High school playoff predictions

Doing this a little early, as I’m off doing the holiday thing for the next two days. Not a bad week last week, though its fair to say that I screwed up games involving public schools in the Redlands Metropolitan Area.


Paloma Valley at No. 1 Rancho Cucamonga
So my upset special wasn’t special. Actually, my real upset special was Glendora, but it’s all good. Paloma Valley did well, but they’ll have their hands full with Rancho, which received quite a scare last week for Colton. Look for Greg Watson and the Rancho passing attack to carry their big fourth quarter over.
Rancho Cucamonga 33, Paloma Valley 20

No. 4 Cajon at Ayala
I was at the Cajon-Etiwanda game last week and it was a hum-dinger, as both teams played their hearts out. The win was big for the Cowboys’ psyche, just because they don’t have to hear the ‘Well, you are just a product of the SAL’ talk as much. What they will have to deal with is a darn good Ayala team that can come at you in waves. I picked Ayala before the playoffs and am sticking with that.
Ayala 30, Cajon 27

Glendora at Upland
The jaw-dropping score of the week definitely came from Glendora, which destroyed No. 3 Hemet West Valley. I’ll pat my back because I predicted an upset, but I didn’t expect the beatdown that took place. Upland beat down Chaffey, which was expected, and plays the Tartans for the third time since last November. Each team has one, and I’m predicting Upland to win the rubber match.
Upland 34, Glendora 28

No. 2 Los Osos at Chino Hills
Richard Brehaut used his legs more than his arm to lead the Grizzlies to victory last week. That’s nice, but that ain’t going to fly against Chino Hills. The Huskies bulldozed San Gorgonio 52-14 thanks to a monster day from RB A.J. Johnson. Chino Hills keeps plugging along to little fan fare (despite Fowler’s exemplary article) and will do so again, “upsetting” Los Osos.
Chino Hills 27, Los Osos 21


No. 1 Perris Citrus Hill 36, Palm Desert 25

Serrano at Banning
I’m not going to lie, Banning’s win over Kaiser shocked me. I did not see that coming. I guess i should get to know more about Banning, but I don’t think they are going to knock off another Eastern power. Serrano trounced La Quinta behind junior RB Dionza Bradford and could very well be the dark horse in this bracket. The Banning story is a good one, but one that will end.
Serrano 28, Banning 14

No. 3 Palm Springs at Barstow
The Aztecs are another one of those teams that doesn’t get hype but wins. They can throw three RBs at you in the double-wing and have some massive hombres blocking. But Palm Springs is red-hot and this is pretty much what they do. After whipping Summit, Palm Springs will have its way with Barstow late.
Palm Springs 23, Barstow 16

No. 2 Hesperia at Silverado
Don’t look now but the Hawks, who started 0-6, are amazingly still alive and quite a threat behind QB Jemeryn Jenkins. Jenkins is a ridiculous talent, slicing and dicing Patriot for 406 yards last week. However, Hesperia put on a clinic against Notre Dame, barely breaking a sweat in winning 55-27. The rested Scorpions have a little too much sting.
Hesperia 31, Silverado 19


No. 1 St. Margaret’s at Yucca Valley
Yucca Valley has been an awesome story, recovering from several tattered years to win a De Anza League co-championship and a playoff game. It’s a great job Tim Connavo is doing out there. However, this isn’t going to be pretty. St. Margaret’s hasn’t been challenged all year and Yucca, for all their strengths, don’t have the ability to.
St. Margaret’s 41, Yucca Valley 16

Pasadena Maranatha at Big Bear
The Bears made me look smart, which is hard to do, coming up with the brassy 33-32 upset over No. 4 Santa Paula. It’s been a tough year at Big Bear, but you know the Bears will growl at playoff time. I’ll be up the hill to watch them take on Maranatha, which is just annoying to type. So I’ll predict. I am tempted to take the Bears, but I picked the other team (see what I did there?) last week. Can’t change now.
Maranatha 24, Big Bear 20

No. 3 Aquinas at Twentynine Palms
I kind of wish I was at this game Friday, because this one is going to be a war. Aquinas has been rolling over fools this year behind QB Tyler Stirewalt and his merry band of skill-position playmakers, but the Falcons’ only loss came to Twentynine Palms – a team that put 63 up on Brethren Christian last week. I expect the Palms to be jumping, but Aquinas to exact revenge.
Aquinas 28, Twentynine Palms 26

No. 2 Brentwood 27, Fillmore 13


No. 1 Corona Centennial 42, Vista Murrieta 10

No. 4 Miller at Murrieta Valley
The Rebels looked awesome on offense in their 48-21 victory over Roosevelt, gaining well over 500 yards and looking like the juggernaut unit it was last year under A.J. Springer. yeah, Juan Flores and David Dash next year could be mad scary. However, the defense has showed some signs of slippage lately, which won’t be helped by Murrieta Valley. I have the Rebels losing a heartbreaker on the road, similar to their loss to Chaparral last year.
Murrieta Valley 28, Miller 23

