Los Angeles Preps: Marcus Bratton

I.E.: And the winner is ...

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
6:26
PM PT
As we take the time to exhale in between the first and second rounds of the Southern Section football playoffs, let’s recognize a few of the award winners from Friday night’s opening rounds.

Best ending: On the verge of becoming the biggest upset victim of the first round, Rancho Cucamonga turned in the most improbable finish. Trailing by five points against Chino Hills in the Inland Division opener with just 6.6 seconds on the clock and 38 yards from the end zone, Marcus Bratton leaped in the air and hauled in a desperation touchdown pass to lift the Cougars to a 39-38 victory. Rancho Cucamonga drove 70 yards in the final 26 seconds. The Cougars survive to meet fourth-seeded Redlands East Valley in the second round Friday at 7 p.m. at Citrus Valley High School in Redlands.

Best individual performance: On a night when Corona Centennial’s defense was knocked on its heels, running back Romello Goodman came to the rescue, rushing for a career-high 325 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-35 victory against visiting Redlands. The top-seeded Huskies were clinging to a seven-point lead entering the final quarter of the Inland Division first-round game, but Goodman gave them some breathing room with his fifth touchdown of the game. Centennial will host Chaparral in the second round, a team that upset the Huskies two years ago on its way to winning the Inland Division championship.

Most surprising performance: Moreno Valley wasn’t expected to put up much of a fight against Cajon. After all, the Cowboys were the San Andreas League co-champions and were ranked No. 2 in the Central Division as recently as Week 7. Someone obviously forgot to pass that information along to the Vikings. Moreno Valley unleashed a heavy dose of senior running back Imeria Talia and never gave Cajon a chance in the 43-16 victory. Talia finished with 270 yards rushing in 40 carries and scored two touchdowns. He also helped keep the ball out of the hands of Cajon’s playmakers, limiting their first-half time of possession to 4 minutes 47 seconds while the Vikings built a 28-8 lead. Moreno Valley will host fourth-seeded Colony at 7 p.m. in Friday's second round.

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