Kaiser football’s opponent’s decision: tie or win?

Last week, Kaiser settled for a 15-15 tie with Downey Warren, but not by its own choice.
Here’s the situation as told to me from Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya:
Warren scored the game’s first touchdown and went for 2 to go up 8-0. Kaiser answered and also went for 2 to tie the score, 8-8.
Then Kaiser scored again, this time kicked the extra point to go up 15-8. Warren answered right back and quickly went down the field to score a touchdown with about 25 seconds left.
“It looked like they were going to go for 2,” Zelaya said.
It was big Warren crowd, a “White Out” night for the fans and coach Raul Lara, the former coach at Long Beach Poly decided to kick the extra point. It was successful and the game finished in the tie although Kaiser nearly had a chance to win in the final seconds.
Some preseason games have overtime, by mutual agreement from coaches, but most do not. Coaches want to play 48 minutes, but don’t see the need to play extra time, risking injury, in a game that likely has no bearing on whether or not they make the playoffs.
So what would Zelaya have done?
“I would’ve gone for 2,” he said.
Yes, a tie is better than a loss. But don’t you want your team to see you’re willing to go for it? I would’ve gone for the win, too.

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Sultana wins game, suffers serious player injury

Sultana High School football is coming off a win, and still has eight games left in the regular season, but it can’t be easy for the Sultans to focus on anything other than their player who wears No. 29, senior defensive end Bruce Henderson.
Henderson suffered a brain injury late in Friday’s 7-0 win over Riverside Norte Vista and was taken to the hospital.
According to tweets from Sultana assistant coach Chris Fore’s Twitter account, Henderson suffered the injury on a play in which “it was a hit on a running back. Might have been that hit, might have been contact with the ground.”
Fore tweeted that Henderson “came off the field under his own power. Then our staff had him see trainer when they knew he wasn’t ‘right.’”
He eventually underwent emergency brain surgery at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.
Since then, the official twitter account of Sultana Football reported: “Keep fighting Bruce. Everyone is here for you. Great news, Bruce has been giving thumbs up on command now. We love you.” Monday, the account reported “amazing news. They have taken the tubes out and Bruce is doing better and better. He’s even trying to talk. God is gr8. Keep praying.”
An online fund through youcaring.com had raised $4,070 of a $10,000 goal as of Tuesday evening for Henderson and his family.
Through two games, Henderson is second on the team with 29 tackles.
Messages to Sultana coach Keith Locklear and principal Larry Bird were not returned.
On Thursday, the following update was given:


Rough night, big win
A secondary story was the fact that Sultana beat Norte Vista, a big win for Sultana. Norte Vista was a playoff team last year and Sultana’s win was likely the Sultans’ most impressive since 2012.
In 2012, a year after Sultana last made the playoffs, Sultana defeated Pomona 26-24. Until Friday, that was the last time Sultana had beaten a team that had finished the previous season with a winning record.
Obviously a big part of the 7-0 win was defense, which included four fumble recoveries off six forced fumbles. Special teams also averaged 40.0 yards per kick in the game.
That was a week after Norte Vista routed Claremont, 49-21.

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Week 1 San Bernardino County football predictions

It was a pretty good Week 0 picking games for me, going 27-6-1

The losses were: I incorrectly picked Chino to win, Ontario to win, San Bernardino to win, Silverado to win, Eisenhower to lose, and Don Lugo to lose. The 1 tie was Rim-Maranatha.
I didn’t get any games exactly right by margin or exact score, but I came extremely close. I predicted a 35-7 Rancho Cucamonga win over Chaparral. The final score? 36-7.

I didn’t pick either way on Arroyo Valley’s win over San Bernardino Thursday.
Here we go for Friday’s games

• Apple Valley 49, Granite Hills 0
• Ayala 20, Alta Loma 17
• Barstow 31, Knight 6
• Big Bear 24, Arrowhead Christian 14
• Bloomington 21, Nuview Bridge 18
• Charter Oak, 31, Colony 27
• Chino 35, Baldwin Park 7
• Chino Hills 21, Diamond Ranch 10
• Citrus Valley 35, Beaumont 30
• Don Lugo 21, Pomona 17
• Eastside 35, Victor Valley 33
• Grand Terrace 28, Yucaipa 24
• Heritage 42, Los Osos 17
• Indian Springs 28, Jurupa Valley 27
• Jurupa Hills 20, Chaffey 19
• Kaiser 35, Warren 20
• Lakeside 28, Colton 26
• Mammoth 42, Upland Christian 14
• Mission Viejo 42, Oak Hills 24
• Murrieta Mesa 42, Montclair 21
• Murrieta Valley 40, Redlands 28
• Norte Vista 35, Sultana 24
• Ontario 28, Nogales 20
• Ontario Christian 24, Calvary Murrieta 17
• Pacific 35, Adelanto 27
• Perris 22, Miller 16
• Ramona 49, Rialto 6
• Rancho Cucamonga 20, Norco 10
• Rancho Verde 35, Carter 14
• Redlands East Valley 35, Etiwanda 6
• Roosevelt 34, Eisenhower 22
• San Gorgonio 42, Fontana 14
• Serrano 28, Silverado 14
• Summit 42, Hesperia 14
• Twentynine Palms 24, Indio 20
• Upland 28, Claremont 21
• Webb 35, Western Christian 7
• Yucca Valley 21, Excelsior 14

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Cajon’s Darren Jones denied eligibility by CIF

