Monday, November 29, 2010
Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend
By Dan Arritt
1. Let’s head straight to the Central Division for the best game of the weekend. La Quinta trailed host Chino by 28 points in their quarterfinal game, then scored 42 in the second half to win, 42-41. The fourth-seeded Blackhawks took a 42-35 lead on a 37-yard touchdown run by Chyl Robinson with 51 seconds remaining, followed by a two-point conversion. Chino answered 19 seconds later on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Sean Molles to Promise Amadi. Needing just the point-after to tie the score, La Quinta deflected the kick and it fell short of the crossbar. The comeback also included two successful onside kick recoveries. La Quinta moves on to Friday’s semifinal, where it will host top-seeded Moreno Valley Rancho Verde.
2. Thanks to a pair of upsets in the bottom half of the Central Division bracket, the other semifinal will feature a San Andreas League rematch Saturday between San Bernardino Cajon and host Colton. Cajon knocked off third-seeded Riverside Arlington in convincing fashion, 35-7. The Yellowjackets did the same to second-seeded Palm Springs, 35-14. The Cowboys defeated Colton, 29-20, in SAL play this season, but the Yellowjackets didn’t have running back Tyler Ervin for that game. Ervin, who missed three games because of an ankle injury, rushed for a season-high 189 yards in 30 carries and scored two touchdowns against Palm Springs.
3. The competition must be getting stiffer because Corona Centennial had its closest game of the season Friday night – only beating Upland by 29 points. In fact, for only the second time this season, top-seeded Centennial actually trailed in a game. That lasted for all of 2 ˝ minutes before the Huskies stormed away in the second half for a 52-23 victory in an Inland Division quarterfinal at Upland. Probably most impressive were the numbers put up by Centennial running back Barrinton Collins, who rushed for a career-high 305 yards in 27 carries and scored five touchdowns, despite dislocating a shoulder during practice earlier in the week. Centennial will play at fourth-seeded Chino Hills in Friday’s semifinal.
4. On the other side of the Inland Division bracket, Rancho Cucamonga running back Sateki Finau also had the biggest game of his high school career, totaling 276 rushing yards in 27 carries and scoring four touchdowns in a 51-36 victory against host Eastvale Roosevelt. Finau didn’t rush for more than 52 yards in a game last season. The third-seeded Cougars needed a big effort from their biggest offensive weapon as they fell behind 14-0 and still trailed by a touchdown at the half. Rancho Cucamonga will travel to second-seeded Vista Murrieta for Saturday’s semifinal.
5. Romoland Heritage was about 2 ˝ minutes away from defeating Fontana Summit and advancing to the Eastern Division semifinals, but the third-seeded Patriots lost a fumble on their own 41-yard line. Summit quickly capitalized, scoring on an eight-yard run by Bernard Porter with 22 seconds remaining and adding a two-point conversion to give the SkyHawks a 29-22 victory. The win sets up a tantalizing semifinal Saturday between visiting Summit and second-seeded Phelan Serrano.