Here are some thoughts as to why Eisenhower beat Redlands 14-7 on Thursday, claiming a share of the Citrus Belt League title, Eisenhower’s first CBL title since 2002.
- Turnovers. Redlands turned the ball over 3 times, Eisenhower none. Redlands’ first turnover, when Jerrion Burton intercepted a Jimmy Walker pass in the first quarter, led to the first Eisenhower touchdown after Burton returned it to the Redlands 49. The third turnover was an interception by Niguel Lee of a Walker pass in the end zone in the third quarter. Eisenhower scored on the next drive to take the lead for good.
- Gutsy calls. There was no surprise when Eisenhower coach Vinny Fazio went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 early in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Eagles went for it on fourth-and-three from their own 39. Both times they came up short, but both showed Fazio had confidence in his team.
- Craig Lee’s injury. This was clearly not the same Redlands running back who ran all over Redlands East Valley two weeks ago. He fumbled (and lost) one exchange and finished with 12 carries for 23 yards. He was clearly bothered by the shoulder injury that kept him out of last week’s game against Yucaipa.
- Defense. In addition to the turnovers, Eisenhower’s defense stopped Redlands on fourth-and-five from the Eisenhower 19 with 4:32 to play, after the second Fazio gutsy call failed.
- Ball control. Eisenhower had the ball for 13 minutes, 48 seconds in the second half, Redlands just 10:12.