Los Angeles Preps: San Gorgonio

I.E.: Baseball season preview

March, 13, 2012
3/13/12
6:30
PM PT
The meat of the high school baseball season is upon us, with several teams beginning league play this week. Here’s a look at the programs who’ve established themselves as the best in the Inland Empire so far, led my J.W. North, the defending Southern Section Division 1 champion. A list of the top players from the region follows, one for those playing high school baseball and another for the handful who have opted to train with ABD Academy in San Bernardino, and the dates for the start of league play are listed at the bottom.

Top 10 teams

1. J.W. North – The Huskies have picked up where they left off, winning their first six games, including a 3-0 victory against Temescal Canyon in the final of the Redlands Invitational.

2. Indio – The Rajahs are off to an 8-0 start and they're not piling up wins against cream puffs. They’ve beaten Granite Hills, Temecula Valley, Norco, Palm Springs and meet Chino on Tuesday in the championship game of the Chino tournament.

3. Redlands East Valley – The Wildcats only blemish is a 4-2 loss against J.W. North. They might have the talent to make a run at the top of this list, but still need to gain some quality victories.

4. Granite Hills – Hailing from Apple Valley, the Cougars aren’t much of a household name. They soon could be, however, posting early-season wins against Chino Hills, Valley View, Oak Hills and Canyon Springs and holding their own in three-run losses to J.W. North and Indio.

5. Temescal Canyon – The Titans are another team whose only setback came against J.W. North. They came into the season ranked fifth in the Southern Section Division 3 preseason coaches’ poll and have shown they belong.

(Read full post)

DESERT VALLEY LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – La Quinta @ Palm Springs; Xavier Prep @ Cathedral City; Indio # Palm Desert. Friday – Coachella Valley @ Palm Desert.

Last year’s finish: Palm Springs (12-0); Palm Desert (10-2); La Quinta (7-5); Indio (7-5); Cathedral City (3-9); Xavier Prep (3-9); Coachella Valley (0-12).

Players to watch: Quintin Taylor (Palm Springs), 6-2, Jr., G; Nick King (Palm Springs), 6-1, Sr., G; Xavier Thomas (Indio), 6-4, Sr., F; Abram Montoya (Indio), 6-2, Sr., G; Jonathan Serven (Palm Desert); 6-3, Sr., G; Robert Romero (Palm Desert), 6-5, Sr., F; Mike Releford (Cathedral City), 5-10, Sr., G; Taylor Pope (La Quinta), 6-0, Sr., G; Nathan Hill (La Quinta), 6-4, Jr., G; Creighton Chaney (Xavier Prep), 6-0, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Palm Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Cathedral City, Xavier Prep, Coachella Valley.

INLAND VALLEY LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – Arlington @ Moreno Valley; La Sierra @ Ramona; Canyon Springs @ Rancho Verde; Vista del Lago @ Valley View.

Last year’s finish: Rancho Verde (11-3); Canyon Springs (11-3); Arlington (8-6); Ramona (8-6); Valley View (7-7); Vista del Lago (5-9); La Sierra (3-11); Moreno Valley (3-11).

Players to watch: Jordan Grace (Rancho Verde), 6-2, Sr., G; Kendall Schmidt (Rancho Verde), 6-0, Sr., G; Lance Jones (Rancho Verde), 6-3, Jr., F; Rajshah Head (Canyon Springs), 6-0, Sr., G; Joseph Esthers (Valley View), 5-10, Sr., G; Devonte Klines (Valley View), 5-11, So., G; Stephen Scroggins (Moreno Valley), 5-11, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: Rancho Verde, Canyon Springs, Valley View, Arlington, Vista del Lago, Ramona, La Sierra, Moreno Valley.

SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

League openers: Tonight – San Bernardino @ Rialto, Arroyo Valley @ Colton, Cajon @ Pacific. Saturday – Rialto @ Carter. Monday – Arroyo Valley @ San Bernardino.

