Serra (6-4) Holds off Long Beach Poly (8-2)

November 7, 2017
By Stuart Gil

Serra holds off Long Beach Poly in a game that turned into a nail-biter with just minutes to go.

Aside from giving up a long touchdown on their second play of the game, Serra dominated defensively throughout the first three quarters of the game. Any running lanes that Long Beach attempted to open up in the line didn’t last long, and quarterback Matt Corral struggled to find his groove after tossing an early TD.

Long Beach’s coaching staff seemed to lose faith in Corral’s arm, and their offense became predictable.

They were either running sweeps or clearing out the secondary to give Corral a chance to scamper for yards–it wasn’t effective.

But late in the game, Long Beach’s defense gave them a chance.

With 11 minutes to go, they forced a punt and on offense Corral found a receiver in the corner of the end zone. That would be Poly’s first score since their opening offensive drive. Long Beach went on to miss the extra point, however, making the score 24-13.

On Serra’s next drive, quarterback Blaze Mckibbon quickly threw an interception giving Corral and the Jackrabbits a short field to work with.

Soon after Corral fired a strike to Keon Markham, who was downed just short of the goal line. With Serra’s defense on its heels, Long Beach utilized a no-huddle offense that allowed Corral to run into the end zone himself.

Then the Jackrabbits made a questionable decision, electing to kick a field goal instead of going for 2 points, to try to cut the lead to just a three points.

But Poly’s defense kept clawing.

Serra was stopped at the line of scrimmage on consecutive plays forcing a third-and-long situation where Mckibbon was picked off again downfield.

That turnover gave Corral the ball in the red zone down four with just two minutes to go.

On a third-and-five play, Corral missed his receiver by six inches in the back of the end zone bringing up Long Beach’s final play of the game.

Corral would be stopped on the ensuing possession just short of a first down by Serra’s Deland Mccullough.

With a close 24-20 win, Serra improved to 6-4 while Long Beach dropped to 8-2.

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