Los Angeles Preps: Tyler Ervin

Inland Empire: Updated list of high school football recruits

February, 2, 2011
2/02/11
12:56
PM PT
Below is an updated list of high school football recruits from the Inland Empire and where they're headed.

Tight end Junior Pomee and cornerback Ryan Henderson of Moreno Valley Rancho Verde are expected to announce their decisions at 5:30 p.m. Reports indicate they're headed to USC.

Corona Centennial quarterback Michael Eubank just announced he will stick with Arizona State. His decision will be broadcast on FS West at 7 p.m. He had also considered Pittsburgh and Utah.

Eubank committed to the Sun Devils in December but recently had taken a recruiting trip to Pittsburgh. Vista Murrieta quarterback Derrick Brown recently switched his commitment from Utah to Washington, which had opened a possible spot for Eubank.

UNDECIDED

Junior Pomee, TE, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde

Ryan Henderson, DB/RB, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde

ARIZONA STATE

Quinton Pedroza, WR/DB, Chino

Brent Walker, OL, Norco

Michael Eubank, QB, Corona Centennial

BOISE STATE

Jake Van Ginkel, K, Upland

BYU

Adam Pulsipher, LB, Temecula Valley

COLORADO

Greg Henderson, DB, Norco

COLORADO STATE

Nuuvali Faapito, F/LB, La Quinta

FRESNO STATE

Ejiro Ederaine, LB, Corona Santiago

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Inland Empire: High school football commitments

February, 1, 2011
2/01/11
6:55
AM PT
With the National Signing Day set for Wednesday, a number of Inland Empire football players have given verbal commitments to various schools across the country. Nothing is official until the papers are signed and returned to the respective colleges, but San Diego State and Oregon have received the most pledges from I.E. athletes. Here's the list of players and where they've committed.

ARIZONA STATE
Michael Eubank, QB, Corona Centennial
Quinton Pedroza, WR/DB, Chino
Brent Walker, OL, Norco

BOISE STATE
Jake Van Ginkel, K, Upland

BYU
Adam Pulsipher, LB, Temecula Valley

COLORADO
Greg Henderson, DB, Norco

COLORADO STATE
Nuvali Faapito, F/LB, La Quinta

FRESNO STATE
Ejiro Ederaine, LB, Corona Santiago

HAWAII
Promise Amadi, Ath., Chino

IDAHO
Dion Bass, DB, Corona Centennial
Todd Handley, RB, Riverside King

IOWA STATE
David Irving, DE/TE, San Jacinto

MONTANA
Nate Harris, RB/DB, Chino Hills

NEVADA
Desman Carter, DB, Fontana Kaiser
Superrior Reid, RB, Riverside Arlington

OREGON
Devon Blackmon, WR, Fontana Summit
Rodney Hardrick, LB, Colton
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, S, Chino Hills
Jamal Prater, OL, Etiwanda

OREGON STATE
Larry Scott, WR, Corona Centennial

SACRAMENTO STATE
John Taylor, OL, Colton
Blake Robertson, WR, Corona

SAN DIEGO STATE
Darius Guillory, LB, Temecula Chaparral
Jemond Hazely, WR, Corona Santiago
Ryan Jack, LB, Corona Centennial
Paul Pitts, WR, Los Osos
Paul Rodriguez, OL, San Bernardino San Gorgonio
Jonathan Sanchez, DL, Vista Murrieta
Jordan Taylor, OL, Redlands

SAN JOSE STATE
Simon Connette, DB, Corona Santiago
Tyler Ervin, RB, Colton
Sam Boyd, TE, Eastvale Roosevelt

STANFORD
Kelsey Young, RB, Norco

UTAH
Ryan Henderson, DB/RB, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde

USC
DeVante Wilson, DE, Corona

WASHINGTON
Derrick Brown, QB, Vista Murrieta

WASHINGTON STATE
Marcus Mason, RB, Etiwanda

WEBER STATE
Barrinton Collins, RB, Corona Centennial

Inland Empire: Colton 17, Rancho Verde 7

December, 11, 2010
12/11/10
12:38
AM PT


MORENO VALLEY -- In the week leading up to Friday night's highly anticipated Colton-Rancho Verde CIF-SS Central Division championship game, Colton coach Rick Bray told his running back, senior star Tyler Ervin, that he was going to have him run the ball 50 times against the Mustangs to keep the talented Rancho Verde offense off the field.

Bray didn't quite get to his goal -- Ervin only had 42 carries for 168 yards -- but the plan worked to perfection, as underdog Colton controlled the pace of the game from start to finish and topped host Rancho Verde, 17-7, to hand the Mustangs their first loss of the season and win the school's first CIF title in 32 years.