Last year’s finish: San Bernardino (14-0); Cajon (11-3); Rialto (9-5); Arroyo Valley (9-5); Colton (5-9); San Gorgonio (4-10); Carter (3-11); Pacific (1-13).

Players to watch: Khleem Perkins (San Bernardino), 6-3, Jr., G; Javone Rabon (San Bernardino), 6-4, Sr., F; Jamie Jenkins (San Bernardino), 5-8, Sr., G; Richie Ragoo (Colton), 5-11, Sr., G; Devin Jones (Cajon), 6-0, Sr., G; Stephen Marshall (Arroyo Valley), Sr., G; Antonio Clemmons (Pacific), 6-0, Sr., G.

Predicted order of finish: San Bernardino, Cajon, Arroyo Valley, Rialto, Colton, Pacific, San Gorgonio, Carter.

Next up: Big VIII, Mojave River and Mt. Baldy leagues (open league play Wednesday).

I.E.: The final Top 10

December, 19, 2011
12/19/11
12:18
AM PT
Well, that’s a wrap on the 2011 high school football season. The Inland Empire is certainly more respected than ever for what it accomplished this fall, beating Pac-5 Division foes Mission Viejo, Alemany, Crespi, Loyola, Tesoro and Mater Dei. They also staged a few memorable matchups against each other, none better than Vista Murrieta’s 35-28 come-from-behind victory against defending champion Corona Centennial in the Inland Division championship game. Here’s a look at the final top 10 of the season.

1. Vista Murrieta, 9-5 – The Broncos went undefeated on the field, beating state-ranked J.W. North, Upland and Centennial in the final three rounds of the Inland Division playoffs. Vista Murrieta self-reported an ineligible player prior to Southwestern League play -- a player who would quickly become eligible --leading to the forfeiture of all five nonleague victories. Many believe the Broncos deserved a state bowl bid but were passed up in favor of two-loss Santa Margarita, largely due to their forfeits. Vista Murrieta will be an early favorite to make the trip next season, as its best player, running back/strong safety Su’a Cravens, is set to return, as well as quarterback Nicholas Stevens and middle linebacker Bryce Smith, the Inland Division’s leading tackler.

2. Corona Centennial, 12-2 – Before the season, Centennial coach Matt Logan said the Huskies would need four or five games to find their footing. Try six quarters. The Huskies won 12 straight after their season-opening loss to St. Bonaventure, all but one by a wide margin. They quickly developed chemistry between a veteran offensive line and first-year senior starters Hayden Gavett at quarterback and Romello Goodman at running back and churned out yardage like past seasons. They came up one drive short against Vista Murrieta, however.

3. Upland, 12-1 – For most of the season, the Highlanders seemed like the front runner to unseat Centennial, but they ran into the same Vista Murrieta storm as the Huskies and saw their run end with a 39-18 semifinal loss. Still, they opened plenty of eyes with a 38-23 nonleaguue victory against L.A. private-school power Loyola and another one-sided victory against Baseline League foe Rancho Cucamonga.

4. Rancho Cucamonga, 11-2 – With 14 starters back from a team that lost in double overtime of the 2010 Inland Division semifinals, the Cougars came into this season ranked No. 2 in the ESPNLA Inland Empire preseason rankings. They weren’t as prepared as Upland and lost that clash, but got off the mat to beat fourth-seeded Redlands East Valley in the Inland Division quarterfinals and then put a scare into top-seeded Centennial in the semis before ultimately losing, 41-21.

5. Redlands East Valley, 11-1 – Give the Wildcats credit for turning the national spotlight on the I.E. in Week 5 with their 10-7 victory against nationally ranked Mission Viejo. They went on to finish the regular season undefeated but fell back into their habit of losing early in the playoffs. A nonleague victory against City Section-power Dorsey also stands bright on their resume.

