Los Angeles Preps: Antoine Arnold

Inland Empire: Corona Centennial highlights Inland Division selections

January, 27, 2011
The All-Southern Section 11-man football teams were released Thursday and, as expected, Corona Centennial had several players representing the Inland Division.

The Huskies had five players selected to the 22-man offensive team, including quarterback Michael Eubank, the division’s offensive player of the year.

Eubank, who is expected to sign with Arizona State next week, threw for 2,831 yards and 22 touchdowns while leading Centennial to the Inland Division title and a Division I state bowl berth. Eubank also ran for 1,329 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Centennial defensive back Chris Gonzalez was named the division’s defensive player of the year over San Diego State-bound teammate and leading tackler, linebacker Ryan Jack. Gonzalez led the Huskies with seven interceptions and was second on the team in tackles. Milo Jordan, a junior lineman and top recruit for next year, was the other Centennial player selected to the defensive team.

Matt Logan completed the sweep for Centennial, winning coach of the year honors.

Inland Division runner-up Vista Murrieta had six selections and semifinalists Rancho Cucamonga and Chino Hills had five each.

Among the notable players not selected was Chaparral receiver Antoine Arnold, last season's co-offensive player of the year. Arnold played in all but two games this season but his numbers dropped significantly as the offense struggled to get him the ball. Corona defensive end DeVante Wilson, who is expected to sign with USC next week, did not return to the defensive team.

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Inland Division: Upland 40, Chaparral 35

November, 19, 2010

UPLAND — For one of the rare occasions, two Southern Section defending champions went head-to-head Friday night in the Inland Division playoffs and both Upland and Temecula Chaparral played as if they had something to lose.

In the end, injuries caught up with Chaparral, allowing the Highlanders to rally from an early deficit and win, 40-35, at Upland High.

Upland running back Donta Abron Jr. rushed for 176 yards in 18 carries and scored two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score early in the third quarter that gave the Highlanders a 30-28 lead they never relinquished.

Upland kicker Jake Van Ginkel kicked four field goals, including a 38-yarder that gave the Highlanders their final five-point cushion with 1:10 remaining, and receiver Kenneth Lawler caught five passes for 164 yards and a 73-yard score in the opening quarter.

The Highlanders, who won the Central Division title last season and was then moved to the Inland Division this season, had to claw back right from the start. On the first play from scrimmage, Chaparral linebacker Josh Ponder returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown.

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Inland Empire: Games of the week

November, 18, 2010
Nobody expected Temecula Chaparral or Upland to win Southern Section titles last season either.

But then the Pumas got on a roll after finishing second in the Southwestern League and slipped by one quality opponent after another in the Inland Division playoffs, winning their first section title with a 13-7 victory against Southwestern League champ Vista Murrieta.

Over at Upland, the Highlanders squeaked into the Central Division playoffs as a wild card out of the Baseline League, then capped their championship run with a 19-7 victory against Baseline champion Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos.

Upland, now a member of the Inland Division, will host Chaparral in the opening round of playoffs Friday at 7 p.m. and, once again, both teams will enter the postseason having not fulfilled preseason expectations of winning league titles.

No worries.

The second season is here.

One of these teams is guaranteed to see their playoff hopes end in the first round, however. The other will move onto the second round and probably have their next opponent wondering: Here we go again?

Chaparral (4-6) showed as much life last Thursday in a 27-20 victory against Murrieta Valley as it has all season. Then again, the Pumas were faced with the possibility of missing the playoffs if they lost.

Antoine Arnold, considered one of the top receivers in the Inland Empire, had the best game of his injury-filled season, catching six passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

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Inland Empire: Chaparral vs. Vista Murrieta still has some importance

October, 13, 2010
OK, so it’s not the preeminent game in the Inland Empire this season.

That doesn’t mean Temecula Chaparral and Vista Murrieta won’t be grinding on their mouthpieces when they take the field Thursday night for their Southwestern League opener at Vista Murrieta High.

The last time these teams met was in the Inland Division championship game in December, when Chaparral pulled out a 13-7 victory to avenge a one-sided loss to the Broncos in league play.

The Pumas came into this season ranked as the best team in the Inland Empire by a number of publications, with Vista Murrieta a close second.

However, those roles were short-lived, especially for Chaparral, which lost its first four games by an average of 19 points.

During the same stretch, Vista Murrieta allowed 27 points to Etiwanda, squeaked by Corona Santiago and was then overrun by visiting Encino Crespi, 45-31.

What had been the featured match-up in the Inland Empire just a month ago was now just another league rivalry.

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Inland Empire: No. 1 Servite 28, Chaparral 7

October, 2, 2010
SANTA ANA -- Temecula Chaparral took on Servite without its two best players Saturday night and the result wasn't as bad as expected.

Servite won, 28-7, at Santa Ana Stadium, but needed to scratch and claw the entire game.

