Well, last week wasn’t a banner one in the history of T.J. Berka high school prognostications. While I actually only messed up on nine games – I thought I had missed double that – I was a pretty shoddy 5-5 on the feature games. Not quite enough to put a bag over my head, but close.
Colton at Arroyo Valley
The question, as has been the question throughout the season, is will Michael Yearwood play. It’s a game-time decision according to Arroyo coach Marcus Soward and his presence will change the game considerably. If Yearwood plays, Arroyo stands a chance, as Colton was pushed to the brink last week by a fast, physical Carter team. If not, the Hawks don’t have enough firepower to hang. I think Colton wins a low-scoring game.
Colton 20, Arroyo Valley 9
Redlands East Valley at Mission Viejo
After a tough loss to a physical Chino Hills team, the last thing REV needed to do was play the No. 1 team in Southern California. Whoops. Mission Viejo, the alma mater of Mark Sanchez, is No. 1 in the Pac-5 Division and a state bowl contender. This would be a good game next year, as REV has deep sophomore and junior classes. I’m not expecting much from the Wildcats in this game though. Mission Viejo is filthy-good.
Mission Viejo 28, Redlands East Valley 10
Yucaipa at La Quinta
The Thunderbirds have looked pretty good so far under Justin Price, winning three of their first four games behind an explosive offense led by Dylan Malone’s nine TDs. Is Yucaipa a legitimate playoff contender though? This game will help answer that question, as La Quinta has already defeated Colton this season and is one of the traditional powers of the Low Desert. I don’t think Yucaipa wins, but the T-Birds will scrap.
La Quinta 23, Yucaipa 14
San Gorgonio at Carter
I feel bad for San G. They go through a brutal four-game stretch to start the season – losing to Rancho Verde, REV, Yucaipa and Cajon, thinking that this could be the game they break out in. But the Lions are darn good, taking Colton to overtime at Colton in a game they easily could have won. If Carter doesn’t have a hangover from that tough loss, it’ll continue San G’s misery.
Carter 26, San Gorgonio 13
Garey at Colony
Colony has been the grand poobah for the most part in the Mt. Baldy League during the last five years, winning four league titles and CIF titles in 2006 and 2007. Garey, meanwhile, hasn’t made the playoffs. But the Vikings are dangerous this year, featuring all-everything WR Dominique Williams, and will be a formidable test for the Titans, who have won three straight since an inauspicious 1-2 start. Will go with the home team, but barely.
Colony 23, Garey 21
South Hills at Los Osos
The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Los Osos, which was fresh off a triple-OT loss to Redlands and a lopsided loss against Vista Murrieta. South Hills has struggled in its move up the food chain, losing its last three. They’ll likely have issues in a stout Sierra League and will have issues tomorrow with a sneaky-good Los Osos squad.
Los Osos 28, South Hills 16
Rialto at San Bernardino
The Knights were the darling of the San Andreas League during the nonleague season, winning their first three games to move up to No. 3 in the Central Division rankings. But a loss to Arroyo Valley has them in almost a must-win situation against a San Bernardino team that has quietly won three out of its first four games. The Cardinals can make it three in a row with a win here, but I’m not ready to give up on Rialto just yet.
Rialto 19, San Bernardino 16
Victor Valley at Patriot
While Rialto might have been the darlings of the SAL, Victor Valley has been the story in the High Desert, as the Jackrabbits have rolled to a 4-0 start with big victories over Rim of the World and Apple Valley. They head down the hill for the first time to take on a Patriot team that has been solid under new coach Scott Pearne. It should be a good test for Victor, one that I expect they’ll pass with flying colors.
Victor Valley 30, Patriot 20
Barstow at Sultana
These teams limp into this one, as Barstow hasn’t won a game while Sultana lost to Victor Valley this week. Why am I previewing this game then? Well, its a pretty thin week and I need 10 games to write about and the winner here could be a darkhorse in their respective leagues. Emphasis on could. I think Barstow, while anemic to date, is probably due here.
Barstow 16, Sultana 14
Ontario at Chaffey
When worse comes to worse, end the featured games with the Cat Bowl. This longtime rivalry will be played tonight at Chaffey and it could be competitive just for the simple fact that Chaffey seems to be down this year. The Tigers have struggled mightily in going 1-4 and could be vulnerable to the Jaguars, but I think their power-run game will be too much.
Chaffey 28, Ontario 12
Other games of note:
Riverside Notre Dame 30, Arrowhead Christian 10
Anza Hamilton 36, Bloomington Christian 14
Twentynine Palms 23, Cathedral City 16
Chino 45, El Monte 20
Etiwanda 54, Eisenhower 10
Pico Rivera El Rancho 24, Fontana 14
Hemet Tahquitz 27, Citrus Valley 16
Kaiser 58, Hesperia 0
Oak Hills 33, Laguna Beach 14
Bloomington 27, Menifee Paloma Valley 19
Summit 45, Murrieta Mesa 9
Desert Hot Springs 28, Rim of the World 20
Pasadena Maranatha 35, Western Christian 13
Yucca Valley 27, Imperial 14
Don Lugo 26, Montclair 16
Cajon 48, Pacific 6
Last week: 21-9