It wasn’t the best first half for Long Beach Poly quarterback Matt Corral.
After throwing for 416 yards and a couple touchdowns in Poly’s opener against Los Alamitos, the five-star recruit committed to Florida completed six of his 10 first-half passes for just 59 yards and no scores against a tough Narbonne secondary Friday night.
The reason why Corral is set to head to a power program in the Southeastern Conference was clearer after halftime, as the senior signal caller displayed poise, leadership and big play capabilities, and the No. 7 Jackrabbits defeated No. 10 Narbonne, 14-10, at El Camino College.
“It was all about having that short-term memory,” Corral said. “I know I had a bad first half, but I couldn’t show them or my team that I was down.”
Neither Poly nor Narbonne was down on the scoreboard at intermission, as missed opportunities and turnovers, mixed with some sloppy plays had zeros on both sides after two quarters.
Narbonne (1-1) struck first with a 30-yard field goal from Edgar Ramos at the 7:57 mark of the third, and with Poly trailing 3-0, the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder took over.
A 20-yard pass to fellow five-star recruit Jalen Hall put the Jackrabbits (2-0) in scoring position with a first down at the Narbonne six-yard line.
Corral then found Hall again on a nicely executed fade route to the right corner of the end zone, giving Poly a 7-3 advantage with 32 seconds left in the third.
The Gauchos answered in the fourth with a four-yard touchdown run from Redondo Union transfer Jermar Jefferson to take a 10-7 lead with 7:59 to play.
Corral then engineered an efficient nine-play, 59-yard drive capped by a five-yard touchdown pass to Darius Kryger to give Poly a 14-10 lead with 5:35 to go.
The Jackrabbits quarterback, facing third-and-long, polished off his night with two timely first down completions, to Camren McDonald and then to Hall, and closed out the win.
Corral finished 20 of 34 for 213 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.