Redlands East Valley at No. 3 Temecula Chaparral
After impaling the Santiago Sharks, REV looks to take out a Chaparral team that’s been hell on the CBL in recent years. The Pumas took out REV two years ago and Miller this year, meaning they have run up quite a tab. The REV offense has erupted lately, but I don’t see them evening the bill this week. I will be at the game though to see if I’m wrong and to see if Lindsay Soto is there. I can always hope.
Chaparral 23, Redlands East Valley 19

Norco 27, Riverside North 17

Last week: 26-6. Overall: 232-54-4.

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  • Red Barron

    It’s Grizzly season and the Huskies are ready for the kill. The Husky O will shine this week and Brehaut will have to deal with a relentless Defense he has never seen the likes before.

    Huskies 28 – Los Osos 10

    Go Huskies!

  • Joe the Plumber


    Great job picking the Huskies as the “so called” upset this week.

    I’m sure the boys will do you proud for, ut ummm, sticking your neck out during Thanksgiving Week of all times.

    The boys are young as Clay mentions in his article (ref: Chino Hills-Los Osos playoff preview), but they’re also tuff as nails, and well balanced.

    Speaking of balanced, (as you ALWAYS are TJ), Clay did do a very good job of staying fair & balanced in the aforementioned article on the two teams. I’m proud of him for that. He also wrote a very nice feature story last week entitled “Pick of the litter Sophomore’s school record just one of Huskies’ surprises in ’08”. If any of you out there haven’t had the chance to read it, it’s still on the Preps page and well worth the read. Also well worth the read (if I don’t say so myself) is a post by the ever popular, ut ummm, Joe the Plumber, describing why coach Bub should be the Inland Empire’s Coach of the Year.

    Unfortunately for Clay though, he did pick the wrong team to win which will only worsen his already pathetic record… Well maybe “pathetic” is too harsh a word, but as I recall, your record is far superior to his… correct?

    When you get a free minute TJ, can you please remind us all of your’s and Clay’s win-loss record this year.


    Joe the Plumber
    “Go Huskies”

  • iefootballfan

    Good picks for the most part. Los Osos, Miller and North will win.

  • TJ Berka

    I’m not sure what Clay’s record is – I don’t know if he keeps a running tally or not. I have given him guff about his all-Baseline League semifinals though.

  • TJ Berka

    They’ll all be good games. I have a gut feeling about Chino Hills and I have to stay true to my original pre-playoff picks in regards to both the Huskies and Rebels. No one likes a flip-flopper. As far as the Norco-North game, could go either way, but Todd Gerhart’s clubs tend to rise to the occasion this time of year. Giving him the benefit of the doubt.

  • Joe the Plumber

    You’re right about that. I didn’t notice you stuck your neck out on that one too… But I’m behind you TJ, Norco over North 27-21.

  • NeKs

    Lets go Sierra!

    Ayala- 49
    Cajon- 14
    Both Cajon TDS come Against Ayalas 2nd team D

    Glendora- 38
    Upland- 35
    Kaluzny has a career game

    Chino Hills- 34
    Los Osos- 31
    We over here at Ayala Dont like to see CH win ever, but the Baseline is way overrated.

    Lets have a great week boys, and may no player be injured.

  • Joe the Plumber

    I like it NeKs…

    Welcome to the “High Sierra”. We’re all high on the Sierra league.

    Although, you may be a little higher than the rest of us, ut umm, we too all pick a clean sweep by the Sierra League this week.

    It’s time for us all to to bring those Baseline Lovers back to reality.

  • IE Sports Fan

    Well, hate to spoil the holiday for all you Baseline League HATERS… but, Los Osos will WIN, as will Upland, & RC. Only chance CH will have if Osos looks past them towards next week. They’ve proven to be unstobbale when focused (ask Upland about Televised game). So, all you Baseline haters be preparred for a dissappointing weekend!

  • http://www.sportsnetusa.net Grizzly Radio Guy

    The Grizzles will continue their march to the Central Division CIF title on http://www.sportsnetusa.net with Steve Hassler and Greg Crouse!

  • Joe the Plumber

    To the IE Football fan, and to all IE football fans out there,

    Don’t get me wrong… We couldn’t be any prouder than we are for the attention the Baseline league has brought to IE football this season. They have a very competitive league with great players, coaches and fans.

    It just seems at times though, this season, that maybe too much attention was given to the Baseline league as opposed to some of the other great leagues in the IE. And yes, in particular, the Sierra League… It reminds me of the same bias in media coverage that worked against my favorite candidates (McCain / Palin). I just feel it hasn’t always been Fair & Balanced.

