Shaved another loss off the old total this past week, putting me down to three. Either I’m starting to get a handle on this season, or some of the teams are deciding to humor me. Guess we’ll find out with most of the leagues starting this weekend.
Serrano at Rim of the World
I’ll spend my second straight weekend taking Waterman Street up the mountains, as the D-backs and Fighting Scots face off in what should be a doozy. Both teams have great running backs in Serrano senior Dionza Bradford and Rim junior Dillon Pretzinger, but the game might come down to which quarterback can perform well enough to take pressure off the running back. I’m going with an experienced Serrano team in a minor upset.
Serrano 20, Rim of the World 14
Arroyo Valley at Colton
Both of these teams come in with identical 4-1 records, but its safe to say that Colton’s 4-1 mark – complete with victories over Kaiser, Palm Springs, La Quinta and Apple Valley – is a little more impressive than Arroyo Valley’s conquests over the Alta Lomas and Rialtos of the world. I see the Yellowjackets being a little too much to handle.
Colton 33, Arroyo Valley 16
Los Osos at Upland
This is always one of the more hotly contested games in the county but for the first time since 2005, its not a Brehaut vs. Nunes affair. Los Osos is still passing the ball quite well behind senior quarterback Blake Loncar, but has fallen short in some close games. Upland’s played some stifling defense, something I expect will continue in this one.
Upland 21, Los Osos 13
Miller at Yucaipa
If any one is going to challenge the Redlands teams for Citrus Belt League supremacy, its one of these schools. Miller has started league with two routs of CBL underlings while Yucaipa hung with REV for a half before falling 35-7 last week. Both teams can score from anywhere on the field, so this game should be entertaining if nothing else.
Yucaipa 28, Miller 27
Silverado at Victor Valley
The battle for Victorville has been a one-sided affair of late, but this game sees the Jackrabbits coming in 5-0 and ranked No. 8 in the Eastern Division. Silverado is Silverado, winning four in a row after starting its season 0-2. The Hawks also have some big wins, taking out Summit, Palm Desert and Arroyo Valley, and I expect that to help them take this one as well.
Silverado 31, Victor Valley 24
Chino Hills at Damien
If you are Damien, you have to hate life right about now. After playing teams like Rancho Cucamonga, Charter Oak, Bishop Amat and St. John Bosco in the nonleague season, they start league with a very good Chino Hills squad. Perhaps Damien’s brutal nonleague death march will help them, but I think the Huskies have a little too much mojo right now.
Chino Hills 24, Damien 17
Riverside Patriot at Kaiser
These teams battled in the season finale last year for the Sunkist League title, a game that Kaiser won going away. I expect much of the same this time around. Kaiser is the best 2-3 team in the county – heck, maybe in Southern California – and Patriot just got slapped down by Victor Valley. Expect the Cats to get in a few shots.
Kaiser 30, Patriot 10
Don Lugo at Chaffey
The Conquistadores, with DL George Uko and DB Steven Bethley, have the star power and three straight wins. But Chaffey had an ambitious nonleague schedule and employs a physical attack that belies its 2-3 record. I think you’ll see the defending league champion Tigers triple-team Uko and just pummel the rest of the Don Lugo defenders.
Chaffey 26, Don Lugo 16
Yucca Valley at Big Bear
No one really expected these teams to come in with a combined 1-9 record, as both went to the East Valley quarterfinals a year ago. But as the De Anza League season opens, that’s exactly where the Trojans and Bears lie, with a Big Bear victory over Oak Hills two weeks ago being the only non-loss. So it should be intense, though I’ll go with the home team to make it two in a row.
Big Bear 23, Yucca Valley 14
Granite Hills at Apple Valley
Another crosstown rivalry in the High Desert that should be infinitely more entertaining than it usually is. Apple Valley has been outstanding offensively over the last two weeks, putting up 67 on San Bernardino and 56 on San Gorgonio, while the Cougars are off to a program-best 4-1 start. Granite is improved and will give the Sun Devils a game, but this will go the way it normally does.
Apple Valley 34, Granite Hills 23
Others games of note:
Etiwanda 40, Alta Loma 13
Rancho Cucamonga 38, Claremont 14
Arrowhead Christian 28, Western Christian 17
Carter 38, Rialto 15
Redlands East Valley 48, Fontana 10
Redlands 46, Eisenhower 12
Twentynine Palms 27, Desert Hot Springs 10
Barstow 33, Ridgecrest Burroughs 27
Hesperia 42, Sultana 13
Garey 28, Montclair 20
Colony 41, Ontario 7
San Gorgonio 55, Pacific 0
Cajon 49, San Bernardino 10
Ayala 44, Chino 6
Summit 34, Bloomington 16
Newport Beach Sage Hill 58, Citrus Valley 6
Aquinas 28, Oak Hills 20