The Friars, ranked No. 1 in the Southland by ESPNLA.com, held a 14-0 lead at the half, stretched the lead to 21 in the third quarter but couldn't shake the Pumas, who were playing without standout wide receiver Antoine Arnold (groin) and safety Darius Guillory (shoulder).

Chaparral (0-4) cut the lead back to 14 points on a 15-yard touchdown reception by Josh Harris midway through the third quarter, but that's as close as the Pumas would get.

Servite's first score was set up by this catch and run by tight end Ainslie Johnson, which set up this one-yard plunge by Jody Thomas.

The second touchdown for the Friars (5-0) was set up by this long run down the Chaparral sideline by quarterback Cody Pittman, eventually leading to their second touchdown, a 34-yard scamper by Sean DeRosa.

This long completion by Pittman set up his second touchdown run, a 12-yard burst up the middle that gave Servite a 21-0 lead.

Inland Empire: Chaparral's in a no-win situation

September, 29, 2010
Now that the Temecula Chaparral football team is 0-3 and staring at another tough game Saturday night against Servite, ranked No. 1 in the Southland by ESPNLA.com, any second thoughts regarding that unrelenting nonleague schedule?

This question was posed to both coach Tommy Leach and standout receiver Antoine Arnold following Chaparral’s latest defeat, a 45-12 stinger Friday night against visiting Corona Centennial.

Arnold said it was a difficult question to answer but admitted that playing a weaker nonleague schedule would also create a no-win situation for the Pumas, who came into the season atop both the Southern Section Inland Division coaches’ poll and the ESPNLA.com Inland Empire rankings, but have since dropped out of both top 10s.

"If we beat up on teams right now, we’d be known as, ‘Oh, that’s just the defending champ, Chaparral, they’re No. 1, nobody can stop them,’ " he said. "At the same time, at the end of the road, we’ll have to play hard teams ... it kind of goes both ways."

Arnold’s full response is on the ensuing video clip, as well as an update on his recruiting and what he likes to do the day after games.

As the architect of Chaparral’s nonleague schedule, Leach isn’t kicking himself either. After all, the Pumas started 4-3 last season, then reeled off seven consecutive victories to capture the Inland Division title.

Here’s what Leach had to say following Friday’s game.

Inland Empire: No. 6 Corona Centennial 45, No. 22 Chaparral 12

September, 24, 2010
TEMECULA -- It’s official. Corona Centennial can be considered one of the state’s elite football teams.

The Huskies posted their third consecutive one-sided victory to start the season, shutting out host Temecula Chaparral in the second half Friday night en route to a 45-12 victory.

Barrinton Collins rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Michael Eubank had 113 rushing yards and three touchdowns to lead Centennial over the defending Southern Section Inland Division champions.

"We're very happy because we came in with a young offensive line," said Centennial Coach Matt Logan. "We came in with a young and very inexperienced defense and so far both aspects of those parts of the game have played well."

The Huskies were motivated by last season’s loss to Chaparral in the semifinals of the Inland Division playoffs. They surged to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, maintained a 24-12 advantage at the half and then outscored the Pumas, 21-0 in the third quarter before pulling its starters.

Antoine Arnold, one of the top receivers in the Southland, was held to one catch for seven yards for the Pumas (0-3). The nonleague schedule doesn't get any easier for Chaparral, as they play Servite next weekend at Santa Ana Stadium.

"We've got a lot of individuals right now on the team," Arnold said. "We just need to come more together as a family, watch some more film and just become closer."

Inland Empire: Preseason Top 10

August, 31, 2010
1. Temecula Chaparral (Southwestern League)

The Pumas earned the right to strut after winning the Inland Division title last season, and they have the goods to back it up with the return of last season’s Inland Division co-offensive player of the year, Antoine Arnold, and co-defensive player of the year, Darius Guillory.

2. Vista Murrieta (Southwestern League)

Can we just fast forward to Oct. 14? Of course, that’s when the Broncos are scheduled to host Chaparral in their Southwestern League opener. Quarterback Derrick Brown, a three-year starter, has been eyeing that date since last December.

3. Corona Centennial (Big VIII League)

The 2008 Division I state bowl champions aren’t accustomed to looking up at others in the rankings. At least they’ll have a chance to do something about it, traveling to Chaparral for a nonleague game Sept. 24. Centennial is also led by a fleet-footed returning quarterback, senior Michael Eubank.

4. Upland (Baseline League)

Fresh off a Central Division title run, the Highlanders will bank on the depth of their running game and the health of quarterback Justin Nunes to make noise in the newly joined Inland Division. Two key transfers from Alta Loma won’t hurt either.

5. Norco (Big VIII League)

Norco has a Gerhart and another talented running back headed to Stanford. A few years ago, it was state career rushing leader Toby Gerhart. This season it’s senior running back Kelsey Young and freshman quarterback Coltin Gerhart, the youngest brother of Toby.

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