Los Angeles Preps: Javonte Slater
December, 11, 2010
By Dan Arritt | ESPNLosAngeles.com
CORONA—The Inland Division playoffs haven’t been the runaway train that the regular season was, but the Corona Centennial football team continues to prove it can step on the gas when needed.
The top-seeded Huskies scored 17 unanswered points in the third quarter to pull away from visiting Vista Murrieta and win, 45-21, to claim its sixth Southern Section title this decade.
Barrinton Collins led the way for the Huskies (14-0), rushing for 286 yards in 42 carries and scoring five touchdowns.
“Coach told me we were going to pound the rock and that’s what we did,” Collins said.
Collins scored on runs of 17, 24 and two yards in the opening half, but the second-seeded Broncos cut Centennial’s lead to 21-14 on a 31-yard touchdown run by speedster Javonte Slater with 3 minutes 33 seconds remaining in the half.
That’s how it stood heading into the third quarter, when Collins scored on a 13-yard run on Centennial’s first drive. Vista Murrieta then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Huskies tacked on a 31-yard field goal to increase their lead to 31-14.
The Broncos (12-2) failed to get a first down on their second drive as well, and Collins came right back with his fifth touchdown of the game, a three-yard leap into the end zone that pushed the lead to 38-14.
Vista Murrieta found a reason to get excited when Cody Piecukonis returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown with 5:13 left in the game. They appeared to force a fumble from Collins on the Huskies’ next drive and would have returned it for a touchdown, but the referee had blown the play dead.
Collins thought he had fumbled on the play as well.
“They smacked me pretty good,” he said. “I’ll be feeling that tonight.”
Centennial didn’t show any mercy after retaining possession, as quarterback Michael Eubank hit Larry Scott with a 16-yard touchdown pass, giving the Huskies their final 45-21 lead.
Scott was the go-to receiver in the passing game, catching eight passes for 153 yards and a touchdown.
“I thought I’d be the go-to guy because I’ve been in the previous games,” Scott said. “I had a high ankle sprain, so finally I got back to almost 100% and knew I would get a lot of catches.”
The Huskies can now sit back and wait for Sunday’s CIF bowl selections. Many predict they’ll get passed up for the open bowl bid and play Palo Alto in the Division I bowl game.
That’s just fine with Collins.
“It doesn’t matter, we’re here to play for a state championship,” Collins said. “If it’s our way, we’re going to win a state championship, we work too hard.”
October, 12, 2010
By Dan Arritt | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Courtesy of Paul Moureaux
Eastvale Roosevelt running back Buster Jackson helped the Mustangs upset Norco, 24-21, and create a logjam in the Big VIII League standings.
Corona Centennial continues to sit on its perch while the rest of the Big VIII League teams knock each other off. Corona Santiago defeated Eastvale Roosevelt in Week 3, then turned around and lost to Riverside King in Week 4. A night later, Roosevelt toppled Norco, putting ESPNLA.com in a no-win situation when it comes to establishing an Inland Empire top 10.
1. (1) Centennial, 5-0
The Huskies are averaging 51 points this season, putting them on pace for 714 through 14 games. Only Westlake Village Oaks Christian (2004, ‘06) and Bloomington (1994, ‘96, ‘97) have scored more in Southern Section history. Last week: Beat Riverside Poly, 52-8. Next: vs. Riverside North, Friday.
2. (3) Vista Murrieta, 4-1
Javonte Slater is headed to USC on a track and field scholarship, but he continues to prove he’s more than just a straight-ahead runner. He had a season-high 145 rushing yards last weekend against Palisades. Last week: Defeated Palisades, 45-16. Next: vs. Temecula Chaparral, Thursday.
3. (2) Norco, 4-1
Something happened on the way to that showdown with Centennial on Oct. 29. The Cougars got run down by the Mustangs of Roosevelt. Last week: Lost to Roosevelt, 24-21. Next: at Santiago, Friday.
4. (4) Fontana Kaiser, 5-0
OK, so the Cats aren’t perfect, giving up their first points since Week 1. Still, they managed to score 55 points in a game that lasted just under 90 minutes because officials used a running clock from the second quarter on. Last week: Beat Hesperia, 55-14. Next: vs. Mira Loma Jurupa Valley, Friday.
5. (10) Roosevelt, 4-1
Excuse the Mustangs for over-celebrating their upset victory against Norco last weekend. The program is only four years old and, quite frankly, that was its biggest victory to date. Last week: Beat Norco, 24-21. Next: vs. Poly, Friday.
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