A look back at Cabrillo High football’s classic first win over Lakewood


In this installment of The562.org’s Classics video series, we look back at the first time Cabrillo High football beat Lakewood.

The year was 2013 and the Jaguars had a host of future NCAA talent on the roster after coach Jason Brown brought in some transfers. His wide-open offense, no-nonsense style, along with some fresh neon uniforms, were big draws and helped Cabrillo move into second place in the Moore League.

Cabrillo’s Darren Gardenhire solidified that spot in 2013 by running in a game-winning touchdown on a fake field goal in the final seconds of a thrilling, 20-14 win over Lakewood. Gardenhire had transferred from Lakewood and went on to play at the University of Washington.

“I’ve been looking forward to this game since I got here,” Gardenhire said. “You always have to play extra hard against your friends.”

Brown and the increased transfer activity in the Moore League eventually caused the Long Beach Unified School District to make its transfer policy the strictest in California. They reversed that decision last year. Brown was at Cabrillo from 2011-14 before finding some fame when he took over the Independence Community College football program and was featured on the Netflix documentary “Last Chance U.”

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Mike and JJ go together like mac and cheese: they’re best friends, business partners and Long Beach sports experts. They’ve been working together for over a decade covering Long Beach local sports and now run the562.org, a community-funded nonprofit media outlet.