    Let’s face it, media coverage does have an impact on these players…

    Last season the Sierra League placed a good number of players into good D1 College programs. This year, it seems to be all Baseline League players.

    Now I’m not saying the Baseline Boys aren’t deserving of all of this attention… they most certainly are. It’s great to see players going off to the likes of UCLA, Stanford and Northwestern.

    But tonight, I’d like for you all to be honest and open, (Fair & Balanced) when you see these match-ups between the Baseline and Sierra Leagues.

    A great example will be the match-up between Arby Fields and AJ Johnson. Fields is off to Northwestern and Johnson is still waiting for a legitimate offer to come through. Some lucky college out there is going to find this diamond in the rough (i.e. Johnson) before the season is over and be so grateful they did. He reminds me of the great running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

    Now, I know the Sierra League boys will not shy away from these match-ups tonight. They never have in the past and they won’t start tonight… They have nothing to lose and only YOUR respect to gain.

    Before you Baseline Lovers write us off, remember some of these notable wins the Sierra League has had over the Baseline League:

    > Chino Hills 48, Los Osos 25
    > Chino Hills 35, Etiwanda 12
    > Chino Hills 22, Claremont 17 (CIF)

    > Damien 32, Claremont 3
    > Chino Hills 14, Los Osos 7
    > Chino Hills 42, Etiwanda 21
    > Chino Hills 34, Rancho Cucamonga 27 (CIF)

    > Chino Hills 42, Etiwanda 7
    > Damien 56, Claremont 21

    > Glendora 31, Etiwanda 13
    > Chino Hills 41, Etiwanda 34
    > Glendora 29, Upland 28 (CIF)

    > Ayala 26, Alta Loma 21
    > Glendora 36, Etiwanda 35

  • Joe the Plumber

    Whoops, where are my manners?

    I mentioned earlier that football at Husky Stadium is the Ultimate High School Football experience.

    As we always do, I’d like to invite all of you Baseline Lovers to come down early and join us for some fabulous tail gating before tonight’s game. It all usually starts about 4:00 PM. We’d love to see you there.

    Hey, that goes for all of you in the media too… Clay, TJ, even Steve Hassler and Greg Crouse are welcome.

    You’ll find Joe the Plumber there this week hanging out at what’s known as “The North 40” (i.e. NorthEast corner of the paking lot)

    Hope to see you all there.

    It should be a GREAT game tonight!

    Joe the Plumber

  • IE Sports Fan

    Joe… sorry I caught your message too late to take part in the pre-game fun. Great game tonight and you guys definitely have a program to be very proud of (CH). I’d be frightned to see you guys next year, if this was a younf team. Good luck and great sportmanship.. wish us luck the rest of the way! Go Grizzlies

  • CUCA

    Where is Joe?

  • Joe the Plumber

    IE Sports Fan,

    Thanks for your kind words. I feel almost as bad as I did the morning after the election. What makes this an even tougher pill to swallow though is that we held the lead for so long and then to have it just snatched away with only 6 seconds left on the clock… Well, you know how it feels.

    We’ve been proud of our program at CHHS since it opened…

    The boys always give it their all and they’re all super athletes.

    The cheerleaders are top notch, and our band is pretty darn good too.

    The parents are amazing. From the awesome festivities in the parking lot before the game to making EVERYONE at home when they come to Husky Stadium.

    Our coaches are another class act… and in particular, Coach Derek Bub. To many on the outside looking in, it may look like just more of the same… another successful year of Husky Football. But Coach Bub has completely transformed the program with a modern playbook along with modern coaching techniques. He uses POSITIVE coaching techniques and EVERY player will walk away from this season with priceless life lessons learned and feeling good about himself.

    Having sat across the field from the Los Osos fans I can see you have the same thing going on over there. I can’t remember a single game this season where we ever really even notice the opposing crowd. But there you guys were last night, with your music, gold flags, balloons… And despite being behind for most of the game your fans stayed in it the whole time. It’s almost like you willed your players to pull it out at the end. I mean honestly, it came down to the last play you had on offense… The rush was on… our defensive end had your QB in his grasp and somehow, he throws a 30 yard game winning touchdown pass. AMAZING.

    Earlier this season, I went to a Baseline League game and I have to say, I was less than impressed. Don’t get me wrong, the players were good and all. I’m talking about the overall High School Football experience… The whole program…

    I certainly saw it in Los Osos last night and so did many of the CHHS parents. At the post game parties, so many of our parents commented on what a class act your school is.

    It’s for this reason, that I pledge my support for you guys going forward… (and of course the fact that there are no more Sierra League teams represented)

    Anyway, thanks again for your kind words… I think I said it earlier, last night’s game was very likely the Championship game played two weeks early… I think the Huskies represented the Sierra League well as did the Grizzlies for the Baseline League.

    Best of Luck going forward,

    Joe the Plumber
    “Go Grizzlies”