Week 9 predictions

Big one in Fontana tomorrow heads off this slate. A little better performance last week, only missing two of the featured games, so we’ll see if we can’t tighten that up a bit more.

Summit at Kaiser
As I was evaluating this game, I suddenly wondered about what would happen if Kaiser had to play in a close game. The Cats have been drilling people – which is why they are No. 1 in the Sun, Daily Bulletin and Eastern Division polls – typically playing a half of football. Odds are that Summit, with Devon Blackmon and Montigo Alford, will test Kaiser like it hasn’t been tested before. But I think the Cats will pass that test and continue their special season.
Kaiser 30, Summit 18

Rancho Cucamonga at Etiwanda
The Cougars came up with a big win last week, defeating Upland, but they can’t afford to relax against a tricky Etiwanda squad. With QB Larry Cutbirth and RB Marcus Mason, the Eagles could have the most versatile and explosive offense in the county. But their defense gives up points almost as quickly as their offense scores them. Rancho will be tested tonight, but will make enough big plays to win another shootout.
Rancho Cucamonga 42, Etiwanda 34

Miller at Redlands
Last week’s unexpected loss to Yucaipa puts Miller in desperation mode coming into this game, as they need to win at least one of the next two against the Redlands schools to have a shot at the playoffs. That’s easier said than done though. Theoretically this looks to be the easiest of the two, but it’s not that easy. Redlands has bounced back nicely from the REV heartbreaker and will continue to do so.
Redlands 27, Miller 13

Colton at San Gorgonio
Since both of these teams have already lost to Cajon, this matchup between 4-1 SAL teams is more for second place barring any slipups by the first-place Cowboys. San G has caught fire in league play, winning four in a row to jump into the playoff conversation. Colton has been up and down offensively, but their defense should have enough oomph to come through in this one.
Colton 21, San Gorgonio 14

Chino Hills at Charter Oak
The last time the Huskies went on the road against a Sierra newcomer, they fell in a classic to Claremont. Charter Oak has the talent and the coaching to give the Huskies problems, but the Chino Hills offense has caught fire after a tough start to the season. Expect Chino Hills to overpower Charter Oak just enough offensively for its defense to bring it home late.
Chino Hills 28, Charter Oak 14

Ridgecrest Burroughs at Silverado
This matchup between the Desert Sky League favorites was complicated a bit by Silverado’s surprising loss to Granite Hills a couple weeks ago, as the Hawks are not only playing to get another DSL title, but to stay alive in the playoff hunt. Burroughs is in a bit easier position with a loss, but I don’t think they’ll have to sweat it out at all. The Burros will win and give Silverado some sleepless nights going into the finale.
Burroughs 27, Silverado 14

Twentynine Palms at Yucca Valley
The premier game in the Morongo Valley has some major implications, as Yucca’s upset victory over Desert Hot Springs last week has them in position to get a league title with a win over three-time defending champion Twentynine Palms. A win assures the Wildcats at least a share of the De Anza title and sets up another showdown next week with Big Bear. I think this game will be low-scoring and nasty, with 29 winning again.
Twentynine Palms 19, Yucca Valley 13

Yucaipa at Redlands East Valley
The Thunderbirds have been a nice story in the CBL, taking to new coach Justin Price wonderfully in a 5-3 start that saw a big victory at Miller last week. Pulling off another road win against REV would really put the rest of the league, and the county, on its ear. This isn’t the most explosive REV team, but its a solid group that should be able to repel the T-Birds, especially with QB Dylan Malone shaken up a bit.

Carter at Cajon
This isn’t a game for the first-place Cowboys to sleep on, as Carter is a couple of plays away from being undefeated as well. Can Carter, which lost to Colton in overtime and San G by two points, get a signature victory? They can, but I don’t think they will. Cajon is being Cajon, struggling early but finding its stride in league play. Think the Cowboys have a bit too much.
Cajon 24, Carter 17

Riverside Notre Dame at Rim of the World
With first-place Rubidoux having already dispatched these two teams, this matchup is for second place in the Mountain Valley League. Considering that only two teams per league get guaranteed playoff berths, that makes this game big. It’s been a tough year for the Fighting Scots, though the reinsertion of Dillon Pretzinger in the offense has helped considerably. I’ll take the home team in a coin-flip game.
Rim of the World 26, Notre Dame 23

Other games of note:
Aquinas 48, Arrowhead Christian 0
Ontario Christian 35, Calvary Murrieta 0
Linfield Christian 30, Western Christian 14
Los Osos 45, Alta Loma 7
Upland 34, Glendora 17
Fontana 20, Eisenhower 10
Big Bear 42, Desert Mirage 6
Victor Valley 15, Granite Hills 13
Serrano 28, Barstow 0
Oak Hills 34, Hesperia 6
Apple Valley 35, Sultana 17
Rubidoux 38, Citrus Valley 7
Banning 45, Jurupa Hills 13
Chino 48, Ontario 10
Colony 30, Montclair 10
Garey 38, Chaffey 19
Arroyo Valley 41, San Bernardino 16
Rialto 40, Pacific 9
Riverside Christian 24, Bloomington Christian 12
Damien 23, Ayala 17
Bloomington 33, Jurupa Valley 13

Last week: 25-7
Overall: 200-73-3

Week 2 high school picks

Heck of a lot better performance this week, going 28-10 after the 10-9 montrosity of zero week. Hoping to still cut my losses in half though.

