Los Angeles Preps: Oaks Hills

I.E.: Games of the Week

October, 26, 2011
The Central and Eastern divisions highlight the games of the week this time around. The key matchups on the schedule Friday night will likely determine first place in the Mojave River, San Andreas and Mt. Baldy leagues. Second place in the Big VIII League looks to be on the line Thursday.


(Inland Empire rankings included)

No. 9 Oak Hills (7-0, 1-0) at Serrano (5-2, 2-0), Friday (7 p.m.) -- There hasn’t been any growing pains for Oak Hills. The school opened onlyt two years ago, but the varsity football team has yet to post a losing record, owning a 23-7 overall mark heading into the biggest game in the program’s history. Serrano is the two-time defending Mojave River League champion with a 27-7 record over the last 2 seasons. The Diamondbacks ramped up for league play with a strong nonleague schedule that included a 10-point loss to Upland, the second-ranked team in the Inland Empire. They’ve allowed a truck load of points this season, however, and Oak Hills has the talent to get into the end zone. Expect a lot of touches by Oak Hills senior running back Marshaun Coprich, who has rushed for 1,374 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Serrano running back Adarius Hogan is 27 yards shy of the 1,000-yard barrier.

Calpreps.com computerized projection: Serrano 26, Oak Hills 20

ESPNLA: Serrano 28, Oak Hills 27


No. 7 J.W. North (6-1, 3-1) vs. No. 8 Corona Santiago (5-2, 3-1) at Riverside College, Thursday (7 p.m.) -- Both of these teams have already lost to Corona Centennial -- as has Norco -- so the Big VIII League title is no longer a realistic goal. That said, who would have thought the battle for second place in the Big VIII would involve these teams? Norco was thought to be a shoe-in as bridesmaid to Centennial, but then J.W. North scored a huge upset vs. Alemany in nonleague play and Santiago pounded Norco three weeks ago. Both teams feature savvy, elusive quarterbacks. Justin Gheorghe of J.W. North has thrown 15 touchdown passes and hasn’t been intercepted this season. Santiago junior Michael Darr is the team’s leading passer and rusher, though running back Roosevelt Monk has boosted the run game since joining the team four weeks ago.

Calpreps.com: J.W. North 38, Santiago 31

ESPNLA: Santiago 34, J.W. North 30

No. 10 Rialto (6-1, 4-0) at Carter (7-0, 4-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – These teams had mixed success after joining the San Andreas League last season, and this match up didn’t exactly stand out on the must-see list heading into the season, but that changed when Rialto stunned Cajon last weekend, 27-25. Rialto relies heavily on two-way skill players Michael Romero, Tyler Telphy, Paul Cortez and Nicholas Seiuli. Carter gets most of its offense from senior running back Gaylon Maxie, who has rushed for 1,073 yards and 16 touchdowns. Senior defensive back Kris Brown has a league-leading four interceptions for Carter.

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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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I.E.: The Top 10

October, 2, 2011
The Inland Empire flexed its muscles again last week, positing two big wins against Serra League teams. As it stands now, the SS-Inland Division is 7-4 against the Pac-5.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 3-1 – The brass at Centennial still isn’t pleased with how the offense is stepping on its own toes, but talent was able to overcome the mistakes in a 48-6 victory Thursday against Riverside Poly. Next: vs. J.W. North, Friday.

2. (3) Upland, 5-0 – If there was any doubt whether the Highlanders were for real after hammering Norco the week before, they made sure there was none Friday after handily defeating Loyola, 38-23. Next: vs. Etiwanda at Colony HS, Oct. 14.

3. (2) Rancho Cucamonga, 5-0 – The game wasn’t as close as the score would indicate in a 24-7 victory Friday night against Redlands. Now the Cougars have a week off to regroup and start thinking about their Baseline League game Oct. 21 at Upland. Next: vs. Alta Loma at Chaffey HS, Oct. 14.

4. (4) Redlands East Valley, 4-0 – OK, it's official, the Wildcats aren't just good, they're very good. They proved that by defeating Chino Hills, 34-0, for their third shutout in four games. Next: vs. Mission Viejo at University of Redlands, Friday.

5. (7) Vista Murrieta, 4-0 – The Broncos already had the defense and now they’ve found their offense after piling up 407 total yards in a 38-20 victory Friday at Crespi. Next: vs. Palisades, Friday.

6. (6) Norco, 3-1 – Sullied by their 27-point loss to Upland the week before, the Cougars took out their frustrations Friday night against short-handed Roosevelt, 42-7. Next: vs. Corona Santiago, Friday.

7. (5) J.W. North, 4-0 – More was expected from the Huskies when they took on Corona on Friday night, but they couldn’t shake the Panthers until the second half of their 38-17 victory. Next: at Corona Centennial, Friday

8. (8) Cajon, 4-0 – With the toughest part of their schedule behind them until the playoffs, the Cowboys were able to breathe easier in a 66-6 victory Friday against San Bernardino in their San Andreas League opener. Next: vs. San Gorgonio, Friday.

9. (9) Rancho Verde, 4-0 – The Mustangs overcame double digits in penalties to defeat Moreno Valley, 28-7, but they're the only team that can get away with that in the Inland Valley League. Next: at Valley View, Friday.

10. (10) Etiwanda, 2-2 – After scoring 160 points in their first four games, the Eagles had a bye last weekend, giving their offense a chance to catch their breath before four more huge games. Next: vs. Eisenhower at Colony HS, Thursday.

Just missed: Los Osos, Elsinore, Heritage, Summit, Citrus Hill, Palm Springs, Serrano, Chino, Chaparral, Murrieta Valley, Oaks Hills, Yucaipa.