Monday, September 12, 2011
IE: Five questions to ponder after Week 1
By Dan Arritt
Q: What’s wrong with Corona Centennial?
A: In short, nothing that can’t be fixed by coach Matt Logan and his army of assistants. The Huskies lost to St. Bonaventure, 29-27, on their home field Friday night, an early blow to their hopes of returning to the state bowl championships. Hayden Gavett, who made his varsity debut at quarterback for Centennial, certainly can’t be blamed for the loss. He led his team on four touchdown-scoring drives and was setting up for another when he committed his only error, a costly red-zone interception early in the second half. What Gavett lacks in size compared to his predecessor, Michael Eubank, he compensates with better speed and a stronger throwing arm. Logan looks as if he was right on the money when he said the Huskies wouldn’t hit their stride until midway through the regular season. Logan, by the way, isn't free of blame for the St. Bonaventure loss. He passed on a field-goal attempt on fourth and eight inside the 20-yard line early in the fourth quarter, and the Huskies came up woefully short. The Seraphs then proceeded to march down the field and take a 29-20 lead with 4:23 left. Logan rolled the same dice during the Division 1 state bowl final last season against Palo Alto, didn’t come close and lost that game by two points as well.
Q: When will Rancho Cucamonga get noticed?
A: Hopefully soon. All the Cougars have done this season is shut out their first two opponents, Silverado and Great Oak, by a combined score of 87-0, yet they are still ranked No. 5 in the latest SS-Inland Division coaches' poll. Rancho Cucamonga, which returned 14 starters from a team that lost in double overtime of an Inland Division semifinal, should gain more attention if it can continue winning handily over the next two weeks. The Cougars travel to Pasadena Muir on Friday and Covina Charter Oak the following week and both teams are ranked in their respective divisions. Rancho Cucamonga's biggest regular-season game is also on the road, Oct. 21 at Upland.
Q: Is Chaparral headed for another losing season?
A: It’s beginning to appear that way. The Pumas fell to 0-2 after a 31-19 loss Friday night at Oceanside but actually looked like the better team in the second half. “That was Chaparral football,” coach Ryan Tukua told the Riverside Press Enterprise. "We played with enthusiasm, we were making plays and we were having fun.” Unfortunately, the Pumas will lose their momentum with a bye this week, followed by games against Corona Centennial and Tesoro. The way things look, the Pumas won’t beat Vista Murrieta in Southwestern League play either, and might not be better than a much-improved Temecula Valley. That spells 4-6 and another first-round exit from the playoffs.
Q: Who’s the best quarterback in the I.E.?
A: That would be Larry Cutbirth of Etiwanda. If there were any doubt before, he made another statement Friday night in a 31-28 loss to Vista Murrieta, throwing for 362 yards and two touchdowns against a defense led by one of the top junior recruits in the nation, strong safety Su’a Cravens, and Washington-bound lineman Jeremy Castro. Cutbirth was intercepted three times, but the Eagles had to go one-dimensional on offense after falling behind early. Cutbirth was coming off a four-touchdown effort the week before in a 49-36 victory against Fontana Summit and Boise State-bound corner back Donte Deayon. Hard to believe the 6-foot-5 gunslinger doesn’t have a scholarship offer.
Q: Which is the most improved league in the I.E.?
A: Without a doubt it’s the Baseline League. Not only are Rancho Cucamonga, Etiwanda and Upland better than last season, but Alta Loma ended a 21-game losing streak Friday with a 38-0 victory against Montclair. Los Osos, meanwhile, destroyed La Quinta in the season opener Sept. 2, then made things tough Friday night against Orange Lutheran before losing, 36-21.