Los Angeles Preps: Brandon Zuidema

I.E.: 5 questions to ponder after Week 4

October, 3, 2011
Is this the Chaparral team that we were expecting to see, or did Corona Centennial just borrow their uniforms? The shocker out of the Inland Empire last weekend wasn’t so much Upland’s victory against Loyola, or even Vista Murrieta’s triumph at Crespi, it was the 24-8 victory by Chaparral against visiting Tesoro. The Pumas were ranked No. 4 in the Inland Empire coming into the season, but they quickly dropped off the map after one-sided losses to Cajon, Oceanside and Corona Centennial. Tesoro, meanwhile, came up from the O.C. with their chests out after victories against Hart, Chino Hills and Narbonne. Chaparral should get another victory this week at Indio, and then the big test comes Oct. 14, when the Pumas host Vista Murrieta in a Southwestern League opener.

Best come-from-behind victory this season? This might go down as one of the all-time best come-from-behind victories in the history of the I.E. La Quinta was staring at a 34-0 deficit at the start of the third quarter Friday night at Ridgecrest Burroughs, but the Blackhawks forced four turnovers in the second half and John Mason scored three touchdowns to lift them to a 41-34 victory. By comparison, the largest comeback in NFL history remains the 1992 playoff game between Buffalo and the Houston Oilers, when the Bills came back from 32 points down to win, 41-38 in overtime.

Best come-from-behind victory by an unbeaten team? Valley View was trailing Arlington by nine points at the half of their Inland Valley League game Friday night, putting its unbeaten streak on the line. But the Eagles pinned their ears back on defense, shutting out the Lions in the second half while limiting them to 54 total yards. On offense, Matthew Sandoval sandwiched two field goals around an 11-yard touchdown run by Michael Harrison and Valley View (5-0, 2-0 in league play) came away with a 19-15 victory, their seventh straight in IVL play dating back to last season. Harrison, who rushed for 1,120 yards and 16 touchdowns in 11 games last season, already has 651 rushing yards and eight touchdowns this season. The Eagles will have to be even better Friday night, whey they host three-time defending league champion Rancho Verde, winner of 23 consecutive IVL games.

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Inland Empire: Eastvale Roosevelt 24, No. 9 Norco 21

October, 8, 2010

NORCO -- The Big VIII League strikes again.

Just when the pecking order was beginning to take shape, another team comes along and jumps in the race.

This time it was Eastvale Roosevelt, which showed it belongs in the upper echelon of Big VIII teams after upsetting Norco, 24-21, on Friday night at Norco High.

The Mustangs (4-1), ranked 10th in the Inland Empire by ESPNLA.com, took their final lead on a one-yard keeper by quarterback Aaron Crone with 10 minutes 36 seconds remaining, then stopped the No. 2 Cougars on downs with 4:47 left.

“This is a big win,” said tight end Sam Boyd, who set up the final touchdown with a 28-yard reception to the Norco one-yard line. “We needed it after losing to [Corona] Santiago last week.”

Santiago turned around and lost to Riverside King, 42-35, on Thursday night. Norco (4-1) travels to Santiago next week.

“We’re in a must-win next week, that’s for sure,” Norco coach Todd Gerhart said.

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