Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend


1. The most exciting finish occurred in the Citrus Belt League. Redlands took a 7-3 lead with just over two minutes remaining Friday night against A.B. Miller of Fontana, but the Rebels took it back on a five-yard touchdown run by quarterback Eric Shufford with 33 ticks left. Down three points again, the Terriers returned the ensuing kickoff to the Miller 11-yard line. With 11 seconds remaining, Redlands quarterback Mike Stallone rolled out looking to throw the ball, but instead ran and was tackled on the one-yard line as time expired. With the 10-7 win, Miller (5-4, 3-1) takes over sole possession of second place and can claim a share of the league title with a victory Thursday against visiting Redlands East Valley (7-2, 4-0).

2. Palm Springs put itself in good position to win its second Desert Valley League title in the last three years with a 16-7 victory against visiting La Quinta. The Indians (8-1, 4-0) just need to beat winless Cathedral City in its final regular season game Friday at Palm Springs High. Nephi Garcia continues to be primary cause of the Indians’ success. He scored both touchdowns against La Quinta and kicked a 34-yard field goal, finishing with 101 rushing yards in 15 carries.

3. How tight is the Mountain Pass League race? Four teams begin the final week of the regular season with 3-1 records. The four-way tie was created Friday night when host Perris Citrus Hill knocked off first-place Hemet West Valley, 15-13. Beaumont and San Jacinto also won their games to move into a tie for first. The league race will be settled Friday night when Beaumont plays West Valley at San Gorgonio Middle School and Citrus Hill travels to San Jacinto. One of the losers will likely miss the playoffs.

4. Wasn’t it just a couple of months ago that everyone was crowning Temecula Chaparral as a Division I state bowl berth candidate? Now the Pumas need a win Friday against visiting Murrieta Valley just to have a chance to quality for the playoffs. Chaparral (3-6, 2-2) was put in this position after blowing a 17-point fourth-quarter lead Friday night against host Temecula Great Oak and losing, 35-31. The Wolfpack had never defeated Chaparral in their five-year history.

5. Thanks to a shocking victory by West Covina South Hills over first-place Claremont on Friday night, Chino Hills is back in the mix for its third consecutive the Sierra League title. The Huskies (7-2, 3-1) close out the regular season Thursday night against last-place Chino Hills Ayala. Claremont (7-2, 3-1) plays at La Verne Damien (5-4, 2-2) on Friday. If both Chino Hills and Claremont win, the Wolfpack would be the league’s No. 1 seeding heading into the playoffs based on their victory over Chino Hills on Oct. 15.