This is where the season really gets fun. Another fun fact is that I went 21-3 last week and if it wasn’t for the San Andreas League, I would have gone 20-1. On to an intriguing Week 8.
Redlands East Valley at Miller
I was at this game a year ago and it was probably the second-best game I’ve covered since I’ve been here (Norco’s OT battle with Corona Centennial in 2006 barely beats it out). I won’t be there this week, but if I could clone myself, I would. Last year’s game was offensively oriented, but this game has more of a defensive feel to it. Miller turned some heads last week against Redlands and the Rebels are at home, so I’m going with a minor upset.
Miller 19, Redlands East Valley 16
Serrano at Hesperia
I’ll be at this High Desert battle, which should be a good one. Unlike REV-Miller, this game was a defensive struggle a year ago but should have more fireworks this year. Serrano has been the big dog in the MRL for over a decade now, but the Scorpions have the complete team necessary to knock them off. Will they though? I think they will, though it won’t be easy.
Hesperia 24, Serrano 23
Rancho Cucamonga at Los Osos
The Grizzlies showed up huge last week, defeating Upland on regional TV. Can they possibly get up for a second straight week? They’d better, as Rancho will be frothing at the mouth to get a piece of Los Osos. The Cougars are undefeated but haven’t had that elite win to announce their presence with authority. This would certainly qualify. However, I think Osos wins this, though it will be a battle.
Los Osos 30, Rancho Cucamonga 21
Chino Hills at Glendora
This game has caused some good debate on the blog this week, which I always welcome. Either way, like Rancho, Chino Hills needs a game to announce its presence with authority. Glendora has seamlessly gone from a power-running attack to a wide-open passing attack, showing the explosion necessary to defend its Sierra League title. Yep, you guessed it. I’m picking the home team.
Glendora 35, Chino Hills 27
Chaffey at Colony
The annual Battle for the Mt. Baldy League is taking place in less than 90 minutes. There hasn’t been much talk about these teams, which started out a combined 0-5, but they seem to be rounding into form, with Chaffey grinding out five straight wins thanks to its rushing attack and Colony running off four straight, including a win over Serrano. Colony knows how to win titles (its got two CIF in its trophy case) and that will prevail.
Colony 28, Chaffey 18
Twentynine Palms at Yucca Valley
Who would have thought this game would get billing as a key game of the week? If you asked anyone outside of the city of Yucca Valley prior to the season, they would have dismissed the above question as crazy talk. But Yucca Valley has been on fire lately, winning four in a row – including an upset over Big Bear – and can grab an unlikely championship with a win tonight. 29 Palms is the defending champ and won’t be so willing to give it up to their bitter rivals.
Twentynine Palms 31, Yucca Valley 20
Silverado at Ridgecrest Burroughs
These programs have ruled the Desert Sky League since Will Smith coined the term “Willenium”, exchanging DSL titles. After an 0-6 nonleague start, Silverado seems on its way to a third consecutive league crown, with only the Burros and their high-powered passing attack standing in the way. Burroughs has improved, but the DSL is still Silverado’s league.
Silverado 28, Burroughs 16
San Gorgonio at Colton
Yeah, yeah, San Andreas League, you’ll get your love too. This is an intriguing game just because it will be interesting to see how Colton reacts to its first San Andreas League loss since rejoining the league. The Spartans are coming off a big win over Arroyo Valley and would love nothing more than to shock the Yellowjackets. However, injuries have taken their toll on San G. Look for Colton to lean on them in the first half and wear them down late.
Colton 27, San Gorgonio 15
Kaiser at Bloomington
There’s no Dick Bruich vs. Don Markham in this game anymore, but its importance hasn’t lessened. The Cats seem to be settling into their annual second-half groove, while the Bruins got a couple of nice bumps last week from beating Jurupa Valley and having fullback Jayson Allmond commit to UCLA. Bloomington will be pumped but Kaiser is rolling.
Kaiser 33, Bloomington 10
Ontario Christian at Arrowhead Christian
The Christian League gets some love this week, as a struggling Ontario Christian team takes to the road for its league opener against a much-improved ACA squad. The Knights have had issues implementing a spread attack and have lost four straight, but still should have enough oomph to take the Eagles.
Ontario Christian 20, Arrowhead Christian 14
Other games of note:
Redlands 41, Rialto 7
Eisenhower 23, Yucaipa 21
Carter 24, Fontana 16
Apple Valley 27, Rim of the World 21
Upland 34, Alta Loma 14
Etiwanda 37, Claremont 13
Ayala 33, Damien 13
Big Bear 35, Desert Mirage 10
Victor Valley 28, Granite Hills 14
Cajon 40, Pacific 12
Arroyo Valley 37, San Bernardino 6
Summit 28, Norte Vista 12
Aquinas 38, Western Christian 20
Barstow 34, Sultana 7
Overall record: 148-30-4