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Sunday, September 22, 2002


[ HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ]



Kahuku may have
seen Poly’s next pros


De La Salle delivers
Kahuku gets 'beached'
Spartans didn't stay grounded
Notebook


By Marc Dixon
mdixon@starbulletin.com

As Kahuku and its fans looked up at a four-touchdown deficit midway through the second quarter, they may also have been looking for help from their past in the personas of Kammerer, Funaki and Pula.

Long Beach (Calif.) Poly didn't have that problem in a 42-16 win. The Jackrabbits knew exactly where to look.

Poly has the most players from a single school in the NFL and last night two more Jackrabbits started to make their case to join that group of heralded alumni.

NFL fans, meet running back Lorenzo Bursey and wide receiver Derrick Jones.

With 4:49 left in the first quarter, Bursey drew first blood.

"We knew they (the Red Raiders) were big, but we also knew that we were quicker," said Bursey. "We knew we could get to and attack the perimeter."

On Bursey's second carry of the game, he got to the perimeter on a sweep right, broke a tackle and scored the first of the Jackrabbits' six touchdowns.

On Poly's next possession, Bursey hauled in a 22-yard pass for a 21-0 Jackrabbit lead. He later added a 19-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

"Lorenzo Bursey is a great player with tremendous work ethic," said Poly quarterback Leon Jackson. "He's one of our leaders out there and he doesn't talk, he shows."

Although Bursey finished with three scores and averaged more than 10 yards a carry, the real offensive star was junior wide receiver Jones.

Despite playing only a half of football plus the second-half kickoff, Jones finished with 229 total yards and his 147 receiving yards were only two shy of Kahuku's entire passing total.

"I thought Clayton Mahuka was fast," said Kahuku coach Siuaki Livai. "Mahuka from Nanakuli was the 100-meter record holder, but Jones was real fast. You had to see it up close, the way he stretched our defense."

Jones blew by defensive back George Perry on a fly pattern up the right sideline on the last play of the first quarter and caught a 56-yard touchdown bomb from Jackson.

"What you saw tonight, that was Derrick Jones," said Poly coach Raul Lara. "He is going to be a fantastic player and what you saw tonight was just a glimpse."

Jones finished with four catches, and in addition to running by Kahuku defenders, he also went over them.

"I try to model my game after Randy Moss," said Jones. "My coach tells me never to quit on the play, go up and get the ball."

The 6-foot, 170-pounder also tries to emulate Cincinnati Bengals receiver Peter Warrick. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Jones brought back memories of Warrick's days at Florida State on the game's most exciting play.

In a blistering 10 seconds, Jones brought the kick back 82 yards, untouched, and broke whatever spirit Kahuku and the crowd had mustered at halftime.

"We were trying to kick it away from him (Jones)," said Livai. "It's a kick, not a pass, and sometimes you don't know where it's going -- it happened to go to the wrong place and to the wrong guy."

Jones recalled, "When I caught it, I really didn't see nothing, until the blockers opened up a big, old hole and I burst through it.

"All I saw was Rodney Van and he had the key block and I went to the house."

After the score, the Jackrabbits had a 35-2 lead and Jones had a gaudy 47-yard average for every time he touched the ball. He also had the rest of the night off. NFL, were you watching?

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