(Read full post)

I.E.: The Top 10

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
10:47
PM PT
The top three teams put up 50-plus points in their Inland Division second-round victories, while Rancho Cucamonga found a way to win with just nine. Should make for some interesting semifinal action in the Inland Division.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 11-1 – Romello Goodman accomplished something no other Centennial running back has, scoring eight touchdowns in a 56-21 victory Friday night against visiting Chaparral in an Inland Division second-round game. Goodman has rushed for more than 300 yards in each of the playoff victories. Next: vs. Rancho Cucamonga at Los Osos HS, Friday.

2. (2) Upland, 12-0 – Upland wide receiver Kenny Lawler continues his postseason parade to the end zone, snaring three touchdown passes in a 51-13 victory Friday night against Charter Oak in the Inland Division. Lawler, who has committed to Arizona State, has five of his eight touchdowns this season in the playoffs. Next: at Vista Murrieta, Friday.

3. (3) Vista Murrieta, 7-5 – Su’a Cravens continues to show that the offensive side of the ball might just be his best side, rushing for a career-high 205 yards in 10 carries and scoring on three long touchdown runs to lead Vista Murrieta to a 58-13 victory Friday night against J.W. North in an Inland Division game at Riverside College. Next: vs. Upland, Friday.

4. (5) Rancho Cucamonga, 11-1 – The Cougars demonstrated they know a thing or two about defense too, holding fourth-seeded Redlands East Valley to two field goals in a 9-6 victory Friday night in an Inland Division game at Citrus Valley High. Next: vs. Corona Centennial at Los Osos HS, Friday.

5. (4) Redlands East Valley, 11-1 – Offense has been a question mark for most of the season and the fourth-seeded Wildcats didn’t have an answer for Rancho Cucamonga, suffering their third straight early-round playoff exit after going unbeaten in Citrus Belt League play.

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I.E.: Central Division second-round previews

November, 23, 2011
11/23/11
7:06
PM PT
CENTRAL DIVISION

Second round, Friday

No. 1 Rancho Verde (11-0) at San Gorgonio (6-5), 7 p.m.

How they got here: Rancho Verde defeated visiting Don Lugo, 44-0; San Gorgonio won at La Quinta, 44-41.

Matchup to watch: San Gorgonio quarterback Monroe Offield (294 total yards last week) vs. Rancho Verde defense (hasn’t allowed a point in last 12 quarters)

Fast fact: These teams already met this season, with Rancho Verde winning, 37-10, against the visiting Spartans in Week 1. San Gorgonio also started and ended last season with losses to the Mustangs.

Prediction: Rancho Verde 34, San Gorgonio 14.

No. 4 Colony (10-1) at Moreno Valley (5-6), 7 p.m.

How they got here: Colony eliminated visiting Valley View, 28-14; Moreno Valley surprised host Cajon, 43-16.

Matchup to watch: Colony middle linebacker Eddie Martinez (7.6 tackles per game) vs. Moreno Valley running back Imeria Talia (867 rushing yards, nine TDs last four games).

Fast fact: Moreno Valley last won a playoff game in 2007, the same postseason that ended with a 29-14 loss to Colony in the Central Division semifinals.

Prediction: Moreno Valley 24, Colony 21.

No. 3 La Sierra (10-1) at Carter (10-1), 7 p.m.

How they got here: La Sierra defeated Chaffey, 23-6, at Norte Vista; Carter eliminated visiting Palm Desert, 48-22.

Matchup to watch: La Sierra defensive lineman A.J. Fanene (12 solo tackles last week, 24 sacks last two seasons) vs. Carter running back Gaylon Maxie (1,835 rushing yards, 24 TDs)

Fast fact: Carter won its first playoff game in school history last week while hosting its first postseason game.

Prediction: La Sierra 28, Carter 21.

No. 2 Palm Springs (11-0) at Chino (9-2), 7 p.m.

How they got here: Palm Springs shut out visiting Rialto, 35-0; Chino defeated visiting Arlington, 26-14.

