Running back Nathan Tilford transfers from Upland to Colony

Junior Nathan Tilford, expected to be one of the Inland Valley’s most sought after recruits next season, has transferred from Upland to Colony, Titans coach Steve Randall confirmed.

Randall wouldn’t elaborate further except to say Tilford has enrolled. The school is going through the paperwork process that comes with a transfer.

Tilford, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder, ran for 887 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 106 carries last year for the Highlanders. Coach Tim Salter used Tiflord and senior Darreyon Jones in the backfield.

Tilford has also played some linebacker.

Tilford has been an impact player since his freshman year, even drawing a scholarship offer from USC as an eighth-grader.

 

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Mt. Baldy League honors: Football

 

 

 

 

Overall MVP – Khlalil Dorsey, Sr., DB-WR, Colony
Offensive MVP – Josh Thompson, Sr., QB, Colony
Defensive MVP – Devon Harper, Sr., Colony
Outstanding Lineman – Tre Bland, Sr., Colony

First team
Stacy Aneke, Sr., Colony
Jonathan Arcos, Sr., Colony
Elijah Arellano, Sr., Colony
Khoury Bethley, Sr., Don Lugo
David Bustamante, Soph., Alta Loma
Jose Campos, Sr., Montclair
Gabriel Casas, Soph., Don Lugo
Devin Collins, Jr., Don Lugo
Alec Cota, Sr., Alta Loma
Mikey Dean, Sr., Chaffey
Omar Delarosa, Jr., Ontario
Tyrique Faatiliga, Sr., Colony
Dane Ford, Sr., Don Lugo
Nicolas Gannuscio, Jr., Alta Loma
Jason Gardner, Jr., Don Lugo
Christopher Gonzalez, Sr., Don Lugo
Trevor Goulet, Jr., Don Lugo
Tyrone Hatchett, Sr., Colony
Matt Lawson, Soph., Colony
Reuben Leyva, Sr., Alta Loma
Ray Maldanado, Sr., Chaffey
Ryan Moya-Chapron, Jr., Colony
Jesse Munguia, Sr., Don Lugo
Nathan Orozco, Sr., Don Lugo
Antoine Paul, Jr., Ontario
Cameron Poe, Sr., Ontario
Jose Rivera, Sr., Montclair
Jovanni Sanchez, Sr., Chaffey
Nathan Solorio, Sr., Chaffey
Sebastian Soto, Sr., Ontario
Ryan Suliafu, Fr., Chaffey
Dallas Teren, Sr., Colony
Ryan Twist, Jr., Alta Loma
Marcos Valencia, Sr., Colony
Isac Velasquez, Soph., Alta Loma
Jiaire Wade, Jr., Colony
Roy Wiley, Soph., Montclair

  • Positions not provided

 

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Final thoughts on Colony/Kaiser

Sometimes, I cover a game, and it’s so entertaining a game that there’s more I want to get to than I can possibly mention in a story. Such was the Kaiser/Colony football game on Friday, won by Colony 23-19.

Some thoughts:

  • Each team scored 3 touchdowns and there were no other scores. Kaiser had its first PAT blocked, went for 2 on the second and failed, then kicked the third. Colony kicked the first, then went for 2 and made it on the second and third touchdowns.
  • The math wouldn’t indicate it, but Colony made the right move going for 2 on its final touchdown. Usually, you go for 2 late in a game when a TD puts you up 1, 4 or 5, but in this case, it put the Titans up 21-19. Going for 2 had more to do with Kaiser. Kaiser had attempted just one FG all year, and missed it. So going up 3 would’ve meant little in this game. But going up 4 would’ve been helpful because if Kaiser came back to score a TD and kicked an XP, Colony could’ve tied with a FG.
  • Kaiser’s drives ended with: Downs, lost fumble, TD, TD, halftime, punt, TD, downs/INT. Just one punt for the Cats. Kaiser ran more plays on its first drive 19 than Colony had in the first half (12). Colony had 3 drives end after just 1 play: 2 TDs, and one lost a fumble. Kaiser had six drives end in Colony territory.
  • On Kaiser’s opening drive, they appeared to be getting a first-and-goal at the Colony 9 as Colony was being called for pass interference on fourth-and-15 at the 19. But Kaiser also got a penalty for illegal man downfield. The down was replayed on the offsetting fouls and Kaiser failed to convert the 4th-and-15  the second time.
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Quarterback issue a great subplot for Don Lugo-Colony showdown

Don Lugo (5-4, 4-0) and Colony (6-3, 4-0) will be squaring off for the Mt. Baldy League football title on Friday at Colony.

