Inland Empire: No. 11 Norco 35, No. 18 Upland 21


UPLAND -- All Norco's Kelsey Young needed to do was stop running like a little girl. No, seriously.

After the senior tailback started slow Friday night, coach Todd Gerhart was the one to shake him from from the funk. No sweet talking here, not from the intense Gerhart at least.

"Coach Gerhart yelled at me, said I was running like a little girl," Young said smirking. "I had to bust it out."

So he did.

Young, who had a net of two yards through six carries, broke a 70-yarder for a touchdown to open the second quarter. He finished with two scores and 127 yards rushing on 15 carries, leading No. 11 Norco to a 35-21 victory over No. 18 Upland. Young sat out much of the fourth quarter as he nursed a rolled ankle.

Freshman quarterback Coltin Gerhart, the coach's son and brother of Toby Gerhart, had touchdown runs of three and 14 yards. His backup, junior Shane Truelove, added a score of 27 yards.

"They were just giving it to us," said the elder Gerhart.

Upland (3-1) was in a giving mood from the start, committing a slew of early special teams gaffes that proved crucial.

Dilan Clark muffed the night's first punt -- a mistake that led to Young's first score. Jacob Van Ginkel missed a 45-yard field-goal attempt and to make matters worse, Upland was flagged for roughing Norco's punter before the first quarter ended.

As a result, the Highlanders never really were in the game.

"Last year the two games that we did lose, special teams were a big factor," Young said. "In the offseason we had to emphasize the special teams."

Norco's (3-0) defense wasn't bad either, holding quarterback Justin Nunes, the brother of Stanford's Josh Nunes, to 127 yards passing.

Nunes was on his back more often than not and eventually gave way to Nathaniel Romine. Upland added two touchdowns in the fourth to make the score more respectable.

"We played a conservative zone in the beginning and went back to it later," Todd Gerhart said. "I thought it was the difference."