Los Angeles Preps: Ramon Barrajas

I.E.: Games of the Week

October, 19, 2011
10/19/11
10:06
PM PT
It’s rivalry week in the Inland Empire. The Baseline, Big VIII and Citrus Belt leagues feature matchups involving teams that have spent the last decade hammering away at each other. While some of these rivalries have turned into one-sided affairs in recent years, it’s tough to predict which way they’ll turn once the teams step between the lines.

A-Game

(Inland Empire top 10 rankings included)

No. 9 Rancho Cucamonga (6-0, 1-0) at No. 12 Upland (6-0, 1-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – This has been one of the more even rivalries over the years and another tight one is expected Friday night. Rancho Cucamonga has won four straight close games against the Highlanders, including a victory in the 2008 Central Division finals, but Upland is a slight favorite this time around. The Highlanders earned that distinction with an impressive win three weeks ago against visiting Loyola, while Rancho Cucamonga has spent the first six weeks steamrollering mostly mediocre opponents. The key matchup will be Upland’s offensive line and fullback Christian Powell against a defense led by linebacker Viliami Latu, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior. Offensively, the Cougars also need to be on the lookout for Powell, who leads the Inland Division with nine sacks.

Calpreps.com computerized projection: Upland 31, Rancho Cucamonga 24

ESPNLA: Rancho Cucamonga 28, Upland 24

B-List

Norco (4-2, 2-1) at No. 4 Corona Centennial (5-1, 3-0), Friday (7 p.m.) – For the second consecutive season this rivalry has lost some of its luster due to an early loss by Norco in Big VIII League play. The Cougars were upended by Corona Santiago two weeks ago, the second time this season they've allowed 49 or more points in a game. That’s not good news against an offense as unrelenting as Centennial’s, which has scored at least 48 points in four straight. Norco will need to find a way to keep the ball out of Centennial’s hands for as long as possible. Don’t be surprised if the Cougars go for it on fourth down at midfield, or try an onside kick the first time they have the opportunity.

Calpreps.com: Centennial 44, Norco 21

ESPNLA: Centennial 56, Norco 28

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