There is a whole lot of irony in the quarterback situation that will be playing out. Senior Dane Ford of Don Lugo sustained a broken collarbone (non-throwing shoulder) in the third quarter of Friday’s win over Montclair, the next to last game of the season.

Rudy Garcia

Last season it was Colony quarterback Josh Thompson suffering the same exact injury in the next to last game, ironically enough, against Don Lugo.

Most thought when Thompson went down, so went the title hopes of the Titans. But no that wasn’t the case. Another senior, Jordan Johnson, who had played very little, stepped in manned the position until Thompson returned for the first time in a month in the CIF semifinal.

Thompson then went out and played in the title game like he had never gone down.

So let’s not sell Don Lugo short. Do the Conquistadores have the same supporting cast around Ford’s replacement, sophomore Rudy Garcia as the Titans did around Thompson? No. But games aren’t won on paper.

Don Lugo graduated a ton of players from a team that finished a respectable third last year in  a year most (including myself) had them pegged for finishing last. So for them to be in this position the last week of the season tells you the job this coaching staff has done.

Coach Luis Garcia will have his team ready to go. Yes, they’ll probably trim down the playbook just a little. But anyone who counts this team out is making a big mistake.

Also, let’s not forget that Thompson was just a sophomore when he took over the quarterback spot when then starter Jonathan Trucks was injured. Thompson kept the job even when Trucks came back. So this will be Garcia’s moment and likely have more in the next two years to come.

 

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Colony’s Josh Thompson not getting enough attention from colleges

Quarterback Josh Thompson led the Colony Titans to a CIF championship last year. Making the feat even more impressive was that he did it only a week removed from returning from a broken collarbone that sideline him a month.

One would think that would help land the attention from major colleges. Well that hasn’t exactly been the case.

Colony coach Steve Randall chalks that up to Thompson’s size. He’s 6-foot, 180 pounds. Thompson has all the physical attributes that go into making a good quarterback as well as other intangibles such as composure and toughness but nowadays they’re looking for physical stature as much of more than anything else.

“It’s all about passing the eye test,” Randall said. “I don’t understand it because he’s a batter quarterback than some of the guys that are getting all the attention.”

Thompson probably needed a good senior season to help draw more attention. Randall says his star player has been every bit at solid as in years past. It just doesn’t look like it on paper.

He threw for 4,465 yards with 37 touchdowns and 9 interceptions the previous two seasons. He is at 1,326 so far this season.

The problem – Colony’s schedule.

The Titans played a difficult schedule, with the first four games against elite teams in Southern California. The Titans were 2-3 over the first five games and four had running clock so Thompson’s stats were modest.

Then the Titans started league play with a 41-7 win over Montclair and a 46-0 thrashing of Ontario. He didn’t have great numbers in those games either because those were running clock too and Randall pulled back the reigns on the passing game so as not to run up the score. He didn’t have overwhelming numbers there to balance out the tougher games.

Thompson is also a good student and thought of highly by his teachers and peers so a college would be getting an athlete with great character as well.

Colony is also running a different offense, one that Randall was hoping would play in Thompson’s favor.

“He’s running the ball a little more and we’re doing some read option,” he said. “We thought that would show his versatility and that might help him. We’ll see. I really hope someone gives him a chance, They wouldn’t be sorry.”

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Mt. Baldy football teams brace for league battles

This could be the best year the Mt. Baldy League has had in football in quite some time.

