Better last week, as I only messed up six games. Of course four of those were in my featured 10, so I’m really not sure if I’ve really gotten smarter. This week starts Citrus Belt League play, so it’s starting to get really good. Here are my picks before I head to Fontana High School for tonight’s Fohi-Miller tilt.
Miller at Fontana
Before the season, this looked to be a speedbump for the defending CBL champion Rebels, as Fontana had only won five games the previous five seasons while Miller was returning much of their offense. But two Steeler wins and an 0-3 Miller start has made this game pretty key. While Miller had a brutal schedule and Fohi beat SAL cellardwellars Pacific and San Bernardino, its clear that Fohi is improved and Miller isn’t. However, I’ll pick Miller to survive, albeit barely.
Miller 28, Fontana 20
Carter at Redlands
Another intriguing CBL opener, because for whatever reason, the Lions play well against Redlands. The Terriers barely escaped at Carter 7-6 during their CBL championship season in 2006, lost to Carter at home in 2007 and struggled to beat the Lions last year. The Carter offense has shown explosive qualities, but Redlands has been stingy on defense. I’ll take the savvy of Redlands in this one.
Redlands 21, Carter 12
Colony at Kaiser
These teams have both been battle-tested and quality approved, with Colony beating Chino Hills and Diamond Ranch already while Kaiser destroyed Cajon last week. Both teams are feeling confident and have talent to burn. However, Kaiser gave one of the better defensive performances I’ve seen in my three years here, especially given the quality of Cajon. I expect them to be slightly superior to the Titans.
Kaiser 19, Colony 16
Summit at Silverado
Silverado entertained the heck out of me last Thursday, breaking five touchdowns of 50 yards or more against Palm Desert. After a slow start, it seems as if the Hawks offense is running in full gear. Summit has that capability and while only 1-2, showed well in close losses to Etiwanda and Redlands. Expect some big plays and some crazy athleticism in the High Desert, with the home team prevailing in a classic.
Silverado 35, Summit 30
Hesperia at Barstow
Very interesting litmus test for both of these schools. The Scorpion offense finally broke out against Pacific, but playing the listless Pirates doesn’t really compare to facing defending Eastern Division runner-up Barstow. The Aztecs also have something to prove after falling last week to Quartz Hill in upset fashion. Hesperia is improved, but I’ll go with a veteran Barstow team at home.
Barstow 30, Hesperia 21
Chaffey at Colton
If there are 10 passes combined between the two teams, I’ll be shocked. Chaffey likes to pound the ball with senior RB Ronald Douglas, the county’s leading rusher, while Colton has a fleet of backs to excel in the double-wing. The Yellowjackets defense seems to have settled in after a tough opener against Vista Murrieta and will subdue Chaffey enough to pull out the win.
Colton 24, Chaffey 12
Upland at Bloomington
The positive vibes the Bruins got by winning their first two games were mostly eradicated in their 51-0 loss to Corona Roosevelt. It doesn’t get much easier for Bloomington, as Upland and its lockdown defense come into town. Tim Salter gets a ton of credit in my mind for reshaping the Highlanders from a big-play, somewhat finesse squad into a hard-nosed physical unit. Bloomington will be heaping praise on Upland as well.
Upland 28, Bloomington 6
San Gorgonio at Chino Hills
After impressively winning at Hesperia in its opener, the Spartans have had a tough time of it in losing to Redlands East Valley and Yucaipa. Now they are going against a team that smacked them twice last year, including 52-13 in the playoffs. Chino Hills bounced back last week with a nice win over Diamond Ranch after losing to Colony the week before and will continue to roll.
Chino Hills 34, San Gorgonio 14
La Quinta at Cajon
La Quinta hasn’t had a fun time in the Inland Empire the past two weeks, losing lopsided games to Colton and Norco. They come back again to face a Cajon team who’s pride is a bit wounded after being shut out by Kaiser. It will be interesting to see how the Cowboys react to being punched in the mouth and how La Quinta will react to the travel. I’ll go with Cajon in a close one.
Cajon 18, La Quinta 14
Indio at Rim of the World
This has all the makings of a beatdown. Indio has struggled after losing the bulk of its 6-4 team a year ago and faces a Rim of the World team that’s a bit sore about losing to the Rajahs on the road a year ago. Expect the Fighting Scots to run on Indio early and often, keeping its undefeated start going.
Rim of the World 38, Indio 7
Other games of interest:
Redlands East Valley 55, Eisenhower 0
Yucaipa 48, Rialto 14
Apple Valley 31, San Bernardino 26
Arroyo Valley 34, Alta Loma 10
Ayala 47, South El Monte 3
Granite Hills 30, Cathedral City 17
Etiwanda 45, Chino 6
Pacific 28, Citrus Valley 10
Claremont 38, Ontario 14
Don Lugo 37, Jurupa Valley 9
San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret’s 42, Ontario Christian 13
Aquinas 28, San Pedro Mary Star of the Sea 13
Serrano 38, Santa Clarita Golden Valley 3
Oak Park 24, Twentynine Palms 13
Victor Valley 33, Sultana 16
Yucca Valley 21, Arrowhead Christian 17
Big Bear 28, Oak Hills 27