Matchup to watch: Palm Springs linebacker Kyle Lass (13.2 tackles per game, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries) vs. Chino running back Xavier Browne (1,511 rushing yards, 16 TDs)

Fast fact: After finishing 0-10 in the 2009 season, Chino is 20-3 over the last two.

Prediction: Palm Springs 42, Chino 21.

I.E.: The Top 10

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
1:13
AM PT
Despite a few close calls, the Inland Empire top 10 got through the first round of the Southern Section playoffs intact. That won’t be the case this week, however.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 10-1 – The Huskies found themselves in a shootout with an unlikely opponent Friday night in their Inland Division first-round game but ultimately prevailed against Redlands, 49-35, thanks to five touchdowns for running back Romello Goodman. Next: vs. Chaparral, Friday.

2. (2) Upland, 11-0 – Arizona State-bound wide receiver Kenny Lawler showed his big-play ability for Upland in a 59-21 victory Friday night against Murrieta Valley, hauling in first-half touchdown passes of 45, 60 and 55 yards in the Inland Division opener. Next: vs. Charter Oak, Friday

3. (3) Vista Murrieta, 6-5 – The Broncos scored 28 unanswered points in the second quarter Friday night against visiting Damien and coasted to a 38-13 victory in an Inland Division first-round game. Next: vs. J.W. North at TBD, Friday

4. (4) Redlands East Valley, 11-0 – The Wildcats had to come from behind twice against Norco in a turnover-filled Inland Division first-round game Friday night before holding on to win, 20-15. Next: vs. Rancho Cucamonga at TBD, Friday.

5. (5) Rancho Cucamonga, 10-1 – The Cougars escaped their Inland Division first-round game by completing a 37-yard desperation pass with no time on the clock against Chino Hills, giving them the points they needed in a 39-38 victory. Next: vs. Redlands East Valley at TBD, Friday.

(Read full post)

I.E.: The Top 10

November, 13, 2011
11/13/11
10:25
PM PT
The regular season came to a close last weekend and the top teams retained their momentum heading into the Southern Section playoffs. Another undefeated team makes its debut in the top 10, but it’s one-loss Corona Centennial that remains the team to beat.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 9-1 – Hayden Gavett passed for a career-high 356 yards, all in the first half, in a 58-3 victory Thursday against Riverside King. Believe it or not, he was out-shined by King kicker Garrett Swanson, who booted a 60-yard field goal to become the first I.E. kicker to hit from that distance. Next: vs. Redlands, Friday.

2. (2) Upland, 10-0 – The Highlanders began looking forward to the playoffs at halftime, as they led Alta Loma, 42-3, before finishing off with a 49-3 victory Thursday night. Ten different players carried the ball for Upland. Next: vs. Murrieta Valley, Friday.

3. (3) Vista Murrieta, 5-5 – The Broncos bucked off Murrieta Mesa in a 51-20 victory Thursday night, but now the defense has some question marks after allowing 20 or more points for the fifth time this season. Next: vs. Damien, Friday.

4. (4) Redlands East Valley, 10-0 – The Wildcats appear to be rolling on all cylinders after defeating Yucaipa, 48-0, in a matchup of undefeated teams Thursday night. REV scored all its points in the first half. Next: vs. Norco, Friday.

5. (5) Rancho Cucamonga, 9-1 – The Cougars scored 31 consecutive points after giving up the first touchdown Thursday night against Los Osos and went on to win, 38-14, to secure second place in the Baseline League. Next: vs. Chino Hills, Friday.

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I.E.: The Top 10

November, 6, 2011
11/06/11
11:39
PM PT
The Inland Empire top 10 went unbeaten last week. In fact, nine teams won by at least 20 points and seven clinched at least a share of a league championship.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 8-1 – The Huskies faced an injury-depleted Roosevelt team Friday night and didn’t show any mercy in the 45-24 victory, which all but sewed up another outright Big VIII League title. Next: at Riverside King, Thursday.

