Monday, September 6, 2010
Inland Empire: The Top 10
By Dan Arritt
1. Temecula Chaparral (Southwestern League), 0-0
The Pumas open their season Friday night against visiting Oceanside, the two-time defending Division I state bowl champion which is coming off a 31-7 drubbing at the hands of Servite last Thursday, ending its 39-game winning streak.
2. Vista Murrieta (Southwestern League), 0-0
The Broncos also had the luxury of scouting their first opponent in person last week. Etiwanda, which is scheduled to travel to Vista Murrieta on Friday, allowed 42 points in a seven-point loss Thurday against Summit High of Fontana. Summit doesn't have a bonafide quarterback, but Vista Murrieta surely does in three-year starter Derrick Brown.
3. Corona Centennial (Big VIII League), 0-0
Centennial has been chomping at the bit to get started this season and first up is an intersectional game at Birmingham High of Lake Balboa, which is coming off a 16-7 victory Friday against West Adams of Los Angeles, its first victory in a season opener since 2001.
4. Norco (Big VIII League), 0-0
One of the more intriguing intersectional matchups of the season will happen Friday when Norco hosts Crenshaw of Los Angeles. Crenshaw is led by running back De'Anthony Thomas, who has verbally committed to USC. Norco will lean on running back Kelsey Young, who has pledged to Stanford.
5. Riverside Arlington (Inland Valley League), 0-0
Arlington will open its season Friday against host El Camino of Oceanside, which scored on a blocked punt, a fumble return and a kickoff return in a 36-7 victory Saturday against Gardena. The Wildcats best defender is ophomore linebacker Justin Williams, who had three sacks against Gardena and scored on the fumble return.
6. Eastvale Roosevelt (Big VIII League), 0-0
Roosevelt High is just four years old, but the Mustangs have already made a name for themselves in the Inland Empire. They led eventual champion Chaparral by two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter of their Inland Division first-round game last season, only to lose on a last-second field goal. Roosevelt travels to Torrance on Friday to face a team they defeated by 49 points a year ago.
7. Upland (Baseline League), 1-0
Thanks to a couple of fourth-quarter turnovers by A.B. Miller of Fontana, the Highlanders escaped with a 21-16 victory Friday and avoided one of the bigger upsets of Week 0. Next up is a date with visiting Tustin, which rushed for 423 yards Friday in a 42-27 victory against Foothill High of Santa Ana.
8. Palm Springs (Desert Valley League), 1-0
Nephi Garcia accounted for 27 of the 35 points Palm Springs scored in a 15-point victory Friday against Palm Desert, rushing for three touchdowns, catching another and kicking three PATs. The Indians have a looming date Friday with host Arroyo Valley of San Bernardino, coached by former Arizona State standout defensive back Marcus Soward.
9. Colton (San Andreas League), 0-0
After 25 seasons as an assistant, Rick Bray is set to make his head coaching debut Friday against host Chaffey of Ontario. Chaffey is coming off a 35-21 victory Friday against Alta Loma, a game in which running backs Julian Bernardino and Carnell Spencer combined for 400 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
10. Moreno Valley Rancho Verde (Inland Valley League), 1-0
Devonte Jordan rushed for 171 yards in 19 carries and scored two touchdowns Friday in a 31-14 victory against West Valley of Hemet. Now it's on to San Gorgonio High of San Bernardino, a team that's loaded with returning talent and coached by Ron Gueringer, formerly the head coach at Crespi of Encino and Corona Centennial.