"We knew that if we smacked them in the mouth and ran hard on every single play, nothing can stop us," Ervin said afterward. "We are a force to be reckoned with."

A good portion of Ervin's 42 carries appeared to be on a very similar play the Yellowjackets called again and again. Colton quarterback Jordan Mixon didn't delay and got to the line of scrimmage quick, where he would pitch to Ervin -- sometimes left, sometimes right -- a guard or tackle would run out and pull for the 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedster, and Ervin would get five or so yards a pop.

"We saw it all coming," said Rancho Verde defensive end/tight end Junior Pomee. "We knew they were going to run it with the same person, same play, over and over again.

"The defense just couldn't stop it."

Mixon wasn't asked to throw the ball very often, but when he was, he was on target. He twice connected with receiver Rodney Hardrick for scoring passes in the second half, including a 79-yard catch-and-run that broke the game open with 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

Rancho Verde (13-1) came into the game averaging 48 points per game as the undefeated champions of the Inland Valley League and hadn't scored fewer than 28 points all season.

After a shaky, scoreless first quarter, the Mustangs appeared to get it together a bit and took a 7-3 lead into the halftime break on a touchdown grab by Breon Redman. But quarterback Travis Champion was clearly troubled by consistent pressure from the Colton defensive line in the second half and wasn't able to deliver much of anything of substance. When Champion threw two picks late in the game as the Mustangs tried to put together desperation drives, he was replaced by backup Jordan Jones, who didn't fare much better.

Colton (12-3) didn't even win its league this season, finishing third behind Cajon and San Gorgonio in the San Andreas League, but the Yellowjackets turned it up in CIF postseason play, beating Colony and Palm Springs to start off the run and then sneaking away with a one-point overtime victory over Cajon last week in the semifinals.

Bray, in his first season as head coach after serving as an assistant for 21 years, was elated with his team's performance -- especially against what he considered to be superior competition.

"That team has a bunch of great athletes," Bray said. "We're good athletes."

Rancho Verde played its season in memory of fallen linebacker Emil Smith, who died in a car accident in July. Pomee said he and his teammates were proud to have made it as far as they did.

Said Pomee: "We're just really happy that we played our hearts out for him."

Inland Empire: Championship game previews

December, 9, 2010
12/09/10
7:06
PM PT
Corona Centennial and Vista Murrieta, who have emerged as two of the Inland Empire’s strongest football powers in the last decade, will meet for just the second time Friday night in the Inland Division championship game at Centennial.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

The only other time the teams played was two years ago in the semifinals. Centennial won, 41-14, behind three touchdown passes and two rushing by quarterback Taylor Martinez, now at Nebraska. That team went on to defeat Concord De La Salle in the CIF-Division I state bowl game and finish 15-0.

Offensively, the top-seeded Huskies (13-0) are very similar this season. They also feature a talented dual-purpose quarterback in Michael Eubank, a senior who has thrown for 2,532 yards and 21 touchdowns this season, with just three interceptions. On the ground, he has amassed 1,092 yards and 18 touchdowns, averaging 10.1 yards per carry.

The biggest difference between this season's offense and the 2008 version is running back Barrinton Collins, whose quick feet and explosiveness prevents defenses from focusing on Eubank. Collins has rushed for 2,026 yards (11.3 avg.) and scored 37 touchdowns.

Defensively, they’re a plus-23 in turnover ratio. Ryan Jack, a San Diego State-bound linebacker, is the team’s leading tackler.

(Read full post)

Inland Empire: Five things from the weekend

November, 29, 2010
11/29/10
4:43
PM PT
1. Let’s head straight to the Central Division for the best game of the weekend. La Quinta trailed host Chino by 28 points in their quarterfinal game, then scored 42 in the second half to win, 42-41. The fourth-seeded Blackhawks took a 42-35 lead on a 37-yard touchdown run by Chyl Robinson with 51 seconds remaining, followed by a two-point conversion. Chino answered 19 seconds later on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Sean Molles to Promise Amadi. Needing just the point-after to tie the score, La Quinta deflected the kick and it fell short of the crossbar. The comeback also included two successful onside kick recoveries. La Quinta moves on to Friday’s semifinal, where it will host top-seeded Moreno Valley Rancho Verde.

2. Thanks to a pair of upsets in the bottom half of the Central Division bracket, the other semifinal will feature a San Andreas League rematch Saturday between San Bernardino Cajon and host Colton. Cajon knocked off third-seeded Riverside Arlington in convincing fashion, 35-7. The Yellowjackets did the same to second-seeded Palm Springs, 35-14. The Cowboys defeated Colton, 29-20, in SAL play this season, but the Yellowjackets didn’t have running back Tyler Ervin for that game. Ervin, who missed three games because of an ankle injury, rushed for a season-high 189 yards in 30 carries and scored two touchdowns against Palm Springs.

