Long Beach Poly defeats Gardena Serra in overtime of season-opening showdown

Devin Samples scored on a five-yard run in overtime to lift Long Beach Poly to a 27-21 triumph over Gardena Serra in a nonleague showdown between two perennial powers at Cabrillo High in Long Beach on Friday. . . It felt so good, Samples said of his game-winning run. I had to break a couple of tackles. It was a stretch play and I followed my blocks. We worked on this all week and we knew we could win. . . Serra got the first possession in overtime, starting at the Poly 35-yard line, but on fourth and 17, Lamar Black intercepted a pass by Serras Maalik Murphy at the Poly 15. . . Poly took over at midfield with 3. 16 left in the fourth quarter and drove to the Serra 34 before Lamont Shamburger intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it 24 yards with one second left in regulation. . . Murphy, a junior making his starting debut for Serra and committed to Texas, showed poise and patience in the pocket. He threw for two touchdowns, the second a 26-yard laser to wide-open Donovan Roebuck that gave the Cavaliers a 21-14 lead with 8. 42 left in the fourth quarter. . . Poly responded by driving 87 yards in six plays, tying it at 21-21 on Shea Kuykendalls five-yard quarterback run with 6. 03 remaining. . . Murphy found Elijah Davis over the middle for a 38-yard gain on the first play of the game and the Cavaliers proceeded to drive to the Poly 14, but Kai Honda hooked a 36-yard field-goal attempt. . . Serra defensive back Rodrick Pleasant opened the scoring when he intercepted a tipped pass near the Jackrabbits 30-yard line and followed a wall of blockers into the end zone with 7. 25 remaining in the first quarter. . . Poly answered on its next drive, marching 65 yards in nine plays, capped by Jeremiah Forts one-yard run with 3. 11 left in the first quarter. . . After three consecutive punts, Poly drove 75 yards in eight plays, taking a 14-7 lead on a four-yard run by Samples. Kuykendall completed all five of his pass attempts on the drive.

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