On the morning after his high school football team lost to Long Beach Poly, 99-9, Coach Elijah Asante of Compton was preparing to do what he's supposed to do — be a teacher.
"It's absolutely a teaching moment, and you teach them to get back up," he said Saturday.
Cheerleaders and band members greeted players after the game with chants, "We are proud of you."
But looking up at the scoreboard at Veterans Stadium on Friday night and seeing the score, 99-9, was not a good feeling.
"I have to bring their spirits back up," Asante said. "For me, it's no big deal. We lost a football game real bad. We have to go in the weight room. We have to run and I have to somehow get to the kids and let them know, 'It's OK. It's just a loss. We have to get back up and this is where we show our character.'"
Compton (1-5) led, 6-0, after the opening possession. Poly (5-1) led at halftime, 63-9. The nine points scored were more than the entire Moore League scored against the Jackrabbits last season. Running clock was used for most of the second half.
"No matter what the score is, you keep playing," said Compton's Christian Swint, a freshman who returned the opening kickoff 90 yards to set up a passing touchdown.
Poly Coach Antonio Pierce said he played four quarterbacks and numerous backups. "We did everything we could for sportsmanship," he said.
Some coaches around the Southland were critical for not having players take a knee late. Others wondered why the officials didn't stop the game. It was the most points scored by a Southern Section team since Bloomington put up 108 points in 2005 and beat Jurupa Valley, 108-20. The state record is 141 points by Santa Rosa in 1924.
"We weren't tackling. They were just overwhelmed," Asante said.
Compton plays Lakewood on Friday. Then the players will participate in a breast cancer awareness walk the next day.
"I try to tell the kids it's more than football," Asante said.
Welcome to the Pac-5.
A year ago, Gardena Serra and West Hills Chaminade were dominating.
"There was a couple of games we were able to take it easy in the past," Chaminade Coach Ed Croson said. "No taking it easy anymore."
This season, they're in the new seven-team Mission League and part of the Pac-5 Division. It's a weekly grind, and both schools are finding it tough going.
Serra was beaten by La Puente Bishop Amat, 14-7. Chaminade was routed by Mission Hills Alemany, 55-38.