They are starting to play Queen’s “We are the Champions” on the Upland side and for good reason, as Aaron Hale picked off Blake Loncar’s desperation pass at the Highlander 14 with 17 seconds left to seal Upland’s 19-7 win and head coach Tim Salter’s 3rd CIF championship.
Upland tight end Anthony King caught a 71-yard touchdown pass from Justin Nunes, putting the Highlanders up 13-7 after a missed extra point. On 3rd-and-2, Nunes hit King on a stop pattern at the 36. King dodged a tackler and outran the remainder of the Los Osos defense for the score.
13-7 Upland, 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
The Grizzlies drove to the Upland 42 using dink and dunk passes right before the half, but were eventually forced to punt. Upland kneeled it out, leaving the CIF-SS Central Division title game tied 7-7 at the half.
Los Osos started another drive with great field position, this time at its own 49, but wasn’t able to do anything with it, going 3-and-out. Los Osos’ starting field position thus far has been at its own 47, while Upland has started on average at its own 23.
Upland ball, 0-0, 9:06 left in the 2nd.
The second quarter starts with Upland facing a 3rd-and-26 from its own 11-yard line. The Highlanders have had a sloppy start, comitting six penalties for 41 yards and losing a fumble.
I published my first entry a little late – must be having pre-game jitters of my own. Anyway, the national anthem was just sung by some Upland student and the teams are about to do the coin flip.
The student doing the national anthem had a good voice, but she seemed to miss a line near the end. We’ll see if that’s karma for the Highlanders. Kickoff to come in about 5 minutes.
Crowd is kind of sparse, leaving Lou Brewster to chime in with a quote from former Riverside Poly coach Mike Churchill – “Got to wait until cocktail hour is over before they show up.”
Well, Grizzly and Highlander fans, its time to start chugging, as this one is about to get going.
Just got situated here at Citrus College, where it’s perfect football weather – if you are from the Midwest. Its about 50 degrees with a light mist/fog and you can see your breath. I like seeing my breath, so its all good – though I wish I had remembered that Citrus had an open-air press box.
Anyway, according to esteemed colleague and boss Louis Brewster, there was a mini-trashtalk brouhaha at midfield between the two teams about 20 minutes ago. No punches or pushes – just good, old-fashioned woofing for a good old-fashioned Baseline League game.