Week Three Prep Preview

Week Three Prep Preview

Published Sep. 14, 2012 12:11 a.m. ET

For a team that isn't used to losing, Long Beach Poly has sure done a lot of it so far this season. A breeding ground for NCAA Division I and NFL players with four CIF Southern Section titles, the two losses the Jackrabbits have suffered so far this season is somewhat out of character. While a 20-12 loss to Gardena Serra is nothing alarming, the 56-0 drubbing the Jackrabbits took last week from Harbor City Narbonne was nothing that anyone expected to see.

All the Jackrabbits could do was hold their heads and prepare for another week, which is exactly what the team did, according to head coach Raul Lara.

"This one right here is a little unique because we've never, never been in that situation," Lara said. "This one is hard because you're really talking about heart and your character.  It really humbled us. It really brought us back down."

While taking nothing away from Narbonne, Lara used the word "embarrassed" and continues to sound surprised over the outcome almost a week later. Uncertainty now surrounds the program and some added pressure now exists that did not three weeks ago.
But Lara isn't one to dwell and doesn't want his team to either. The focus never veered from football, and this week in practice it was all about the fundamentals that the team has been lacking during their two-game skid.

"We're showing the kids that we just need to get back to basics — tackling, blocking and execution," Lara said. "Just doing what everybody else is going to do when you end up losing the way (we) lost. You just go back to the drawing board and just hopefully get them going."

It won't be difficult to get the team fired up Friday night as Poly (1-2) will be at home for the first time this season. But the Jackrabbits won't exactly be getting a break with a cupcake team.
"So far, we've had a pretty good week of practice. But we're playing Bakersfield and they have some unique stuff that we don't see too much. They do some unique things."

Bakersfield is a schematic squad that plays by its own rules.  The defense uses no down lineman and the offense runs a triple-option both of which have been effective in confusing the opponents, as the Drillers' 3-0 record will show.

"We need to control that line of scrimmage and make sure everyone takes care of their assignments and just see if we can execute," Lara said.
Lara is more worried about what will happen on the field. Should the Jackrabbits drop another game in any sort of fashion, Lara and his staff aren't worried about what will happen after the lights turn off. The two losses showed him and his staff that his team is mature and able to cope with adversity in the right way.
"My kids always impress me with the way they deal with everything," Lara said. "We're really proud of our kids and how they've handled themselves. I've got a lot of good kids on this football team."

Game to Watch

Bishop Alemany, ranked No. 3 in Scott Kennedy's Top 20, routed a solid J.W. North team last week 54-14, and will try to carry that momentum into this week when they head to the Inland Empire to face No. 15 Corona Centennial. The Huskies lost to a St. Bonaventure team that is quickly climbing the rankings in Week One.
Last week, Centennial showed its signature offensive prowess last week with a 61-6 win at Long Beach Cabrillo. The Huskies, a team long known for its high-powered offense, will face an Alemany squad that features a similarly fast, dynamic offensive game.
But it's the Alemany secondary that will need to do the most work, as they will face dual-threat quarterback Robert Webber (231.5 total yards per game) and running back Austin Renken (128.5 rushing yards per game).
A win for Alemany will further solidify its status as one of the top powers in the state, but conversely, a win for Centennial will show that St. Bonaventure was just a blip on the radar and that the Huskies have no intention to cede their status as a perennial powerhouse.