LONG BEACH, Calif. — Long Beach Poly defeated Gardena Serra in what was an overtime showdown between two traditional powerhouses on Friday night.
Sophomore running back Devin Samples scored the go-ahead, five-yard touchdown run to lift the Jackrabbits over the Cavaliers after a back-and-forth battle. Poly relied on its strong rushing attack through all four quarters, largely on the backs of its one-two punch in both Samples and senior Jaden Bridges.
All four Long Beach Poly touchdowns came via the ground game, while defensively the Jackrabbits picked off Serra quarterback Maalik Murphy twice.
On the Cavaliers' sidelines, Murphy got off to a slow start early in the game but found his footing in the second half — throwing for two touchdowns and helping Serra to take a 21-14 lead in the third quarter.
In the extra session, however, it was Poly who came out on top, taking home the victory in the team’s season opener. Aside from adding their first win to the column, this game meant a lot for both teams who have gone through so much adversity leading up to this unique season.