Compton, CA - 10/24/08: Compton High School's James McConico, right, runs for a touchdown as Jordan High School's Trayvon Armstrong gives chase in the first quarter during a football game between Jordan and Compton at Compton High School on Friday. Photo by Carlos Delgado / For the Press-Telegram

COMPTON - James McConico missed a game two weeks ago because on an undisclosed injury. The Compton High running back didn't play last week either because the Tarbabes had a bye.[

On Friday night, however, McConico didn't miss a beat. He rushed only eight times out of Compton's double wing-T formation, but he gained 266 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Tarbabes to a 38-22 Moore League victory over Jordan on Friday.

Three of his touchdowns - of 37, 69 and 7 yards - came as Compton built a 26-3 halftime lead. His final touchdown - 90 yards - came with 2:13 left in the game and gave the Tarbabes (6-0, 3-0) an insurmountable 38-16 lead.

"You have to give Compton's offense credit," said Jordan coach Scott Meyer, whose team is 5-2 and 2-1. "McConico is a great running back."

And, fortunately for Compton, the speed-burning McConico is just a junior.

"Just to be back on the field is a blessing," McConico said. "I just thank the one and only God for that because if it wasn't for him, I would probably still be on the sideline right now cheering my team on."

Jordan didn't go down easily, thanks to quarterback John Timu. He guided the Panthers on a six-minute drive to open the third quarter.

It culminated with an 8-yard run by Princeton Fuimaono to get Jordan within 26-10.

Byron Walker gave the Tarbabes a 32-10 lead with a 6-yard run late in the third quarter, but Timu scored on a beautiful 47-yard run


Advertisement

with 11:33 to play to cut Compton's lead to 32-16.

Timu, who rushed for 83 yards and passed for 125 - all but two of those passing yards coming in the second half - refused to quit.

After McConico gave the Tarbabes their 38-16 lead with his last touchdown, Timu connected with Antony Smith on a 53-yard touchdown with 1:03 to play.

"Jordan is a good team, a playoff team," Compton coach Calvin Bryant said. "I don't know how any team is going to stop Timu.

"He is a great football player."

Timu, a junior, really showed his competitive spirit with just over four minutes to play. His team trailing 32-16, Timu had the Panthers down at the Compton 16-yard line. Facing a fourth-and-9, Timu took off on a keeper. As he was about to get crunched by several Tarbabes, he took an incredibly athletic, twisting leap into the air for three more yards.

He was hammered as he hit the ground, but he got up and watched as the chains showed he was just a foot short of the first down.

robert.morales@presstelegram.com