Upland at Serrano
I like matchups like these, as powers from different parts of the county come together for some good football. Both of these teams have been vise-like on defense and inconsistent offensively, meaning that this game could resemble a baseball score. It’s hard to pick against Serrano up at Snowline, but I must say I’ve been impressed with Upland’s D thus far. Highlanders win a tight one.
Upland 13, Serrano 10

Redlands East Valley at San Gorgonio
This game is a sneaky-good one, as the two schools both cull players from the Highland area and have talented rosters. But while the Spartans were very impressive in their win at Hesperia last Friday, they are in the building stages of Ron Gueringer’s program while Kurt Bruich has a machine going at REV. San G will have its say against the Wildcats, but not in this one.
Redlands East Valley 27, San Gorgonio 13

Chino Hills at Colony
There’s no doubting the talent in this game, as Chino Hills is one of the more steady, above-average programs in the Inland Empire while Colony tend to grow Division I talent on trees. The Titans impressed me last week by winning at Diamond Ranch, but like I said for Chaffey last week, beating Chino Hills is an entirely different – and more difficult – matter. I expect Nate Harris to find the end zone for the Huskies a couple times.
Chino Hills 30, Colony 14

Redlands at Los Osos
Two traditionally solid programs battle it out in another CBL vs. Baseline showdown. The Terriers showed some moxie in beating Summit late, but Los Osos doesn’t seem to have much of a dropoff in its passing game despite Richard Brehaut moving on to UCLA. Blake Loncar has thrown for 200 or more yards in both games and WR Sean Alston has been his primary target. Look for the two to hook up for some big plays.
Los Osos 24, Redlands 13

Etiwanda at Norco
There’s really no debate at this point about Etiwanda’s offense – it’s darn good. Angel Santiago can pass pretty well, but the strides he has made in the running game are pretty impressive. His 283 yards rushing will be needed, and then some, against a Norco team tht lost a tough 47-44 game to L.A. Crenshaw – the No. 1 team in the L.A. Times top 25. Etiwanda will make some plays, but not enough.
Norco 36, Etiwanda 24

Riverside North at Kaiser
The Huskies have been an absolute irritant to Kaiser the past three seasons, defeating the Cats in all five meetings between the two, shutting them out three times. It’s hard to believe that North will shut out this Kaiser team, but its offense could be more explosive than it has been. I think North will make a few more plays in this one against a game Kaiser squad.
North 24, Kaiser 17

Rancho Cucamonga at Carter
The 40-spot that the Lions hung up on Alta Loma in the season opener adds a tiny bit more intrigue than was expected in this game, as Carter seems to have grasped Alex Pierce’s spread attack a little bit better. However, Rancho can match Carter’s athleticism, if not surpass it, and is well ahead of the Lions as far as overall football acumen.
Rancho Cucamonga 31, Carter 13

Don Lugo at Chino
The battle for the Milk Can has been anything but for the past decade and a half, as the Cowboys have won 17 straight over the Conquistadores in this series. On the surface, this should change, as Chino was bombed by Whittier and Don Lugo has D-I talent in DT George Uko and DB Steven Bethley. But as adage goes, never bet against a streak.
Chino 20, Don Lugo 14

La Quinta at Colton
After losing 26-9 last week to Vista Murrieta, things don’t get easier for the Yellowjackets, as La Quinta – ranked second in the Eastern Division – comes calling. However, Colton did beat the Blackhawks handily a year ago and I would expect QB Jordan Mixon to be less nervous and execute the offense a bit better. If he does that, the Yellowjackets should be fine.
Colton 20, La Quinta 16

Aquinas at Riverside Notre Dame
The premier Catholic school in San Bernardino County faces off against the premier parochial program in Riverside County in an annual grudge matchup. You can expect good, physical, well-played football in this game, in which the winner gets possession of “The Holy Shield.” I’ll go with Aquinas, ranked No. 1 in the East Valley Division.
Aquinas 23, Notre Dame 19

Other games of note:
Arroyo Valley 42, Rialto 9
Ayala 33, Alta Loma 10
Ontario Christian 23, Azusa 20
Paraclete 18, Barstow 15
Big Bear 27, Beaumont 21
Bishop 39, Western Christian 20
Montclair 36, Blythe Palo Verde Valley 16
Cajon 45, Sultana 7
Damien 28, Claremont 26
Bloomington 30, Eisenhower 14
Summit 31, Fontana 14
Granite Hills 30, Pacific 9
Hesperia 23, Moreno Valley Canyon Springs 13
Los Angeles Crenshaw 51, Miller 12
La Puente Nogales 17, Ontario 6
Quartz Hill 27, Silverado 10
Ridgecrest Burroughs 27, Apple Valley 24
Rim of the World 29, Cathedral City 14
Riverside Arlington 26, Chaffey 20
San Jacinto 34, Twentynine Palms 16
Oak Hills 38, Silver Valley 6
Victor Valley 27, Yucca Valley 18
Yucaipa 31, San Bernardino 27
Arrowhead Christian 27, Citrus Valley 7

Week: 28-10
Overall: 38-19