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