Los Angeles Preps: Angel Santiago

Inland Empire: Larry Cutbirth carrying his weight at Etiwanda

October, 27, 2010

Alex Gallardo/Special to ESPNLA.com
Larry Cutbirth has filled in well in his first season as quarterback at Etiwanda.

Larry Cutbirth wasn’t a complete unknown when the season began. He just wasn’t known as a football player.

Cutbirth, a junior quarterback at Etiwanda, was asked to take over this season for Angel Santiago, who combined for 6,800 passing yards and 57 touchdowns the previous three seasons. He also ran for 2,167 yards and 27 touchdowns during that span.

Cutbirth has filled his shoes nicely, especially on the passing end. He has thrown for 2,065 yards and 21 touchdowns through seven games, completing 66% of his passes. Both his passing yardage and touchdowns are fifth-best in the Southern Section.

In a 53-34 loss to Upland last Friday, he threw for a season-high 437 yards, including 357 in the first half and all four touchdown passes.

Before this season, Cutbirth was better known as wrestler. He was the Baseline League champion last season in the 152-pound division. Cutbirth has grown two inches since then and now stands 6 feet 5. He plans to wrestle in the 171-pound class this winter.

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Inland Empire: Games of the week

October, 21, 2010
The Baseline League has been a breeding ground for top quarterbacks lately.

Richard Brehaut of UCLA (Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos), Josh Nunes of Stanford (Upland), Angel Santiago of Army (Etiwanda) and Greg Watson of Fresno State (Rancho Cucamonga) have all recently flipped their tassels.

Upland and Etiwanda are continuing the tradition.

The Highlanders (4-2, 1-0 in league), who are hosting Etiwanda in a key Baseline League game Friday night at 7 p.m., is led by Josh’s brother, Justin Nunes, who committed to UC Davis last month.

Nunes broke out of three-game stretch without a touchdown pass last weekend, throwing four in a 56-16 victory against Mira Loma Alta Loma.

Etiwanda (3-3, 1-0) leans on the right arm of Larry Cutbirth, who is emerging as one of the top junior quarterbacks in the region. Cutbirth has thrown 17 touchdowns this season, which is tied for seventh in the Southern Section.

Three more to see:

Riverside King (4-2, 2-1 in the Big VIII League) at Norco (5-1, 2-1), Friday – The four teams locked in a second-place tie meet up this weekend and this one figures to be the best. King running back Todd Handley and Norco running back Kelsey Young are two of the top ball carriers in Southern California and both should be handed the rock frequently. ESPNLA.com’s pick: Norco 31, King 30.

Corona (4-2, 2-1 in the Big VIII) at Eastvale Roosevelt (5-1, 2-1), Friday – Eric Kyle is quietly averaging nearly 130 rushing yards a game for Corona. Roosevelt running back Joey Legere has scored 15 touchdowns, which leads the Inland Division, and quarterback Aaron Crone has completed 60% of his passes this season, with just two interceptions. ESPNLA.com’s pick: Roosevelt 24, Corona 13.

San Bernardino Cajon (4-2, 3-0 in the San Andreas League) at Colton (5-1, 3-0), Friday – These teams have combined to win the last five SAL titles and it appears this season will be no different. Cajon will rely on dual-threat quarterback Thomas Carter. He'll be up against one of the top defenses in the Southland, anchored by linebacker Rodney Hardrick and defensive back Devan Hussey. ESPNLA.com’s pick: Colton 30, Cajon 20.