Saturday, July 26, 2008

PrepNation 101 Preseason FB Countdown: No. 57 Long Beach Poly

57. Poly (Long Beach, Calif.)

Last season’s record: 13-1, CIF-SS Pac-5 champion

Coach: Raul Lara

Key players: QB Morgan Fennell (6-1, 185, Sr.), RB Melvin Richardson (5-10, 205, Sr.), RB Daveon Barner (5-8, 165, Sr.), DB Stan McKay (6-0, 185, Sr.), LB Kenny Tuiloma (5-10, 205, Sr.), DB Darius Williams-Fox (5-8, 170, Sr.), DE Iuta Tepa (6-2, 210, Sr.), OL Tyller Robinson (6-4, 315, Sr.)

Biggest strength: Returning RBs and QB

Question mark: Inexperience at OL and DL

Outlook: The Jackrabbits return nine starters from the inaugural championship team from California’s toughest playoff division, the Pac-5. Thirteen players from that team earned scholarships, including nine who signed with Division I and IAA colleges. The nerve center of the offense has plenty of experience with the return of Fennell. As a junior, he completed 57 percent of his passes for 1,013 yards and nine touchdowns. The running game will challenge defenses with a double shot of talented backs. Richardson ran 128 times for 1,316 yards (10 average) and 15 touchdowns last season. Change-of-pace back Barner averaged 6 yards a carry. McKay, Tuiloma, Williams-Fox and Tepa are holdovers from a dominant defense that allowed only 3 points total in the final two games of the playoffs.

Toughest games: Aug. 30 at Miami Northwestern, Sept. 26 at Carson, Oct. 3 at Lakewood, Oct. 10 vs. No. 61 St. Bonaventure

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