2. (2) Upland, 9-0 – The Highlanders found themselves tied late in the second quarter Friday against Los Osos, then stepped on the gas and scored five consecutive touchdowns in the 49-21 victory, clinching at least a share of the Baseline League title. Next: vs. Alta Loma, Thursday.

3. (3) Vista Murrieta, 4-5 – The Broncos also wrapped up at least a share of the Southwestern League title and a likely top four seeding for the Inland Division playoffs with a 23-14 victory against Murrieta Valley. Next: vs. Murrieta Mesa, Thursday.

4. (4) Redlands East Valley, 9-0 – The Wildcats finally put some distance between themselves and their opponent in a 49-0 victory Friday against Fontana. Now they need to prepare for another tough battle in their Citrus Belt League finale. Next: at Yucaipa, Thursday.

5. (5) Rancho Cucamonga, 8-1 – Dimitri Morales and Jermel Walker hooked up on two long touchdown passes Friday night in a Baseline League game against Glendora, and the Cougars needed every yard in the 34-13 victory. Next: at Los Osos, Thursday.

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IE: The top 10

September, 5, 2011
9/05/11
1:18
PM PT
With four teams in the top 10 sitting out Week 0, this poll can be referred to as the preseason 1A rankings. Still, a lot was learned about the teams that did play and, for the most part, it was all positive.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 0-0 -- The Huskies haven’t played yet but their preseason opponents are already 0-2. First up: vs. Ventura St. Bonaventure, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

2. (2) Rancho Cucamonga, 1-0 -- Silverado was missing a few key players when it took on Rancho Cucamonga in the season opener. The Hawks could have had Matt Barkley behind center and it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Last week: Beat Silverado, 52-0. Next: vs. Great Oak at Los Osos HS, Friday, 7 p.m.

3. (3) Norco, 0-0 -- The Cougars were also idle last weekend but not sitting at home. They took advantage of an opportunity to watch their first opponent, Los Angeles Crenshaw, get beaten up Saturday by Alta (Utah), 45-14. Next. vs. Crenshaw, Friday, 7 p.m.

4. (5) Vista Murrieta, 0-0 -- Another powerhouse that chose to sit out Week 0. Good idea because the Broncos will have a tough enough time trying to figure a way to slow Etiwanda’s offense. Next: vs. Etiwanda at Colony HS, Friday, 7 p.m.

5. (6) Upland, 1-0 -- San Bernardino wasn’t expected to put up much of a fight against the Highlanders and the Cardinals obliged. Last week: Beat San Bernardino, 63-14. Next: at Tustin, Thursday, 7 p.m.

(Read full post)

I.E.: Preseason top 10

September, 1, 2011
9/01/11
4:32
PM PT
Meet the new boss; same as the old boss. ESPNLA learned the hard way last season, ranking Corona Centennial third in the Inland Empire preseason rankings, then watching as the Huskies gutted one team after another, including the two that were ranked ahead of them, Vista Murrieta and Chaparral. Well, as the song (sort of) goes, we won’t get fooled again. Until another I.E. team proves it can beat Centennial (or the Huskies get thoroughly dominated by Ventura St. Bonaventure and Mater Dei in Weeks 1 and 2), they will maintain their perch. Chaparral and Norco will get their shots at Centennial during the regular season, while Rancho Cucamonga, Vista Murrieta and a few others will have to hope for a postseason date.

1. Centennial (Big VIII League and Inland Division champion; Div. 1 state bowl finalist) -- The Huskies must break in a new quarterback this month and move Romello Goodman into a starting role at running back, but they have four returning offensive linemen and a stacked defense to make the transition much easier. First up: vs. St. Bonaventure, Sept. 9.

2. Rancho Cucamonga (Baseline League champion; Inland Division semifinalist) -- The Cougars are definitely the Rodney Dangerfield of the Inland Empire this preseason. Despite returning 14 starters from a team that lost on a goal-line stand to Vista Murrieta in double OT of an Inland Division semifinal, no other publication considers them the second-best team in the Inland Empire. We sure do. First up: vs. Silverado, Thursday, 7 p.m.

