The regular season came to a close last weekend and the top teams retained their momentum heading into the Southern Section playoffs. Another undefeated team makes its debut in the top 10, but it’s one-loss Corona Centennial that remains the team to beat.
1. (1) Corona Centennial, 9-1 – Hayden Gavett passed for a career-high 356 yards, all in the first half, in a 58-3 victory Thursday against Riverside King. Believe it or not, he was out-shined by King kicker Garrett Swanson, who booted a 60-yard field goal to become the first I.E. kicker to hit from that distance. Next: vs. Redlands, Friday.
2. (2) Upland, 10-0 – The Highlanders began looking forward to the playoffs at halftime, as they led Alta Loma, 42-3, before finishing off with a 49-3 victory Thursday night. Ten different players carried the ball for Upland. Next: vs. Murrieta Valley, Friday.
3. (3) Vista Murrieta, 5-5 – The Broncos bucked off Murrieta Mesa in a 51-20 victory Thursday night, but now the defense has some question marks after allowing 20 or more points for the fifth time this season. Next: vs. Damien, Friday.
4. (4) Redlands East Valley, 10-0 – The Wildcats appear to be rolling on all cylinders after defeating Yucaipa, 48-0, in a matchup of undefeated teams Thursday night. REV scored all its points in the first half. Next: vs. Norco, Friday.
5. (5) Rancho Cucamonga, 9-1 – The Cougars scored 31 consecutive points after giving up the first touchdown Thursday night against Los Osos and went on to win, 38-14, to secure second place in the Baseline League. Next: vs. Chino Hills, Friday.
6. (7) J.W. North, 9-1 – The Huskies showed few weaknesses in a 45-14 win at Norco, especially at quarterback, where Justin Gheorghe threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more. Next: vs. Yucaipa, Friday.
7. (6) Rancho Verde, 10-0 – The Mustangs wrapped up their fourth consecutive undefeated regular season with a 28-0 victory against Arlington, now can they finally make it to the end of the playoffs without a loss? Next: vs. Don Lugo, Friday.
8. (8) Citrus Hill, 10-0 – The Hawks won their sixth consecutive Mountain Pass League title with a 44-16 victory Thursday against San Jacinto. Now they can turn their attention toward winning their first Southern Section title since 2008. Next: vs. Norte Vista, Friday.
9. (9) Serrano, 8-2 – The Diamondbacks won their third consecutive Mojave River League title Thursday night with a 48-10 route of Hesperia. Four different players caught touchdown passes from quarterback Daniel Epperson. Next: vs. Granite Hills, Friday.
10. (NR) Palm Springs 10-0 – The Indians find their way into the top 10 after their latest whitewash, a 52-0 victory Thursday against Cathedral City. Now it's up to them to prove their worthiness during the postseason. Next: vs. Rialto, Friday.
Dropped out: Carter.
Just missed: Corona Santiago, Cajon, Norco, Heritage, Summit, Colony, Chaparral, Murrieta Valley, Etiwanda, Los Osos, La Sierra, Kaiser, San Gorgonio.