3. The competition must be getting stiffer because Corona Centennial had its closest game of the season Friday night – only beating Upland by 29 points. In fact, for only the second time this season, top-seeded Centennial actually trailed in a game. That lasted for all of 2 minutes before the Huskies stormed away in the second half for a 52-23 victory in an Inland Division quarterfinal at Upland. Probably most impressive were the numbers put up by Centennial running back Barrinton Collins, who rushed for a career-high 305 yards in 27 carries and scored five touchdowns, despite dislocating a shoulder during practice earlier in the week. Centennial will play at fourth-seeded Chino Hills in Friday’s semifinal.

(Read full post)

Inland Empire: Games of the week

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
10:19
PM PT
The schedule shows Norco is hosting Vista Murrieta in an Inland Division second-round game Friday night, but this match-up has all the appearances of a semifinal.

Norco (9-2) finished third in the Big VIII League, however, the Cougars might just be the second-best team in this division. They also tend to peak this time of year, owning a 19-5 postseason record since 2003, including Inland Division titles in 2006-07.

Norco freshman quarterback Coltin Gerhart has his favorite receiver back, tight end Joshua Long, who missed seven games with a shoulder injury. Stanford-bound running back Kelsey Young has been one of the top ball carriers in the Southland this season.

Vista Murrieta (10-1) is seeded second after winning the Southwestern League. The Broncos are led by Utah-bound quarterback Derrick Brown, who threw a 32-yard touchdown pass with about two minutes left in last season’s semifinals against Norco, lifting Vista Murrieta to a 34-33 victory.

What differentiates these teams is the strength of their schedules this season. The Broncos only played two teams that are still alive in the playoffs. Norco has played five.

Another Inland Division game to see:

Rancho Cucamonga (10-1) at Eastvale Roosevelt (9-2), Friday – These teams don’t feature any star recruits, they just play a hard and fast brand of football.

Rancho Cucamonga running back Sateki Finau has rushed for at least 147 yards in six consecutive games, and quarterback Dimitri Morales has 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions in the last five games for the third-seeded Cougars.

Roosevelt quarterback Aaron Crone has been similarly efficient, throwing 21 touchdown passes while being intercepted just four times. In the last four games, he has completed 68% of his passes. Sam Boyd has been his No. 1 target, hauling in 43 receptions for 802 yards and nine touchdowns.

Both teams played Murrieta Valley this season with similar results. Roosevelt beat the Nighthawks, 33-12, in Week 2. Rancho Cucamonga knocked off Murrieta Valley, 37-13, in the first round of the playoffs.

ESPNLA.com’s pick: Roosevelt 31, Rancho Cucamonga 27.

(Read full post)

Inland Empire: Games of the week

November, 4, 2010
11/04/10
2:42
PM PT
ESPNLA finally gets to sort out the question for ourselves.

Just how good is Fontana Kaiser?

We hope to find out Friday night beginning at 7 p.m., when the Cats, ranked No. 15 in the Southland by ESPNLA, host Fontana Summit in a battle for first place in the Sunkist League.

Looking at Kaiser’s results this season and it’s clear there’s something special under the hood.

The Cats (8-0, 3-0) shutout San Bernardino Cajon, 35-0, on Sept. 24. Cajon is ranked No. 5 in the Central Division and sits in sole possession of first place in the San Andreas League. A week later, they blew out No. 8 Palm Desert, 48-0, and prior to that shut out Big VIII League member Riverside North, 28-0.

Summit (6-1-1, 3-0) has been more streaky this season, but has the talent to make a run at Kaiser.

The SkyHawks opened the season with an impressive 42-35 victory against Etiwanda, then tied Redlands, 24-24, despite missing its best player, Devon Blackmon, due to an ankle injury. Blackmon, who plays defensive back and rotates among the skill positions on offense, is the third-highest rated recruit in the Southland by ESPNLA.

The SkyHawks were at full strength Oct. 1 against Victorville Silverado, but lost, 20-18, knocking them from their perch in the Eastern Division. Now that spot is occupied by the Cats, with Summit down at No. 4.

Three more to see:

La Quinta (7-1, 3-0) at Palm Springs (7-1, 3-0), Friday–This game has settled the Desert Valley League championship the last two seasons and this year appears no different. La Quinta defeated the Indians, 44-22, last season, but Palm Springs went on to win its first Southern Section title. La Quinta is ranked No. 2 in the Central Division, Palm Springs is No. 3. ESPNLA.com’s pick: La Quinta 24, Palm Springs 17.

(Read full post)

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