3. Norco (Big VIII third-place team; Inland Division second round) -- Here's another team that brings a wealth of experience on the offensive line, as well as a returning quarterback, a star-studded defense and a history of winning. But the Cougars are still flying under the radar a bit, likely because some pollsters don't realize they have three additional players who would've started last season as juniors, but had to sit out under transfer rules. First up: vs. L.A. Crenshaw, Sept. 9.

4. Chaparral (Southwestern League third-place team; Inland Division first round) -- New coach, new attitude, same quarterback. Those three elements should be enough wipe the slate clean after last season’s debacle, when the Pumas went from state bowl contender on Labor Day to just another turkey by Thanksgiving. Not only do they have experience in the offensive huddle, but most of their best defenders from last season also return. First up: vs. Cajon, Friday, 7 p.m.

5. Vista Murrieta (Southwestern League champion; Inland Division semifinalist) -- This season we’ll find out just how good Vista Murrieta’s lower-level teams have been the last couple of years. The Broncos are set on defense but have a lot of unknowns on the offensive side of the ball. Good thing they kept their nonleague schedule light, staying away from fellow top 25 teams until traveling to No. 11 Encino Crespi on Sept. 30. First up: vs. Etiwanda at Colony HS, Sept. 9.

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I.E.: A closer look at the San Andreas League

August, 16, 2011
8/16/11
10:02
PM PT
SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

Last season’s results: San Bernardino Cajon (10-3, 7-0); San Bernardino San Gorgonio (7-5, 6-1); Colton (11-3, 5-2); Rialto Carter (6-4-1, 4-3); San Bernardino Arroyo Valley (4-6, 3-4); Rialto (5-5, 2-5); San Bernardino (3-7, 1-6); San Bernardino Pacific (0-10, 0-7).

Players to watch: The San Andreas League made a strong impression during last season’s SS-Central Division playoffs, finishing 6-3 and sending two unseeded teams to the semifinals, including eventual champion Colton. While the Yellowjackets will need to replace most of their leaders, the SAL features a busload of other returning talent. The most decorated athlete is Damontae Kazee of Cajon, a first-team all-league selection as a wide receiver and defensive back last season, and an all-Central Division selection on offense. Kazee committed to Washington last spring. Rialto and San Gorgonio also have a strong group of returners. Tyler Telphy of Rialto is the league’s top returning rusher after totaling 970 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He’ll be joined on offense by fellow first-team all-league offensive lineman Julian Ramos. On defense, Bernabe Orozco had 11 sacks for the Knights last season, and junior defensive back Bryan Davis had four interceptions. Rialto will also feature one of the top kickers in the I.E., senior John Pena, an all-Central Division pick. San Gorgonio features a returning all-Central Division player in wide receiver Brandon Charles, and running back Jamie Snowten made great strides in the second half of last season. On defense, the Spartans will lean on defensive end Ryan Hunter-Simms, who produced 13 sacks en route to making last season’s all-Central Division squad. Hunter-Simms won a SS-Masters meet title in the discus last spring and finished third in state. Pacific went winless last season but should improve with the return of 6-5 senior receiver Haneef Hill, a first-team all-leaguer, as well as a number of other players with varsity experience. Another player to watch is Kris Brown of Carter, who swiped five interceptions last season.

Projected order of finish: San Gorgonio, Cajon, Rialto, Colton, Carter, Pacific, Arroyo Valley, San Bernardino.

Key games: Sept. 2 – Cajon @ Temecula Chaparral, San Bernardino @ Upland; Sept. 9 – San Gorgonio @ Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, Rialto @ La Quinta, Colton vs. Riverside North @ Riverside College, Arroyo Valley @ Palm Springs; Sept. 16 – Fontana Kaiser @ Cajon; Sept. 22 – Colton vs. Fontana Summit @ Fontana A.B. Miller HS; Sept. 30 – Rialto @ Colton; Oct. 7 – San Gorgonio @ Cajon; Oct. 21 – Cajon @ Rialto; Oct. 28 – Colton @ Cajon; Nov. 4 – Rialto @ San Gorgonio; Nov. 10 – San Gorgonio @ Colton.

