Only a few hours before title games start, so here I go. I did OK last week, just missing Barstow-Silverado.
Upland at Rancho Cucamonga
Just to relieve Upland fans, Josh Nunes is starting at QB. There was a snafu in this morning’s Daily Bulletin that ran the Cajon starting lineups instead of the Upland ones. For whatever reason, the correct Upland lineups were run in the Sun. Anyway, I could brag that I predicted this matchup, but the real bragging should go to the teams – Upland for shrugging off the Los Osos monkey and Rancho for continuing its undefeated march. I picked Rancho to win it all and I’m not turning back now.
Rancho Cucamonga 27, Upland 17
Perris Citrus Hill at Barstow
Definitely an odd matchup. At one spectrum you have the Hawks, a No. 1 seed that killed everyone in its path before toughing out an 18-15 win over Serrano last week. Barstow, meanwhile, has bucked the odds all year to get to its first CIF title since 2000. Can the double-wing Aztecs pull the shocker? It should be fun in Barstow, but I got Citrus Hill in this one.
Citrus Hill 38, Barstow 26
EAST VALLEY DIVISION
Twentynine Palms at San Juan Capistrano St. Margaret’s
I should save internet space and not write San Juan Capistrano again, but I did. In talking to their coach, Harry Welch, a few nights back, he was raving about the raw ability and size of the Wildcats, which he should. Twentynine Palms has some serious ballers. But I’m going to stick with the undefeated team here, even if its playing possum a bit.
St. Margaret’s 31, Twentynine Palms 23
Temecula Chaparral vs. Corona Centennial
The Pumas were blasted by Centennial in the semis last year. They were also blasted by Norco in the title game two years ago. Chaparral got revenge on the Cougars last week and are looking to do the same against Centennial this week. But they won’t. Centennial rolls to another title.
Centennial 38, Chaparral 10
Covina Charter Oak at Diamond Ranch
I met Diamond Ranch coach Roddy Layton for the first time Monday. I was expecting him to look like what the Scots expected William Wallace to look like – seven feet tall with an ability to fire lightning bolts from any place on his body. He wasn’t quite that, but him and the Panthers deserve a lot of credit for getting to this point after a 1-6 start. That start involved a loss to Charter Oak, which will have Diamond Ranch’s number again.
Charter Oak 24, Diamond Ranch 13.