Michael Ball on Friday’s game against West Covina: “I know for a fact it’s going to come down to inches, who’s more disciplined and who makes the bigger plays.” Please, read on …

By Aram Tolegian
Local prep football fans will be hard-pressed to find a better collection of skill players on the field at one time than what they’ll see at Rowland High School on Friday night when the Raiders host West Covina in a Hacienda League showdown that will go a long way toward determining the league champion. “If you like speed, it will be a good place to be,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “There will be a lot of speed on the field, so hopefully we can play some defense.” For West Covina, the explosiveness comes in the form of a wave of running backs capable of breaking a touchdown run on any given carry. For Rowland, it starts with dynamic quarterback Michael Ball and continues with a dangerous group of receivers. “It’s been awhile since both schools have hooked up with so many quality athletes,” Rowland coach Craig Snyder said. “It’s going to be a fun football game. Both teams have their strong points, and we just have to hope they have more weak points than we do.” (to continue, click thread).

Both teams enter with 4-1 records and opened league last week with easy wins. Last year’s game was no contest, with West Covina winning 32-10. But Rowland was without Ball, who’d suffered a broken collarbone two games prior.

“It feels great to be back out there,” Ball said. “When I got hurt, me and the team were down. My parents were down. The school was down. We kept talking about next year, next year. Now, next year is here and we’re all excited.”

Ball has lived up to the hype thus far. The senior has been burning teams with his arms and legs, as evidenced by his 328 yards and eight touchdowns rushing to go with 853 yards and eight touchdowns through the air.

For West Covina, the sight of another multifaceted quarterback should make Maggiore cringe, given what Glendora’s Chad Jeffries did to the Bulldogs’ defense earlier this season. West Covina won the game, but Jeffries totaled 250 yards in the air and 72 on the ground.

“I’m a little worried about it,” Maggiore said. “He’s (Ball) a little bit quicker, a little bit more athletic than Jeffries.

“He presents a lot of problems, and there’s no question I’m worried about things breaking down. We can do a great job on him and he’ll still make big plays.

“Usually, if you miss a tackle, you give up an extra five or 10 yards. In this game, if you miss a tackle, it’s going to be seven points.”

Ball’s chances to burn West Covina may be limited, though, if Rowland can’t get the Bulldogs’ offense off the field. West Covina has six players with more than 100 yards rushing this season. The running game is led by junior Chris Solomon’s 767 yards and six touchdowns.

“We have one Michael (Ball) and they have three (or more) weapons at running back,” Snyder said.

“You think you’ve got them stopped and they break a big run. I’ve seen them stopped at the line of scrimmage and they make a big play and score.”

Given the amount of firepower on the field, there could be any number of heroes if the game is decided by a big play in crunch time. Ball knows that could be him, but he’s not about to discount any of the West Covina playmakers.

“They have a whole team of athletes,” Ball said. “I know for a fact it’s going to come down to inches, who’s more disciplined and who makes the bigger plays.

“It’s going to come down to the wire, to the very end.”

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  • Colt74

    Going against the grain on this one and picking:
    Rowland 28 WesCo 20. Got a feeling. It may just be the burrito from lunch…we’ll see…..

  • Wesco Doggz

    West Covina in a Knockout. 41 – 24

    Aside from that giveaway to Covina, West Covina runs the table from here on out.

  • Norco

    Whats this 8 man football?

  • Thats It

    I’m moooving to Norco so we can play 11 man football. 8 men and 3 cows.

  • Colt74

    That’s it..I forgot what Norco stood for…

  • JFR


    How big is Ball now? The last time I saw him was in this picture as a sophmore. If he’s grown i’m thinking a team like the Duck’s are looking at him?

  • JG

    I have a lot of respect for coach Snyder his teams play with a lot of dicipline, and Ball is very good!! I think if the Buldogs play solid defense,and play the way they have been playing,they will be too much for the Raiders.

  • Colt74

    Norco is a damn good football team… and just having some fun. I actually went to the Norco website and was reading some interesting stuff. Came across this and had to share.
    “The Norco Valley Fair … Events included at the Fair are the Rodeo, Rodeo Dance, Calf Dressing Competition, Pageants, Exhibitions, Cowboy Poker, Wild Cow Milking, Snail Races, and Talent Show, Pet Parade, and Family Fun Day.”

    Calf dressing and Wild cow milking ?????

    Is it that hard to get a date after the game????

  • jcaz

    I have to admit that every now and then some of you guys are really funny.

    To: “Thats It”

    Classic dude 🙂

  • Real Housewives of Adelanto


    Where men are men and cows look over their shoulders.

  • Say What

    “I’m a little worried about it,” Maggiore said. “He’s (Ball) a little bit quicker, a little bit more athletic than Jeffries.”
    Its funny but he doesnt have a full ride offer like Jeffries so whats your point, your Whack Maggiore ! We got Georgie.

  • Hey norco girl, where r u?

    Getting 2 hot n here 4 u? These norco jokes r great. I just became an anti norco fan. Who r they losing 2 this week?

  • Seriously?

  • Loving The Heights

    @JFR.. and what’s your point?? Why don’t you come take a picture of him and send to the Tribune to use. Don’t hate recognize talent you idiot!!

  • Lovin The Heights

    @ Say What.. how old are you???? Haven’t you heard… sometimes it’s who you know not what you know.. and how you know what Ball has or has not been offered?? are you a twice removed cousin???? you couldn’t find anything else to say could you?? You haters are tooo much… enjoy the talent and the show you’ll see tonight.

  • Norco 2

    @ Colt74

    Think your team wants any of Norco? I doubt it. Go back to munching on your burrito. The I.E. is for the big boys, watch your step around here. You might step in a cow pie.

  • SGV For 30 Years

    Here is the way I see the WesCo-Rowland match-up. West Covina has the speed and quickness to contain Ball. Making him have to beat them via the pass. So now the question becomes do the Raiders have enough playmakers to match the Bulldogs playmakers? I don’t see that happening. I will be a great game but in the end I think WC has to many horses. Dawgs 28 Raiders 12.

    SGV430 Ouuutt!!!

  • Did you hear about the Newlywed Norco fan… He promised his wife “there would never be another EWE”… but he lied…

    How do you tell the football players from the fans at Norco? The players keep the BS on the outside of the boots…

    How do you separate the men from the boys in the Norco stands?… With a crowbar and ice water…

    How many Norco fans does it take to screw in a light bulb?… A light what?…

  • Colt74

    What can you say to a Norco fan?
    It doesn’t matter cause what ever you say goes in one ear and out the udder….

  • Socallilyankees

    Its not a 1 man sport and u guy need 2 think be 4 putting something on here u guy sound like 2 kids learn from what a hall a famer said a month ago an a gd 1 at that he was even crying it was not about him but the player around himw that made him shine that player name kids Mr E. Smith of thy COWBOY no 1 man show a team that just play 2getter an dont u 4 get it.

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