Why? Well for starters there looks to be a very formidable threat to the Colony throne in the Chaffey Tigers. Last year coach Chris Brown’s team went toe-to-toe with the Titans for a half. Then lack of depth hurt and the Tigers wore down.

Colony graduated 25 or so players from the CIF Central Division winning team of a year ago. So yes the Titans are still good and they have been primed by a tough non-league schedule on which I have harped before. But they aren’t quite as good as they were last year. And the Tigers, led by diminutive dynamo Mikey Dean, are better.

The showdown between those teams is Oct. 30, the next to last week of the regular season. Mark it down!

Second, the teams that have traditionally been at the bottom of the pecking order, namely Ontario and Montclair – appear much improved with both taking 4-1 marks into play. No they haven’t played a challenging schedule but both have still beaten teams to whom they have lost in the past and that bodes well.

Then there are Don Lugo and Alta Loma. Don Lugo has played the toughest non-league schedule outside of Colony so I don’t think they’re as bad as their 1-4 record. I was impressed with how they played in the 22-21 triple overtime loss to Chino and i like what I see in that coaching staff.

Alta Loma? Well the jury is still out and I don’t quite know what to think. I have seen them once, a game they struggled to beat Fontana which was playing with its third-string quarterback.

I have heard great things about first-year coach Mark Pasquarella. But a first year is always a transition year and I try not to read too much into what happens in that first year. So call the Braves a wild card.

I’d say the playoff teams are Colony, Chaffey and Don Lugo – the same three that came out of here last year. But I’m not counting out the other three. If nothing else I think there will be more competitive games this year than ever before.

 

 

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Colony football team trying to keep the faith despite losses

VIDEO: Colony coach Steve Randall talks about his team’s tough schedule.

The Colony football team is at a crossroad. The Titans head into their last non-league game 1-3. After an opening-week win they have been manhandled three straight weeks.

Tonight it was La Habra 49, Colony 6

The other scores:
Bishop Amat 59, Colony 20
Alemany 42, Colony 0

Next week it is Riverside Poly. The Bears were CIF runner-up a year ago, but like Colony graduated a lot of players.

Colony coach Steve Randall isn’t taking any team lightly but says Riverside Poly is a team his matches up against better physically.

Randall has preached that the schedule will get his team ready for Mt. Baldy League play. Yes it should. But you don’t want kids to completely lose confidence in the process.

The Titans could use a win. Randall should be able to get some help if he wants it. His former offensive coordinator Kevin Davis is the first-year head coach at Etiwanda and the Eagles just played and beat Riverside Poly.

The good news Randall points to is that his team has survived physically. There have been no major injuries, or even minor injuries to speak of.

The other teams in the Mt. Baldy have have looked good, most notably Montclair and Chaffey. But both have played weak schedules. Real weak. Ontario looks improved but the jury is still out on the Jags too.

Alta Loma is a question mark under a new coach.

We’ll see what kind of senior leadership this team has this week. The coaches can keep preaching about the bigger picture but the seniors can help rally the troop. Sometimes it helps to hear the right words from you peers rather than your coaches.

Colony's Jaire Wade (3) finds room to run near the goal line during the second quarter against La Habra Thursday night. Colony hosts La Habra Thursday night September 24, 2015 in a prep football match up at Colony High School in Ontario.  (Will Lester/Staff Photographer)

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Colony football coach Steve Randall doesn’t regret challenging his team

Few teams are playing a tougher non-league schedule than the defending CIF Central Division champion Colony Titans.

Coach Steve Randall’s team has already played West Covina, Alemany and Bishop Amat with games around the corner against La Habra (Sept. 24) and Riverside Poly (Oct. 2).

The Titans are 1-2 with the losses coming to Alemany 42-0 and Amat 59-20. Those are pretty decisive losses. So does Randall regret scheduling such formidable foes? No, at least not yet.

“I don’t,” he said. “If you want to raise the profile of your program those are the teams you need to go out and play. We’re looking at the bigger picture and our guys are smart enough to know what we’re facing and where we want to be in the end.”

