Just like last year, I’ll break down by high school playoff picks by division every week. And just like a year ago, I’ll give my predictions on the whole division in this entry. Will my predictions by worth anything? It’s hard to tell, especially in a division as spastic as the Central.
Don Lugo at No. 1 Colton
This game was a mercy-killing when it was played in this round two years ago, as the Yellowjackets ran up, down and over Don Lugo. To be honest, I’m expecting more of the same this time around. This is a better Colton team than what Don Lugo faced two years ago and I’ll be surprised if the Conquistadores stop them from scoring before the fourth quarter.
Colton 48, Don Lugo 7
Rancho Cucamonga at Glendora
Apparently Greg Watson is supposed to play for the Cougars after being knocked out of the Etiwanda game last week, which is welcome news for Rancho in its defense of its crown. Glendora is a tough team and will be a test, but having Watson running the Cougar offense seals the deal for me.
Rancho Cucamonga 28, Glendora 20
Chaffey at Hemet West Valley
Last year West Valley was the No. 3 seed until Glendora beat it down in the first round. I think West Valley is ripe for another upset, as Chaffey running back Ronald Douglas has 2,150 yards rushing and has been unstoppable lately. Chaffey went a bit tougher than usual in its nonleague schedule this year and that will pay dividends here.
Chaffey 24, West Valley 18
Arroyo Valley at No. 4 Los Osos
Arroyo Valley, while much improved over a year ago, has had a brutal time against quality competition, as it was dispatched in routine fashion by Silverado, Colton and Cajon. Los Osos has been unconscious the last four weeks since being shutout by Upland and has too much firepower for the Hawks.
Los Osos 38, Arroyo Valley 21
Chino Hills at No. 3 Wildomar Elsinore
If I’m Elsinore, I’m pretty ticked right now. In earning the No. 3 seed, you should be able to avoid teams like Chino Hills, which was the co-champion of the Sierra League and got a No. 3 seed due to coin flips. The Huskies are physical on defense and have an offense that’s capable of gaining yards in a multitude of ways. Needless to say, I’m pulling the trigger on an upset.
Chino Hills 21, Elsinore 17
Cajon at Etiwanda
I covered this game last year and I must say, it was one of the more frenetic and enjoyable games I’ve covered at the Sun. The rematch won’t quite be that way, as Cajon has employed a power-running game to eat the clock the last two weeks. That will be effective for a while against the Eagles, but ultimately, Angel Santiago and company will be too much.
Etiwanda 30, Cajon 17
Upland at Damien
If Elsinore is pissed, Damien is having a nuclear meltdown about this matchup. After winning four straight games to win a Sierra League co-championship and get the league’s No. 1 seed, the Spartans get an 8-2 at-large team in Upland. The Highlander D, so lethal in the first two-thirds of the season, has become easier to move against, but the Upland O has also improved. Sorry Damien.
Upland 26, Damien 19
Menifee Paloma Valley at No. 2 Colony
The Titans are the best team no one is talking about, as the Titans have won nine in a row since losing their opener to Los Osos. There are questions as to the overall quality of Colony’s schedule, but that won’t matter against Paloma Valley. Colony has way too much talent to be truly threatened here.
Colony 34, Paloma Valley 14
Colton over Rancho Cucamonga
Los Osos over Chaffey
Chino Hills over Etiwanda
Upland over Colony
Colton over Los Osos
Chino Hills over Upland
Colton over Chino Hills