Another mediocre week for my picking, as I only went 19-7 in my picks. I’ll blame Chino Hills for that…no, actually Chino Hills should blame me for jumping on their bandwagon and causing a flat tire.
Upland at Rancho Cucamonga
Another big Baseline battle, as the team with 3-4 senior Division I prospects this year (Upland) plays the team that will have that many next year (Rancho Cucamonga). Expect lots of passing, lots of scoring and lots of fun. Yeah, it sounds like I’m advertising an afternoon at Knotts Berry Farm, but this one should be a good one. I’m going with the home team because I can’t think of any other way to seperate these stud teams.
Rancho Cucamonga 38, Upland 31
Kaiser at Riverside Patriot
It’s only fitting that Dick Bruich’s last game will be for the Sunkist League championship, something that has been almost taken for granted by Kaiser fans and sportswriters. Like Kaiser, Patriot employs a hard-nosed, downhill running game and a physical defense. But no one plays sock-your-mouth football better than the Cats, at least in the Sunkist League.
Kaiser 23, Patriot 10
Colton at Arroyo Valley
For all intents and purposes, this game is for the final playoff spot in the San Andreas League. Sure, there are some weird coinflips that could happen with upsets and things of the like, but barring a San Berdoo High shocker, this is the game. Colton seems to have a little more momentum coming in and seriously, can you imagine the playoffs without Harold Strauss? Neither can I.
Colton 28, Arroyo Valley 14
Glendora at Ayala
Pop quiz hotshot. You’ve just beaten your crosstown rival in an upset. What are you going to do? What are you going to do? Host another game with league-championship implications of course. It might be tough for Tom Inglima to get his Bulldogs down from the high of the Chino Hills win but he’ll have to, as defending Sierra champion Glendora is no slouch. However, it seems to be a rule in the Sierra League that allows for equal title time in football. So Ayala wins this year and Diamond Bar is the favorite in 2009.
Ayala 31, Glendora 25
Eisenhower at Redlands East Valley
The Eagles played their hearts out last week against Miller, giving the favored Rebels all they could handle before falling 28-21. Unfortunately for Ike, their playoff hopes might have fallen with that game. If Ike can pull an upset on a REV team due for a letdown after the big win over Redlands, then they’ll be the biggest Rialto High fans ever – as the Knights have to beat Yucaipa. Unfortunately, it will be too hard to get the first phase of the job done.
Redlands East Valley 23, Eisenhower 9
Colony at Ontario
The Jaguars are a good story this year, as the heroics of quarterback/defensive back Herman Huezo have Ontario in the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Colony was in its infancy as a school back then, but has two CIF titles since the Jags last touched the postseason. The point of all this is even though Colony won’t get a Mt. Baldy title, they won’t lose to the spunky Jaguars either.
Colony 24, Ontario 6
Victor Valley at Ridgecrest Burroughs
It’s pretty amazing that the Jackrabbits, who were winless the previous two seasons before this one, are in a win-and-in situation in this game. It’s also amazing that the Burros could either win the league and get the No. 1 seed in the playoffs or miss them entirely based on this game. Such is the life in the Desert Sky League, not usually a bastion for parity. Victor Valley will give it a run, but Burroughs is too tough at home.
Ridgecrest Burroughs 30, Victor Valley 17
Apple Valley at Hesperia
We’ll keep it up in the High Desert and take a journey to Hesperia, where the Scorpions can notch their first-ever Mojave River League outright title and set a school record for wins if they beat the Sun Devils. It’s been a close-but-no-cigar year for Apple Valley, just to throw a cliche’ out there. The Sun Devils have to still be kicking themselves about the second half against Rim of the World, which won’t help them upset Hesperia.
Hesperia 35, Apple Valley 20
Arrowhead Christian at Aquinas
The Eagles have been a pleasant surprise, rolling up six wins and setting themselves up for an at-large bid in the East Valley Division playoffs should they lose this game. Unfortunately, should could be replaced by probably, which would ruin the sentence structure but bring up the main point, which is that Aquinas is scary good. QB Tyler Stirewalt put over 300 yards passing on Ontario Christian last week, something he can replicate tomorrow if he chooses.
Aquinas 42, Arrowhead Christian 14
Yucca Valley at Desert Mirage
This is historic, as this is the first time I’ve ever mentioned Desert Mirage in the main body of this predictions entry. So after I open up a few bottles of champagne, I’ll mention how both of these teams are greatly improved and fighting for the last automatic playoff spot out of the De Anza League. Then I’ll predict Yucca Valley to win a close one.
Yucca Valley 24, Desert Mirage 22
Other games of note:
Los Osos 31, Etiwanda 21
Alta Loma 21, Claremont 12
Miller 38, Fontana 7
Yucaipa 30, Rialto 14
Redlands 28, Carter 17
Ontario Christian 33, Western Christian 20
Big Bear 28, Desert Hot Springs 10
Barstow 34, Granite Hills 13
Serrano 42, Sultana 0
Rim of the World 45, Lynwood Firebaugh 6
Chaffey 35, Don Lugo 10
Cajon 51, San Bernardino 3
San Gorgonio 34, Pacific 8
Chino Hills 41, Diamond Bar 10
Damien 27, Chino 12
Summit 28, Bloomington 13
Overall record: 183-45-4