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Monday, December 13, 2010
Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

By Dan Arritt

1. Corona Centennial completed an undefeated regular season and playoff run Friday with a 45-21 victory against Vista Murrieta in the Inland Division championship game. The Huskies were rewarded with a berth in the Division I state bowl game Friday night against Palo Alto at Home Depot Center. Barrinton Collins rushed for 286 yards and five touchdowns, and quarterback Michael Eubank continues to be the grease that spins the machine, throwing for 188 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 73.

2. From sidelines to message boards, many have debated whether Centennial deserved the open bowl berth over Servite based on common opponents. Exhibit A in the evidence file is Mater Dei. Centennial led the Monarchs, 44-0, after three quarters Sept. 17 before calling off the dogs and winning, 44-13. Servite beat Mater Dei a month later, 21-14. Exhibit B would be Temecula Chaparral. A week after defeating Mater Dei, the Huskies blew out the Pumas, 45-12, in their stadium. A week later -- and with the Pumas missing their two best players -- the Friars won, 28-7, at Santa Ana Stadium.

3. Centennial won its sixth section title since the school opened in 1997. Quite a contrast to Elsinore High, which over the weekend won its first section title in the school’s 83-year history. The Tigers played a gritty, mistake-free game in the 21-7 victory against Fontana Summit in the Eastern Division final. The celebration seemed even more special because the game was played at Elsinore High.



4. In an era of no-huddle offenses, personnel packages, artificial turf and fancy scoreboards with message screens, the Elsinore game was like blast to the past. The Tigers run a form of the old-fashioned wing offense, feature three linemen who go both ways, still play on a grass field and display a scoreboard that’s probably 30 years old. Coach Tony Peralta even went Knute Rockne as he tried to motivate his team at halftime.

5. Colton won its first section title in 32 years Friday, knocking off top-seeded Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, 17-7. The Yellowjackets, like Elsinore, didn’t win league and entered the postseason unseeded and well under the radar. The story of Colton’s season would have to be first-year coach Rick Bray, who was an assistant at the school for 21 years. He had given up hope of ever running his own program, but in his first year accomplished what three predecessors could not.