Glendora scored on its first three possessions, led 14-0 and 21-7, but gave up 27 points in the second quarter, an interception by Chad Jeffries leading to an Eagles touchdown with 36 seconds left in the half and a 27-21 lead. The Tartans were about to take the lead in the third quarter, but fumbled a yard short of the end zone, the Eagles getting it back and later scoring to go up 33-21. The Tartans almost made it interesting, but fumbled again at the Eagles’11, Cortland Fort picking it up and going 89 yards for the touchdown an an insurmountable 39-21 lead with 1:15 left.
The league also includes Rancho Cucamonga, Los Osos, Upland and Alta Loma, with Glendora the lone team from the Valley.
It’s not, however, unfamiliar territory for the Tartans, who left the Baseline for the Sierra League after the 2001 season, when they finished fourth in league and 5-5 overall. The Baseline is far different now, though, with only Upland remaining from the 2001 season. Back then, Walnut, Claremont, Chino and Don Lugo were part of the league, which now features fifth- ranked Rancho Cucamonga, eighth- ranked Upland and ninth-ranked Glendora competing for playoff spots in the tough CIF-Southern Section Inland Division. Los Osos and Etiwanda figure to compete for playoff spots, too.
The Eagles started slow, but don’t be misled by their record. They opened with three consecutive losses to opponents with a combined record of 11-3-1 in losing to Fontana Summit (42-35), Vista Murrieta (49-27) and Norco (49-35) before winning two in a row against Fontana Miller (33-28) and Eisenhower (38-20).
Containing Eagles quarterback Larry Cutbirth is a priority. Cutbirth has thrown for 1,373 yards and 14 touchdowns, but he’s also error-prone, having thrown 10 interceptions, although nine came in his first three games.
There’s more than Cutbirth to be concerned with, though. Running back Marcus Mason is averaging 139 yards and has improved his rushing total each week. He’s coming off a stellar 178-yard performance against Eisenhower.
Glendora opened the season with big victories over Charter Oak (28-21) and Monrovia (21-7), then suffered its lone loss at home to West Covina (33-28), the top- ranked team in the Southeast Division.
Tartans senior quarterback Chad Jeffries, heading to San Diego State, will be the focus of the Eagles’ defense.
Jeffries is averaging 157 yards and has thrown nine touchdowns against just one pick. He is returning after a bye week and his best game of the season.
He completed 13 of 16 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns in a 33-21 win over Lynwood, but he’s just as dangerous with his feet while averaging 46 yards rushing with five touchdowns.
Running back Corey Victoria needs to get going, though, to increase the Tartans’ chances.
Victoria rushed for 114 yards against Monrovia and 122 against Anaheim Canyon, but had only eight carries for 28 yards in their loss to West Covina. He also had only four carries for zero net yards in the win over Lynwood.
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