Alumni in the NFL: Jimmy Smith, Baltimore Ravens (Colton ’06); Shareece Wright, San Diego Chargers (Colton ’06); Allen Bradford, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Colton ’06); Lonyae Miller, Dallas Cowboys (Rialto/Fontana Kaiser ’06).

Fast fact: Three players who were seniors on the 2006 Colton team were selected in the NFL draft in June, the most players from the same high school in this year’s draft. Jimmy Smith, a cornerback out of Colorado, is a safe bet to make the Baltimore Ravens. Shareece Wright, a cornerback out of USC, is in camp with the San Diego Chargers, and college teammate Allen Bradford is trying to secure a back-up running back role with Tampa Bay.

On the clock: Southwestern League.

Inland Empire: Spotlight on baseball league races

May, 10, 2011
5/10/11
12:16
PM PT
As the final week of the regular season winds down, a number of league titles in the I.E. are still up for grabs. Here's a look at the major races still left to be settled.

BASELINE

Glendora (10-3), Wed. @ Upland, Fri. vs. Upland

Los Osos (9-4), Wed. @ Rancho Cucamonga, Fri. vs. Rancho Cucamonga.

*Glendora owns tiebreaker vs. Los Osos

BIG VIII

J.W. North (9-3), Tues. vs. Santiago, Thurs. vs. King

King (9-3), Tues. vs. Roosevelt, Thurs @ North

Santiago (7-5), Tues. @ North, Thurs. vs. Poly

Norco (7-5), Tues. vs. Poly, Thurs. @ Corona

*North won first meeting vs. King, 3-0

CITRUS BELT

Redlands (10-3), Tues. vs. Fontana, Thurs. @ Fontana

Yucaipa (9-4), Tues. @ Eisenhower, Thurs. vs. Eisenhower

Redlands East Valley (8-5), Tues. vs. Miller, Thurs. @ Miller

*Redlands owns tiebreaker vs. Yucaipa

DESERT VALLEY

Palm Desert (9-1), Tues. vs. Palm Springs, Thurs. @ Palm Springs

Indio (8-2), Tues. vs. La Quinta, Thurs. @ La Quinta

La Quinta (8-2), Tues. @ Indio, Thurs. vs. Indio

*Palm Desert’s only league loss vs. Indio

INLAND VALLEY

Canyon Springs (10-3), Wed. @ Arlington

Vista del Lago (10-3), Wed. vs. La Sierra

La Sierra (9-4), Wed. @ Vista del Lago

*Canyon Springs owns tiebreaker vs. Vista del Lago

MOUNTAIN PASS

Hemet (11-2), Wed. @ Tahquitz, Fri vs. Tahquitz

Tahquitz (11-2), Wed. vs. Hemet, Fri. @ Hemet

*Hemet won first meeting vs. Tahquitz, 6-2

MOUNTAIN VALLEY

Citrus Valley (12-1), Wed. @ at Notre Dame, Thurs. @ Notre Dame

Notre Dame (10-3), Wed. vs. Notre Dame, Thurs. vs. Notre Dame

*Citrus Valley won first meeting vs. Notre Dame, 3-2

MT. BALDY

Colony (9-2), Wed. vs. Ontario

Chino (9-2), Wed. @ Don Lugo

Don Lugo (8-3), Wed. vs. Chino

*Colony owns tiebreaker vs. Chino

SAN ANDREAS LEAGUE

Colton (12-1), Wed. vs. San Gorgonio

Rialto (11-2), Wed. vs. Pacific

San Gorgonio (10-2), Wed. @ Colton, Friday @ Pacific

*Colton and Rialto split season series

SIERRA

Chino Hills (10-3), Tues. @ Ayala, Thurs. vs. Ayala

South Hills (10-3), Tues. vs. Charter Oak, Thurs. @ Charter Oak

Damien (8-5), Tues. @ Claremont, Thurs. vs. Claremont

*Chino Hills owns tiebreaker vs. South Hills

SUNBELT

Temescal Canyon (10-3), Tues. vs. Lakeside, Thurs. @ Lakeside

Paloma Valley (8-5), Tues. vs. Elsinore, Thurs. @ Elsinore

Lakeside (7-6), Tues. @ Temescal Canyon, Thurs. vs. Temescal Canyon

Heritage (7-6), Tues. vs. Perris, Thurs. @ Perris

*Paloma Valley owns tiebreaker vs. Temescal Canyon

SUNKIST

Kaiser (10-3), Tues. vs. Summit, Thurs. @ Bloomington

Summit (8-5), Tues. @ Kaiser, Thurs. @ Patriot

Patriot (7-6), Tues. vs. Jurupa Valley, Thurs. vs. Summit

Bloomington (7-6), Tues @ Norte Vista, Thurs. vs. Kaiser

*Kaiser and Summit split previous two meetings

Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

November, 22, 2010
11/22/10
4:09
PM PT
1. The Baseline League went 3-0 in Inland Division play Friday night, while the Citrus Belt League was 0-3. The biggest upset victory in the division belonged to Etiwanda, the third-place team from the Baseline, which defeated CBL champion Redlands East Valley, 21-16. The Eagles have been forced to outscore teams this season because its defense had allowed an average of 35.6 points coming into the playoffs. The defense came through against REV, however, returning a fourth-quarter fumble 100 yards for a touchdown, stretching its lead to 21-10.

2. What a day for Ifo Ekpre-Olomu of Chino Hills. He began Friday by committing to play for Oregon, then went out that night and scored four touchdowns in a 70-42 victory against Corona in an Inland Division first-round game. Ekpre-Olomu had two touchdown runs of six yards, another for 53 and a 100-yard kickoff return for a score. As lopsided as the final score appears, the Huskies led only, 49-42, heading into the fourth quarter.

3. A more impressive fourth-quarter surge was delivered Friday night by Riverside La Sierra in a 54-49 loss to Palm Springs in a Central Division first-round game. The Eagles scored 32 points in the final quarter, turning a laugher into a nail-biter. "I started the night 57 years old and I ended it 83," Palm Springs coach Steve Fabian told the Desert Sun after the game. Fabian decided to rest star running back Nephi Garcia after taking a 37-point lead and nearly regretted it.

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Inland Empire: Games of the week

November, 18, 2010
11/18/10
10:56
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Nobody expected Temecula Chaparral or Upland to win Southern Section titles last season either.

But then the Pumas got on a roll after finishing second in the Southwestern League and slipped by one quality opponent after another in the Inland Division playoffs, winning their first section title with a 13-7 victory against Southwestern League champ Vista Murrieta.

Over at Upland, the Highlanders squeaked into the Central Division playoffs as a wild card out of the Baseline League, then capped their championship run with a 19-7 victory against Baseline champion Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos.

Upland, now a member of the Inland Division, will host Chaparral in the opening round of playoffs Friday at 7 p.m. and, once again, both teams will enter the postseason having not fulfilled preseason expectations of winning league titles.

No worries.

The second season is here.

One of these teams is guaranteed to see their playoff hopes end in the first round, however. The other will move onto the second round and probably have their next opponent wondering: Here we go again?

Chaparral (4-6) showed as much life last Thursday in a 27-20 victory against Murrieta Valley as it has all season. Then again, the Pumas were faced with the possibility of missing the playoffs if they lost.

Antoine Arnold, considered one of the top receivers in the Inland Empire, had the best game of his injury-filled season, catching six passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

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Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

November, 15, 2010
11/15/10
4:02
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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.

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