If you believe CalHiSports.com, (and I tend to believe them), the winner of Friday’s CIF-SS Inland Division championship game, Redlands East Valley or Riverside Poly, will advance to the CIF State Playoffs.
Right now, CalHiSports has REV No. 1 and Poly No. 2 in Division II South rankings. The top two teams will play next week in the Division II South Finals, with the winner of that going to the state finals.
Each CIF-SS Division is linked to a state division, and the Inland Division is linked with Division II. Teams must win a CIF title to advance to state, so both REV and Poly won’t be able to go.
More of the rankings: No. 3. Bakersfield Ridgeview (11-1), No. 4 San Clemente (12-1), No. 5 Crescenta Valley (13-0), No. 6 Menifee Heritage (12-1), No. 7 Serrano (12-1).
So, if you believe the rankings, the only way Serrano makes it is if Serrano wins and Ridgeview, San Clemente, and Crescenta Valley all lose. Heritage’s season is already over and ineligible for state.
State playoff announcement comes on Sunday afternoon.
Malik Lovette, above, talks after getting his Semper Fidelis All American Bowl jersey on Thursday.
REV coach Kurt Bruich, talks about Malik Lovette
Malik Lovette talks after the school assembly in which he was awarded his jersey
Kurt Bruich talks about REV being in the finals.
So what school or school district has gone the longest without a title or an appearance in a championship football games?
Redlands East Valley is the first Redlands district school in the finals since Redlands lost a 55-0 contest to Edison in the 1979 Big Five Conference.
Colony last appeared in the finals in 2007, the second straight year it did so. Winning the Central Division title would make it the seventh time in the last nine years (since CIF-SS went from numbers to names on division) that a San Bernardino County school won the Central Division. Since 2007, a Chaffey Joint High School District school has won in 2008 (Rancho Cucamonga) and finished second in 2009 (Los Osos). Chaffey won the inaugural CIF championship in 1913, a 19-0 win against Santa Ana. Upland won in 2009, Colton in 2010 and Kaiser in 2012.
Serrano’s last title was 10 years ago against Palm Springs, the same school they’ll face Friday. That was also the last CIF-SS football title for the San Bernardino County portion of the High Desert. The Diamondbacks are 1-4 in title games, the last loss five years ago against Palm Springs.
Arrowhead Christian Academy won titles in 1996-97 and last played in the championship game in 2001, a 43-16 win over Mammoth in Division XIII.
REV coach Kurt Bruich, right, coaches his team in a practice this week.
Redlands East Valley coach Kurt Bruich has a lot of information at his disposal in the person of his father, Dick Bruich, who won four CIF-SS titles at Fontana and Kaiser.
So what has he learned from his dad about coaching in title games?
“We haven’t really talked about it,” Kurt Bruich said. “When I was playing (in 1987) I wasn’t paying attention to that. Then later, when he was at Kaiser, I was coaching myself.”
REV QB Armando Herrera, above, is questionable for Friday’s game
Who will play quarterback for Redlands East Valley in Friday’s CIF-SS Inland Division championship game vs. Riverside Poly?
REV coach Kurt Bruich is prepared to use everybody and anybody if starting star sophomore quarterback sophomore Armando Herrera can’t play this week after injuring his shoulder in last week’s win over Perris Citrus Hill.
REV coach Kurt Bruich said he didn’t know on Tuesday if Herrera would play, as Herrera missed at least the beginning of practice while his injured shoulder was being examined by REV’s team doctor.
Bruich said they are preparing to use as many as three quarterbacks if Herrera can’t go: sophomore Steven Garcia, senior Seth Bates and senior Malik Lovette.
Lovette gets snaps every game at quarterback in a wildcat formation, regardless of who starts, and also spends a lot of time at running back and wide receiver. He has attempted only six passes and completed one. Garcia completed one of five passes for 17 yards in last week’s win over Perris Citrus Hill, but had only one pass or carry in a game before last week: a 4-yard run against Eisenhower in Week 6. Bates had two carries for 18 yards last week, but has not attempted a pass since Week 5 vs. Miller, going 3 for 4 for 16 yards.
Bruich did add that Herrera would not need to get any reps in practice during the week in order to be able to play on Friday.
Could this be an advantage for REV?
It could, but would only slightly offset the disadvantage of not having Herrera. Lovette is the best runner, Garcia is the best passer and Bates is in between the two, so there are some different strengths among the trio.
But, Poly would already need to prepare for Lovette at QB, because that’s a package that REV uses in every game. And preparing for Garcia and Bates is not like preparing for Herrera, who has thrown for 2,917 yards, 36 touchdowns with only seven interceptions.
He hasn’t tweeted about it himself, but Redlands East Valley High star wide receiver/running back Malik Lovette has apparently given a verbal to the University of Oregon.
REV coach Kurt Bruich tweeted out: “Congrats to @MalikLovette for verbally committing to the University of Oregon! He’s going to be a great Duck! The kid can fly!”
Lovette retweeted Bruich’s tweet.
REV has not yet played a game this season. Lovette was an all-Sun selection last year after rushing for 445 yards and eight touchdowns and catching 47 passes for 770 yards and seven touchdowns. He is a four-star recruit according to rivals.com.
Above are two pictures, top one is of Redlands East Valley girls athletic director Rhonda Fouch and boys basketball coach Bill Berich, posing with Berich’s trophy that he received Wednesday for reaching 300 wins and the second, of course is a closeup of the trophy.
Berich actually reached 300 wins last year. But Fouch explained that they wanted to verify some records before getting the trophy. So Wednesday’s win over Cajon was actually Berich’s 320th in his career. “You’re almost at 400 now,” Fouch said.