Monday, December 6, 2010
Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend
By Dan Arritt
1. No question top billing goes this week to Elsinore High, which pulled off one of the biggest shockers of the season Friday night, making the long trip to Fontana Kaiser and knocking off the top-seeded and previously unbeaten Cats, 20-12, in an Eastern Division semifinal. Elsinore coach Tony Peralta told reporters after the game the Tigers played rope-a-dope with Kaiser, staying close and then delivering a knockout punch at the end. In terms of high school football upsets, this was Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson.
2. Corona Centennial quarterback Michael Eubank admitted the Huskies were a bit overconfident heading into their Inland Division semifinal Friday night against host Chino Hills. That could have been why Centennial couldn’t put away the “other” Huskies until late in the fourth quarter. Centennial (13-0) produced its lowest point total of the season in the 42-23 victory, but still moved into seventh on the list of highest-scoring football teams Southern Section history (713). Fourth-place is only 27 points away, so the Huskies might get there by halftime in Friday’s championship game against visiting Vista Murrieta. More to come on that during the week.
3. The Vista Murrieta vs. Rancho Cucamonga double-overtime semifinal Saturday night was as close and exciting of a game as they come. Well, unless you were around in 2002, when Terrell Jackson scored eight touchdowns in the triple-overtime Division V final and Centennial beat Riverside North, 57-55. The game was intense and hard-hitting, but the players showed dignity and class when it finally ended in a pile of bodies at the goal line.
4. While we’re on the subject of exciting games, Colton and visiting San Bernardino Cajon also needed overtime to settle their Central Division semifinal Saturday night. This one didn’t come down to a goal-line stand, but rather the point-after conversions. Cajon scored first in overtime and elected to go for two. The Cowboys failed, opening the door for Colton to win, 42-41, with a touchdown and the point-after. Cajon beat the Yellowjackets by nine points in San Andreas League play six weeks earlier, but Colton seems to be a new team.
5. Getting back to the Eastern Division, one of the best matchups last weekend was Fontana Summit at Phelan Serrano. The game certainly didn't disappoint as the SkyHawks rallied in the second half to win, 35-26, and advance to their first section final in the program’s five-year history. You can bet a few college coaches will be on hand when Summit travels to Elsinore for the championship game Saturday night. The SkyHawks feature one of the country's most sought-after recruits in all-purpose athlete Devon Blackmon.