Inland Empire Football Classic Postscript

After the wild game on Saturday night at Corona High School, I needed time to recover from deadline stress and the excitement of the night.

Here are some thoughts:

  • First, I was impressed how much each coach wanted to win. It was not a win-at-all-costs mantra, nor did they take the fun out of it in order to win. But the playcalling and San Bernardino player substitutions proved how much San Bernardino wanted to win. It was also obvious in the San Bernardino goal-line stand that ended regulation and sent the game to OT.
  • Odd play that didn’t make it into my story. With the score tied 21-21 in the third quarter, Riverside lined up for a 50-yard field goal. The snap was bobbled bounced away, the holder grabbed it back and the kicker made the kick. Meanwhile, San Bernardino, thinking it was against the all-star rules to rush, stood back and watched for several seconds. It was a ridiculous moment to most observers, because had there been a rush, there’s no way the kick would have been made. After a lengthy discussion, it was determined that on field goals (but not on extra points) the defense was allowed to rush the kicker. So Riverside got to rekick. This time the snap and hold were good, but the kick was wide.
  • Even at the end of regulation, officials believed there was no overtime, even though there was overtime three years ago. But game organizers changed their mind after meeting at midfield, prompting the overtime.
  • Even in a 31-28 OT defeat, San Bernardino proved a lot. First, that the football is not so bad on this side of the county line. Also, the San Bernardino team, fans and coaches deserved respect for the way they acted. For the record, I had Riverside with 13 penalties for 111 yards, San Bernardino with four for 40 yards. I also saw some taunting from Riverside players after the game-inning kick, but as far as I could tell, San Bernardino acted with class. Stereotypes aren’t always true.
  • Some final offensive stats for San Bernardino: Tahir Rashed-Mills, 5-9 passing, 1 INT, 1 TD, 104 yards, 13 carries, 145 yards, 1 TD. Daniel Martinez, 3-5 passing, 12 yards, 5 rushes, 20 yards. Javone Morgan (A QB who didn’t play there in the game), 1 carry, minus-6 yards; 1 reception, 34 yards.┬áBrandon Scott, 3 receptions, 67 yards, 1 TD. Isaiah Dunn, 2 receptions, 12 yards; Anthony Grayson, 1 reception, 3 yards. ┬áTacory Spencer, 8 carries, 19 yards, 1 TD; Ben Fitzpatrick 2 carries, 10 yards, 1 TD; Tawon Green 4 carries, 5 yards; Cruz Duke 1 carry, 2 yards.

Riverside County routs San Bernardino County 31-0

Tim Salter told his players a the 27th annual Inland Empire All-star Football Classic that Saturday’s 31-0 loss by his San Bernardino County squad to Riverside County at Corona High School was not indicative of what good players they were.
They got to show little of their talents, as Riverside dominated, holding a 348-73 edge in yards of total offense.
San Bernardino had two good chances to score. One came when Silverado’s Victor Iosefa returned a fumble 32 yards to the Riverside 33 in the first quarter. They ended up having to settle for a field goal try, but kicker Angel Ramirez (Fontana) had his attempt smothered before he was even able to get it off the ground.
The other came in the third quarter when they were trailing 17-0.
A 26-yard run by Christian Powell (Upland) and a 12-yard pass from Dimitri Morales (Rancho Cucamonga) to Powell gave San Bernardino a first-and-goal at the 8. Two running plays later, they had a third-and-goal at the 1. But running back Donta Abron (Upland) was thrown for a loss on two consecutive plays and Riverside took over on downs.
In the end, turnovers (three) were costly. San Bernardino also seemed to have difficulty blocking, especially in the run game (27 carries for 23 yards). But they also had a difficult time containing speedy Riverside quarterbacks Justin Gheorge (Riverside North), Hayden Gavett (Corona Centennial) and Dane Tiedeman (Palm Springs). That trio combined to complete nine of 11 passes for 90 yards and carry the ball 17 times for 127 yards.
While standing on the San Bernardino sideline, everything I saw of the San Bernardino players echoed what Salter said: they were good kids, listened and didn’t use foul language.
But for whatever reason, things didn’t really click on the field. It didn’t indicate what kind of players they were or what kind of players many of them will be at the next level.