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Football: Carson set to face Poly without new coach

August 24, 2012 |  6:50 pm

A new era begins at Carson High tonight when the Colts host Long Beach Poly in an intersectional showdown between a pair of powerhouse programs.

It will be Carson's first game since former head coach Elijah Asante left in December to take the same position at Santa Fe Springs St. Paul, and as if taking on a formidable Southern Section opponent isn't a big enough challenge, the Colts will have to do so without new coach Jimmy Nolan on the sideline. Nolan is serving a one-game suspension for missing the mandatory Los Angeles City Section coaches' meeting in June.

Nolan was not at the Saturday meeting because he was scouting four future opponents at a summer passing league at Dana Hills and the question tonight will be how much bearing his absence will have on the Colts, especially since Nolan has installed a no-huddle offense and typically calls his own plays.

Talent will litter the field, with Carson's senior tailback/receivers Kendell Sparks and Tony Ingram trying to outshine Poly's senior running back tandem of Gerard Wicks and Manusamoa Lu’uga.

Asante was 20-9 in his two seasons at Carson and led the Colts to back-to-back City championship game  appearances while playing one of the toughest schedules in Southern California. Poly defeated Carson 38-18 last season on its way to the Pac-5 Division quarterfinals, where the Jackrabbits fell to the eventual CIF state Division I state bowl champion Santa Margarita.

The stands at Gene Vollnogle Stadium are packed and kickoff is 10 minutes away. Stay logged on for scoring updates throughout the game.

-- Steve Galluzzo