Four high profile football transfers from Upland to Corona Centennial were ruled ineligible by the CIF Southern Section, but Centennial wasn’t the only school to have transfers from Upland denied.
Darren Jones, a sophomore who led Upland in receiving as a freshman last year with 19 receptions for 437 yards and five touchdowns, had transferred to Cajon and hoped to be a big part of the Cowboy offense. That won’t happen anytime soon as CIF-SS also ruled him ineligible for football and basketball until next July. Rogers said Upland contested Jones’ transfer.
“I think he’s going to file an appeal with the state (CIF), as far as I know,” Cajon coach Nick Rodgers said. “But that would take several weeks.”
Rogers doesn’t agree with Upland contesting the transfer.
“I’m like Kim (Battin, former Cajon coach). If a guy doesn’t want to play here, let him go,” Rogers said.
Unlike other schools, Cajon has not been a destination for many transfers Rogers said. He notes that he lost three varsity players to transfers (two to Pacific and one to San Gorgonio) and got only one varsity player back, receiver Tre’veon Wellmaker from Jurupa Hills.
“If this is a recruiting competition, I’m not doing a very good job,” Rogers said.

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Week 0 high school football predictions

Here are my predictions for Week 0 games, which are usually the hardest to pick, because I have little information on how good the team is going to be this year.

Alta Loma 26, Diamond Bar 24
Cajon 28, Roosevelt 18
Calvary Murrieta 28, Western Christian 6
Carter 21, Los Osos 10
Chino 21, Damien 18
Chino Hills 35, Ayala 30
Citrus Hill 42, Barstow 14
Colony 28, West Covina 27
Elsinore 35, Hesperia 31
Fontana 42, Arroyo Valley 21
Glendora 24, Kaiser 14
Grand Terrace 21, Chaffey 14
Hillcrest 42, Jurupa Hills 34
Lakeside 20, Adelanto 16
Montclair 43, San Gabriel 30
Oak Hills 42, Pomona 20
Ontario 28, Ontario Christian 24
Pacific 42, Jurupa Valley 35
Quartz Hill 28, Sultana 20
Ramona 21, Indian Springs 7
Rancho Christian 28, Arrowhead Christian 21
Rancho Cucamonga 35, Chaparral 7
Redlands 35, Palm Springs 24
Rim of the World 24, Maranatha 21
San Bernardino 21, La Sierra 15
San Gorgonio 35, Citrus Valley 10
Serrano 38, Paraclete 21
Silverado 24, Apple Valley 19
Summit 27, Etiwanda 21
Tahquitz 16, Eisenhower 14
Twentynine Palms 30, Granite Hills 14
Warren 24, Don Lugo 17

Saturday’s games
Aquinas 35, Big Bear 20
Mountain Pointe (Ariz.) 35, Upland 33

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Blue Cut Fire forces Serrano football to miss prep time

Serrano High School football coach Ray Maholchic hopes his team won’t be at too much of a disadvantage next week.
Just more than a week away from their Aug. 26 season opener at home against Lancaster Paraclete, the team will miss five days of practice this week because of the Blue Cut Fire.
With the fire escalating quickly Tuesday, practice was cancelled that day and school has been cancelled for the rest of the week. Maholchic, who is also the school’s athletic director, said the Snowline Joint Unified School District’s policy is no practices can be held if school is cancelled for reasons such as a wildfire.
“This is kind of a first for us. We’re done for the week,” Maholchic said. “We’ve got limited practice opportunities. This sets us back a little bit.”
Serrano had been set to scrimmage at Redlands on Friday with the freshman team scheduled to host Redlands Thursday in a scrimmage.
Serrano will now go without the scrimmage and Redlands will join a scrimmage at Grand Terrace that includes Grand Terrace, Chino and Riverside Norte Vista.
“Usually, we have a scrimmage where we can correct some things, but we’ll go right into game week,” Maholchic said.
Maholchic, who was evacuated from his home in Wrightwood, where many of his players also live, expects to be back at school and practicing as usual on Monday. He also expects to be able to play next week’s game at home.
First, I hope that as many homes as possible can be saved from this brutal fire, and not just those who are with Serrano football.
That being said, you have to wonder how well the football players are doing emotionally, even if their families and homes are safe.
I hope it doesn’t have too much of a negative impact on them as they prepare for their Week 0 game. In addition, I hope there won’t be any issues with playing the game at Serrano.

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Darren Jones could be filling void for Cajon football

Cajon football could be getting a big-time transfer that would help the Cowboys for the next three years.
Darren Jones had 19 catches for 437 yards and five touchdowns as a 6-foot-7 freshman last year. He lead the Highlanders, who went to the second round of the playoffs, in all three categories.
Cajon coach Nick Rogers confirmed that Jones is at Cajon, but said that his transfer status is still pending. The CIF Southern Section web site lists Jones’ transfer status as “under review.”
I have no idea whether or not Jones’ transfer will go through, and if so, if he’ll have to serve the sit-out period.
But I’m interested if the transfer goes through, how things will work out between Jones and Cajon’s standout sophomore quarterback, Jayden Daniels.
A year ago, Daniels, The Sun’s Newcomer of the Year, completed 169 of 301 passes for 2,694 yards and 35 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. That was to a largely experienced receiver crew. And when one of his top returning targets, Phillip Ryan, transferred out to Pacific, the question was, “who will Daniels throw to?”
It could be Jones, which could make for a very intriguing QB-WR combo for the next three years.
Cajon isn’t putting all of its eggs in Darren Jones’ basket. Tre’veon Wellmaker, who was second at Jurupa Hills last year in receptions (45), yards (328) and receiving touchdowns (three), has transferred in. Wellmaker, who is a senior this year, has been approved by CIF-SS to play immediately.

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