3 high school football results that stand out from Friday night

I don’t know all the details on these games, but there were some interesting results on Friday in games that were out of the spotlight a bit.

First, in the Mountain Valley League, Pacific upset previously undefeated Moreno Valley 23-18. What kind of an upset was this? calpreps.com predicted a 31-10 Moreno Valley win.
It had appeared like Vista Del Lago and Moreno Valley were the top 2 teams in the league. Now, it seems all we know for sure in the league is that Vista Del Lago is No. 1 and Banning is the last team. But Pacific’s win throws into doubt the other four teams.

The other two scores are interesting for the same reason: it’s those schools first-ever league win.
Indian Springs surprisingly routed Rialto 42-0 to win its first ever league game, in San Andreas League. And Adelanto defeated Granite Hills 20-13 in the Desert Sky, earning Adelanto its first-ever league win. Congratulations to those teams. May they be the first of many.

This time, no nightmare for DeZhontaey Fletcher

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DeZhontaey Fletcher, the senior RB from Oak Hills proudly displayed his cast after beating Serrano. Why?
If you read my feature story on him a few weeks ago (here it is: http://bit.ly/1rwFUwm) you’d know that Fletcher broke his ankle in the Serrano game last year.
It was on the very first play of the game, it ended Fletcher’s season, and Oak Hills lost the game and a chance at the Mojave River League title.
This time, Fletcher decided to bring the cast to the game (he doesn’t usually do that), to remember what happened a year ago.
Now he can forget about last year as Fletcher ran for 163 yards and a touchdown in Oak Hills’ first-ever win over Serrano, 24-21.

Rooting for Sonnyboy Orfiano

As a sports writer, I generally don’t root. I need to stay unbiased and neutral.
I am just an observer of athletes, coaches and sporting events.

But, there are times in which I feel differently about a subject.
One of those is my latest feature on San Bernardino High senior quarterback Sonnyboy Orfiano. You can read the whole story here, along with other photos and videos: http://bit.ly/10RUpQZ.

Now, there’s a difference between rooting for someone to win a game, and rooting for someone in life. I would like to see Orfiano succeed in life. That could mean winning a few more football games, but really, it’s about more than that. It’s about him getting a break. I root for all athletes in the area to have success after high school, but many of the other athletes don’t need the breaks that Orfiano needs, or deserves.

Up until now, he’s made enough breaks of his own.

He was dealt a rough hand, from growing up in Stockton with little to no money in small living quarters to someone who made his own break, moving in with his brother in San Bernardino.

While things are better in San Bernardino, they’re still not easy. He’s worked hard to help his team to a 4-1 record, and has gotten interest from at least 1 school, Western New Mexico although he hasn’t committed anywhere.

As hard as he has worked, someone still has to offer him a scholarship. He can’t make anyone give him a scholarship. So getting a break would be getting a scholarship to play football, because otherwise, there’s a good chance he won’t be able to go to college and play football.

Sometimes, the biggest question in recruiting a player (especially one from outside the area), is going to stay there or if he’ll get homesick and return home.

To all those schools who might doubt whether Orfiano would stick, I can’t say definitively that he will. But consider this: he made the tough decision to leave his mother, grandmother and two younger brothers to move to San Bernardino (where he had no ties otherwise) to live with his brother.

He made a big leap of faith coming to San Bernardino and so far it’s worked out for him. Now he needs a school to take a leap of faith with him.

Could San Gorgonio-Oak Hills result be best for both?

Last week, Oak Hills was impressive in knocking off my No. 1 team, San Gorgonio and giving the Spartans their first defeat of the season.
I think this could be good for both parties involved.
Last year, San Gorgonio went into the playoffs with a 10-0 record but came up short in a semifinal loss to Riverside Norte Vista. The Oak Hills game should be the last time the Spartans are tested. Had San G. cruised to a victory, it would not surprise me for San G to lose some intensity, an intensity the Spartans might not get back in time for the latter playoff rounds. The loss makes them realize how vulnerable they are and what they need to do in the long run.
As for Oak Hills, the knock on the Bulldogs is that they’ve been good, but haven’t been able to come through in the big game.
They haven’t beaten perennial Mojave River League rival Serrano yet, and Oak Hills has never been past the second round of the playoffs.
Now, next week’s game against Serrano will be bigger than the San G. game, but the San G. game proved one thing: that Oak Hills can win a big game.
The teams won’t see each other again this year, because they are in different playoff divisions. But they could both look back at that game as important in driving them toward a deep playoff run.

Prep football: A look San Bernardino County’s early nonleague matchups

The 2013 prep football season will soon be upon us, with Week 0 games taking place in four weeks.

Although we are still in the preliminary stages of previews, I thought I’d take a look at some interesting storylines for matchups between San Bernardino County teams from Week 0 and Week 1:

  • Aug. 30 Rancho Cucamonga at Redlands: Redlands always plays a challenging local nonleague schedule, and this matchup off this year’s schedule. Both teams went to at least the second round in the Inland Division playoffs last year.
  • Aug. 30 Barstow at Adelanto: A first varsity game is always a big deal, and the Saints get to host in their first varsity tilt.
  • Aug. 30 Citrus Valley at San Gorgonio: A year ago, Citrus Valley was a favorite to win the East Valley Division title, but was derailed by San Gorgonio in its first game, and never fully recovered. Citrus Valley will look for revenge, but San G. is good.
  • Aug. 30 Eisenhower vs. Alta Loma at Chaffey HS: A year ago, a 54-0 Eisenhower win in this game showed it was a new era for the Eagles. But with coach Vinny Fazio’s departure after 1 year for Murrieta Valley, there are questions again about Ike and new head coach Mike Clark.
  • Sept. 5 Summit vs. Redlands East Valley at Citrus Valley HS: REV plays the most challenging nonleague schedule around, and this game is the only nonleague game for the Wildcats against a San Bernardino County team. It just happens to be against a Summit team that was 9-1 before losing in the first round of the playoffs.
  • Sept. 6 Carter at Redlands: A year ago, Carter went 12-1, but had only one nonleague opponent, Eisenhower, that finished with a winning record. This time, they add another former Citrus Belt League rival, Redlands.
  • Sept. 6 Indian Springs at Grand Terrace: A year ago, Grand Terrace was the host in its first-ever varsity game, a loss to Riverside Notre Dame in front of a large and vocal crowd. This time, the Titans get to host an Indian Springs team playing its first varsity game. The two coaches, Indian Springs’ Dave DeWoody and Grand Terrace’s Harold Strauss go back to their 8-man football days, when DeWoody was at Riverside Christian and Strauss was at Bloomington Christian.
  • Sept. 6 Apple Valley at Kaiser: Kaiser surprised some by winning a CIF title and this is its first game in its title defense. Apple Valley felt it got a raw deal in a playoff bid last year.