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Friday, October 8, 2010
Inland Empire: Eastvale Roosevelt 24, No. 9 Norco 21

By Dan Arritt



NORCO -- The Big VIII League strikes again.

Just when the pecking order was beginning to take shape, another team comes along and jumps in the race.

This time it was Eastvale Roosevelt, which showed it belongs in the upper echelon of Big VIII teams after upsetting Norco, 24-21, on Friday night at Norco High.

The Mustangs (4-1), ranked 10th in the Inland Empire by ESPNLA.com, took their final lead on a one-yard keeper by quarterback Aaron Crone with 10 minutes 36 seconds remaining, then stopped the No. 2 Cougars on downs with 4:47 left.

“This is a big win,” said tight end Sam Boyd, who set up the final touchdown with a 28-yard reception to the Norco one-yard line. “We needed it after losing to [Corona] Santiago last week.”

Santiago turned around and lost to Riverside King, 42-35, on Thursday night. Norco (4-1) travels to Santiago next week.

“We’re in a must-win next week, that’s for sure,” Norco coach Todd Gerhart said.

Roosevelt junior running back Buster Jackson finished with 90 yards in 22 carries and a touchdown. Crone was 10 for 17 for 143 yards and threw a 27-yard touchdown to Brandon Zuidema in the first quarter to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead.

Norco running back Kelsey Young carried the ball 18 times for 161 yards and all three touchdowns, but the Stanford-bound senior couldn’t find running room on the final drive and was stopped short on a fourth-down carry at the Norco 40-yard line.

Young's 30-yard touchdown run with 1:38 left in the third quarter gave the Cougars a 21-17 lead.