Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Inland Empire: The Top 10
By Dan Arritt
1. (1) Corona Centennial, 14-1 The Huskies blew past one opponent after another this season, but couldn’t overcome the wet, slippery conditions in the Division I state bowl game against Palo Alto.
2. (2) Vista Murrieta, 12-2 The Broncos returned to the Inland Division final for the second consecutive season, but are still looking for their first title as they fell to Centennial, 45-21.
3. (7) Chino Hills, 10-3 The Huskies trailed by just five points early in the fourth quarter of their Inland Division semifinal against Centennial, but lost their grip and were beaten, 42-23.
4. (9) Rancho Cucamonga, 11-2 In the most thrilling game of the season in the Inland Empire, the Cougars were stopped by Vista Murrieta on the one-yard line and lost the Inland Division semifinal in double overtime, 35-28.
5. (3) Eastvale Roosevelt, 9-3 The Mustangs defeated Norco in Big VIII League play and proved to be the second-best team in the I.E’s toughest league behind Centennial. They eventually lost to Rancho Cucamonga in a division semifinal.
6. (4) Norco, 9-3 With a freshman quarterback and several underclassmen on the offensive line, youth caught up with Cougars down the stretch, but the experience they received along the way should benefit them greatly in the years to come.
7. (NR) Colton, 11-3 The Yellowjackets came on strong after finishing third in the San Andreas League, knocking off league champion San Bernardino Cajon in a Central Division semifinal and then toppling unbeaten Moreno Valley Rancho Verde in the championship game.
8. (6) Rancho Verde, 13-1 A soft regular-season schedule didn’t seem to affect the Mustangs once the playoffs began, but they didn’t have an answer for a hot Colton team in the division final.
9. (NR) Elsinore, 12-2 The Cinderella story of the Inland Empire during the postseason, Elsinore knocked off top-seeded and undefeated Fontana Kaiser in an Eastern Division semifinal, then beat Fontana Summit in the final to win its first section title in the school’s 83-year history.
10. (5) Kaiser, 12-1 The Cats seemed like a shoe-in to win the Eastern Division title, but they underestimated Elsinore and lost a heartbreaker, 20-12.
Dropped out: Redlands East Valley, Romoland Heritage.