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Thursday, November 4, 2010
Inland Empire: Games of the week

By Dan Arritt

ESPNLA finally gets to sort out the question for ourselves.

Just how good is Fontana Kaiser?

We hope to find out Friday night beginning at 7 p.m., when the Cats, ranked No. 15 in the Southland by ESPNLA, host Fontana Summit in a battle for first place in the Sunkist League.

Looking at Kaiser’s results this season and it’s clear there’s something special under the hood.

The Cats (8-0, 3-0) shutout San Bernardino Cajon, 35-0, on Sept. 24. Cajon is ranked No. 5 in the Central Division and sits in sole possession of first place in the San Andreas League. A week later, they blew out No. 8 Palm Desert, 48-0, and prior to that shut out Big VIII League member Riverside North, 28-0.

Summit (6-1-1, 3-0) has been more streaky this season, but has the talent to make a run at Kaiser.

The SkyHawks opened the season with an impressive 42-35 victory against Etiwanda, then tied Redlands, 24-24, despite missing its best player, Devon Blackmon, due to an ankle injury. Blackmon, who plays defensive back and rotates among the skill positions on offense, is the third-highest rated recruit in the Southland by ESPNLA.

The SkyHawks were at full strength Oct. 1 against Victorville Silverado, but lost, 20-18, knocking them from their perch in the Eastern Division. Now that spot is occupied by the Cats, with Summit down at No. 4.

Three more to see:

La Quinta (7-1, 3-0) at Palm Springs (7-1, 3-0), Friday–This game has settled the Desert Valley League championship the last two seasons and this year appears no different. La Quinta defeated the Indians, 44-22, last season, but Palm Springs went on to win its first Southern Section title. La Quinta is ranked No. 2 in the Central Division, Palm Springs is No. 3.’s pick: La Quinta 24, Palm Springs 17.

Elsinore (7-1, 3-0) at Romoland Heritage (8-0, 3-0), Friday–In just its second year with a senior class, Heritage has come a long way in a short amount of time. They’ll have to contend with a talented Elsinore team that has shared the Sunbelt League title six of the last seven years, but would probably like to keep this one for itself. Elsinore is ranked No. 3 in the Eastern Division, Heritage is No. 5.’s pick: Heritage 23, Elsinore 21.

Colton (6-2, 4-1) at San Bernardino San Gorgonio (4-4, 4-1), Friday–Colton appeared to suffer a big blow when running back Tyler Ervin went down with an ankle injury Oct. 8 against Arroyo Valley, but Devan Hussey has picked up the slack, breaking the 100-yard barrier in two of the last three games. Ryan Hunter-Simms has eight sacks for San Gorgonio, ranked No. 7 in the Central Division. Colton is No. 5.’s pick: Colton 27, San Gorgonio 16.