1. The best Inland Empire team not to make the playoffs is Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos. The Grizzlies were officially eliminated Friday when they lost to second-place Upland, 41-38, on a 29-yard field goal by Jake Van Ginkel with 3.9 second remaining. Earlier this season, Los Osos lost in overtime, 29-28, against league champion Rancho Cucamonga. It’s the third consecutive season that Upland has ended the Grizzlies’ season. The Highlanders beat Los Osos in the Central Division championship game last season and in a semifinal the year before.
2. Temecula Great Oak had a 14-point halftime lead and its playoff future in hand Friday night, but then Temecula Valley turned the tables in the Southwestern League finale and scored 27 unanswered points to win, 34-21, spoiling the Wolfpack’s postseason hopes. Great Oak’s loss was Murrieta Valley’s gain, however, as the Nighthawks got a second life after blowing a chance to control their own playoff destiny the night before in a 27-20 loss to Temecula Chaparral.
3. Coming into the season, Victorville Victor Valley had been a combined 5-23 the last seven seasons in the Desert Sky League, earning one trip to the playoffs in that span. Last season, the Jackrabbits finished 7-3 overall but failed to make the playoffs after losing to Ridgecrest Burroughs in the regular-season finale. On Friday, the Jackrabbits had a chance to win the league title with a victory against Burroughs and this time they pulled it off, 25-24, thanks to a 26-yard field goal by Isaiah Kepley with 1:14 left.
4. Montclair advanced to the postseason for the first time in eight years by defeating Ontario Chaffey, 34-26, on Wednesday night. The victory also prevented a lot of head-scratching by those who put together the playoff brackets. If the Cavaliers had lost to Chaffey, there would have been a five-way tie for third in the Mt. Baldy League, and determining which team earned the final qualifying berth would have required more than just a coin flip or two.
5. Rialto Carter locked up the final playoff spot from the eight-team San Andreas League with a 16-6 victory Friday night against San Bernardino Arroyo Valley. The Lions took advantage of an Arroyo Valley team that lost star quarterback Michael Yearwood to a knee injury earlier this season and forced five turnovers while holding the Hawks to zero passing yards. Carter also recovered two on-sides kicks during the game. Earlier this season, the Lions lost to second-place San Gorgonio by two points and fell to third-place Colton in overtime.