Randall added that the biggest risk is that the physical nature of those opponents could possibly lead to costly injuries. But so far, so good in that department. RB Fred Harrison is out with a nagging shoulder injury but it is one that has lingered.

Senior quarterback Josh Thompson has taken some extra hits but only because he is running the ball a little more often.

Randall thinks the schedule will prepare his team for Mt. Baldy League play which gets underway on Oct. 8 against Montclair. The league looks to be improved with Chaffey, Ontario and Montclair all off to 3-0 starts, Alta Loma sitting at 2-1 and energized by veteran coach Mark Pasquarella.

Don Lugo is 1-2 but was the most improved team in the league a year ago.

Those teams haven’t played the schedule Colony has so the jury is still out on them.

Other coaches get it though.

“If Colony played the teams we have all played they’d be 3-0 too,” Chaffey coach Chris Brown laughs. “I give them a lot of credit for going out and playing that type of schedule. Not everybody an do that.”

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Colony set for Honor Bowl game against Alemany

The Colony football team plays its second in the long line of tough non-league foes at 5 p.m. on Friday when it faces Alemany in one of the game in the so-called Honor Bowl at Oceanside High School.

The game will be televised live by Time Warner Sports Net.

Coach Steve Randall is excited about the opportunity to play in the event which is held in Conjunction with the Wounded Warriors Project.

The team will leave at 8:30 a.m. The day will also include a stop at Camp Pendleton to visit some of the “Wounded Warriors.”

“It’s important for these kids to have this experience and see about something outside of football,” he said. “These are men that have overcome tougher obstacles than most of us have faced.”

Both teams were impressive in their openers last week. The Titans got the usual stellar showing at quarterback from Josh Thompson and a solid effort on the ground from Jiaiare Wade. Sophomore defensive tackle  Matt Lawson was the standout on defense.

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Colony football wins without high profile college prospects

Last year the Colony Titans cruised to a CIF Southern Section Central Division championship. One would think that meant coach Steve Randall sent a lot of players on to Division I schools. Not so.

Colony (12-2), which won its last nine games of the season, didn’t have a single player that continued on to a high-profile school. Was it because they didn’t make the grade academically? Not at all.

They just had a lot of seniors that didn’t pass the old “eye test.” They were players that didn’t measure up to the physical stature the bigger schools are looking for.

That doesn’t mean Colony hasn’t sent players to major colleges. Samajie Grant has emerged as a key player at Arizona.

But the Titans have made their living off having blue-collar players that buy into their role and worked well into the framework of the team concept.  Does it make the coach’s job more rewarding? Absolutely!

“It does kind of tell us that what we’re doing is working,” Randall said. “A lot of the teams we beat last year have those marquee players. So we’re doing something right.”

Randall passes much of the credit on to his senior quarterback Josh Thompson, who is quiet by nature, but leads by example. He’s one of those guys that fits into the “not passing the eye test” category.

He has thrown for 4,465 yards and 37 touchdowns with just nine interceptions in the last two years. Those numbers should garner a little bit of a look. But he’s one of those 5-foot-10 guys and that’s a bit small for a quarterback. Schools aren’t looking at the intangibles such as toughness and poise under pressure.

He injured his shoulder the next to last game of the regular season and was thought to be done for the season. He worked hard, came back and got a bit of playing time in the semifinal. Then led his team to the win in the title game.

Most of the interest Thompson has drawn thus far has been from Ivy League schools and he has the grades to get in.

“He has said about four words in three years here,” Randall joked. “But he doesn’t get rattled and our guys feed off that. They feel like he’s in control and they’re in control too. That showed a lot last year in the way he handled his injury.”

As far as other possible major college players, Randall says senior defensive back Khalil Dorsey and linebacker Devon Harper are the most likely candidates. But Dorsey, who was fifth in the state in the 100 hurdles during spring track season, is listed as 5-9, and Harper is just 6-0.

Time will tell. But colleges that aren’t snatching up some of these athletes are missing out.

 

 

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