Jackrabbits advance in CIFSS Pac-5 playoffs by turning back talented Oregon-bound QB.
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It’s never easy for Long Beach Poly in the first-round of the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs. This is because the Jackrabbits usually have to face an opponent from a much stronger league than their own Moore League.
On a fourth and 11 from Poly’s 40-yard line, Poly defensive tackle Joseph Wicker batted down Travis Waller’s pass over the middle to seal the one-point victory for the jackrabbits.
“I was cage rushing, so it was actually my assignment to play Waller,” Wicker said. “I was playing the A or B gap and when he threw the ball I knocked it down. It was the second time I did that and I was trying to pick off the ball. We had trouble with their option, but we have young ends, we will see the mistakes we made so we can fix them for next week.”
Waller, the Oregon-bound QB and regarded as one of the best in the nation, scored on a 15-yard run with five seconds remaining in the second quarter to make the score 20-13 in favor of Poly heading into halftime.
Waller also scored the go-ahead touchdown on a two-yard keeper and a two-point conversion to cap a nine-play, 55-yard drive that gave Servite a 33-27 lead.
Poly answered with the game-winning touchdown, a 10-yard rush by Jeremy Calhoun, with 3:15 remaining.
Waller got the ball back one last time from his own 36-yard line but the game ended on Wicker’s heroics.
Waller finished with 305 yards passing and the two touchdowns for 4-7 Servite, which was the fifth place entry from the Trinity League and ended the season on a five-game losing streak.
RB James Brooks Jr. also scored two touchdowns for Moore League champ and No. 4 seed Poly.