The game is certainly worth all the hype as you have two teams that combine as much history as any two high school programs in the country and they both enter the game at full strength with no major injuries reported on either side. This is the 1st ever match up between the #1 and #2 ranked HS football teams in the nation. Neither 1st string defense has given up a point this season. Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and USA Today will all be covering this game and there is already a book deal in place to write about the biggest high school sporting event ever. As many as 25 college prospects will be on the field between the two teams.
The game will be shown live on Saturday, October 6th at 7:30 on Fox Sports Net 2.
National record 116 game winning streak (last loss to Pittsburgh in 1991)
National record 9 straight undefeated seasons
4 mythical National Championships
Ranked #1 in the country by 3 different polls (including Student Sports)
State record 260 games without being shutout (1979)
19 consecutive league championships (#1 in state)
Since the start of the streak, the Spartans have outscored their opponents by an average of 38.51 points per game. They have scored at least three touchdowns in every game and have scored at least four in all but one. The Spartans have also won the last nine North Coast Section championships, winning the title games by an average of 30 points. The Spartans' roster only has two players over 235 pounds
LB Poly tradition
3 out of last 4 CIF SS Div 1 titles
13 total CIF Div 1 titles
39 players to the NFL (more than any other HS in the country)
Ranked #1 in the country by one poll (USA Today)
589 wins, #2 all time in CA (Bakersfield #1)
Keys to Game
DeLaSalle has the type of football speed that can keep up with the talented Jackrabbits but the size of the Poly lines could be a major factor in wearing down the Spartans. This is a typical DLS line in that they are extremely well disciplined but the Jackrabbit line may have too much size. The Poly players were impressed with Derek Landri while watching films and say he stays real low on his blocks and doesn't give up on a play but how will the two way star perform in the 4th quarter after being leaned on by 300 pounders Manuel Wright and Winston Justice all night.
The key to the Spartan offense is their strong running game but they will need to open things up with the pass against the Poly defense and QB Matt Gutierrez leads the way. Poly FS Darnell Bing is the leader of a secondary that plays a physical, in your face style and it remains to be seen how the Spartans will react because it is doubtful they have seen this kind of overall team speed before.
The Poly offense is based upon the running game which is good because the Spartans didn't allow a completed pass in their game last week while Poly QB Brandon Brooks has only completed six passes all year. Of course, when you have Hershel Dennis and Rory Carrington in the backfield it doesn't make much sense to pass a lot. Dennis is the leader of the offense and he simply does everything well that you could ask of a running back. When they do need to pass, look for TE Marcedes Lewis or WR Derrick Jones, an impressive sophomore who can flat out fly and had two touchdowns of over 70 yards last week.
Prediction...the streak ends Saturday. Long Beach Poly by 8 points.
Some jersey numbers for key Trojan recruits on Poly:
#1 Junior Lemau'u DE
#6 Marlin Simmons LB
#13 Derrick Jones WR
#22 Darnell Bing FS
#34 Hershel Dennis RB
#74 Winston Justice OL
#90 Manuel Wright DT