Grudge week arrives with a couple of heavy-hitting cross-section matchups and one long-awaited Big VIII League opener. The Calpreps.com computer is also looking to rebound from another tough loss last week to the human brain from ESPNLA.
(ESPNLA top 25 rankings included)
No. 15 Loyola (4-0) at No. 21 Upland (4-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – Upland has been a nightmare for defensive coordinators this season, averaging 46 points a game. The Highlanders exploded for 54 last week against Norco, led by by USC-bound inside linebacker Scott Starr. Upland will need to be even better this week. Against four quality offenses, Loyola is giving up an average of just under nine points a game. Keep an eye on Chaz Anderson of Loyola, a wide receiver/defensive back who has committed to Boise State. He caught two touchdown passes last week in a 28-14 victory against St. John Bosco and helped limit Bosco’s talented passing game, led by Cal-bound wide receiver Bryce Treggs, to just 121 yards through the air. Cameron Walker also stepped into a two-way role last week following the ankle injury to starting running back Wyatt Bradford. Walker responded with 76 yards rushing and a touchdown and helped form the blanket in the secondary. The Cubs will be up against another Pac 12-bound receiver in Kenny Lawler (Arizona State), but they'll also need to keep an eye on shifty running back Donta Abron, who's plenty capable of inflicting damage of his own.
Calpreps.com computerized projection: Loyola 35, Upland 28
ESPNLA: Loyola 31, Upland 30
No. 17 Vista Murrieta (3-0) at No. 4 Crespi (4-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – Vista Murrieta was coasting along this time last year, then the Broncos hosted Crespi and their defense suddenly turned into a wet paper bag and they lost, 45-31. Now it’s Vista Murrieta’s turn to make the long commute to Encino and face a team with 15 returning starters and a couple of high-profile transfers, including quarterback Cody Cordell (Oaks Christian). Crespi’s most heavily recruited player is offensive lineman Jordan Simmons, ranked as the No. 5 guard in the nation by ESPN. He’s part of an offensive line that averages 280 pounds. They'll get a nice push from Vista Murrieta's defensive front, led by Washington-commit Jeremy Castro, who had 11 sacks in 14 games last season and two so far this year.
Calpreps.com: Vista Murrieta, 24, Crespi 21
ESPNLA: Crespi 27, Vista Murrieta 17
Norco (2-1) at Roosevelt (1-2), Friday (7 p.m.) – Get ready for the longest-awaited payback in the Big VIII this season. Roosevelt toppled the Cougars, 24-21, on Norco's home field last season, stopping them on fourth down with about 4 1/2 minutes remaining and putting a huge dent in their league title hopes. Roosevelt quarterback Aaron Crone threw for a league-leading 23 touchdown passes as a junior but hasn’t played this season because of an injured throwing shoulder suffered in a preseason game. If he’s still not ready to go, it could be a long night for the Mustangs.
Calpreps.com: Norco 35, Roosevelt 22
ESPNLA: Norco 42, Roosevelt 21
No. 23 Redlands East Valley (3-0) at Chino Hills (2-2), Friday (7 p.m.) – Redlands East Valley might be looking to exact a bit of revenge as well. A year ago against Chino Hills, the Wildcats were dismal on offense, managing only one field goal in a 14-3 loss. The biggest hope for Chino Hills is that REV gets caught looking ahead to next week’s game against No. 3 Mission Viejo. Chino Hills can move the ball with one of the I.E.'s top junior receivers in Jack Austin, and boasts a defense that held Pomona running back Sir Darius Yarbrough, a 600-yard rusher heading into the game, to 12 yards last week in a 37-6 victory. REV had a bit of a wakeup call the same night against Dorsey, hanging on for a 14-12 victory. The Wildcats dropped 10 passes in the last two weeks and can't afford those mistakes if they want to avoid getting embarrassed by Chino Hills again.
Calpreps.com: Redlands East Valley 26, Chino Hills 10
ESPNLA: Chino Hills 14, Redlands East Valley 13
Last week’s picks: