From the moment you stepped into the Veteran’s Memorial Stadium on the campus of Long Beach City College, you could feel the electricity in the air as the game drew closer. Long Beach Poly High School’s state-record 80-game conference winning streak was on the line, and Lakewood could sense a chance at making history. Poly had not lost a Moore League game since 1994 and more importantly, had not lost to Lakewood since 1982, when Ronald Reagan was early in his first term as president.
Long Beach Poly
Joshua Daniels is a one-year letterman on the Long Beach Poly varsity football team. He has received the Academic Play It Smart Award all four years. Josh is an official candidate for the United States Naval Academy, where he plans to pursue a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He is pictured with his mother, Denise.
Thomas Johnson is a leader on the field and in the classroom. He is beloved by his Lakewood teammates and teachers. He never complains and has tremendous integrity and character.Thomas is a perfect representation of Lakewood High School and the Football Program. He is the son of Dave and Rebecca Johnson.
The Poly Jackrabbits have won or shared 17 consecutive league championships in their history. But on this night, it was the Lakewood Knights' turn to be the conqueror. After two quarters of play that saw Poly score on the final possession of the half to take a 14-7 lead into the locker room, the Lakewood team came back in the second half with a game plan that would prove victorious.
Led by eventual Great American Rivalry Series Most Valuable Player, quarterback Jesse Scoggins, the Lakewood team would do the undoable and hand the Jackrabbits their first defeat in league play in 15 years. The winning score would come with 9:06 remaining in the game on a three-yard run by Lakewood's Terrance Woods, following a 22-yard pass play from Scoggins to Ron Lewis. The Jackrabbits would have one more chance to tie the score with 1:22 remaining in the game, but the Lakewood defense sniffed out the fourth-down flea flicker and ended the threat with 1:14 to play.
What was impressive was the Poly pride that showed through. In unfamiliar territory as the underdogs for this annual clash, they fought like champions even in defeat. But give credit to the Lakewood team and their fans. This night belonged to the Knights, and they did not disappoint.
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