Saturday Morning Quarterback: DRanch flips the switch; Amat, Charter Oak romp on; South Hills gets down in MTown and Walnut in a stunner …

For quarter updates of tonight’s games, click link.

“I told them everybody is doubting us, but we’re going to beat Bonita and everyone is going to say `Diamond Ranch did it again.’ “DRanch coach Roddy Layton

Today’s games and predictions
West Covina 35, Diamond Bar 17 — The Bulldogs jumped to a big lead and never looked back. Looks like the champs are ready to defend.
Covina 16, Pomona 14 — Much closer than many expected even with Colts QB Billy Livingston injured. The Red Devils, along with San Dimas and Covina, make the Valle Vista the toughest in the Mid-Valley. Sorry Olympic.
Bishop Amat 56, Cathedral 7 — The Lancers actually trailed 7-0 late in the first quarter before exploding to a 28-7 halftime lead. It’s what you expected, the Lancers winning on a night Loyola falls to Upland and loses RB Chaz Anderson to a knee injury; Alemany losing to Dorsey and Vista Murrieta beating Crespi. Oh yeah, Servite lost too.
South Hills 34, Monrovia 30 — With Vincent Hernandez not able to go with an injured shoulder, Jamel Hart rushed for 155 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Huskies to a come-from-behind victory. Wildcats RB De’Shawn Ramirez had just four carries for -2 yards.
Diamond Ranch 21, Bonita 13 –– I’m going to owe Roddy Layton lunch over this, he promised and delivered. Say what you want, already looks like the Hacienda could come down to West Covina and the Ranch.
Walnut 34, Los Altos 14 — The night’s biggest shocker by far is the winless Mustangs knocking off the undefeated Conquerors in the Hacienda opener. Yup, the season can change just like that.
Azusa 42, Sierra Vista 16 — Back in the Montview, the three-time defending league champs found their groove again.
Duarte 52, Bassett 6 — Continuing to impress and scoring at will, the Falcons improved to 3-0 and continue to show they might be a league contender.
La Puente 45, Workman 7 — The Lobos aren’t this bad. It says a lot more about La Puente, who will probably go 9-0 before facing Azusa in the league finale.
Northview 35, Baldwin Park 17 — Second biggest shocker after Walnut over Los Altos. Just when the Braves were starting to roll, the Vikings shock ’em.
Nogales 29, Wilson 14 — Not a surprise. The Nobles are improved and the Wildcats are heading south … quick.
Glendora 24, Lynwood 7 — The Tartans should enjoy it because the Baseline is next.
St. Paul 30, Ayala 27 — The Bulldogs had them on the run before losing late.
Damien 35, Temescal Canyon 21 — Jalen Castille had 110 yards and two touchdowns in the Spartans’ third win.
Rosemead 31, San Gabriel 21 — Panthers proving they will be a Mission Valley contender … Aren’t they always?
Charter Oak 49, Santa Fe 0 –– Best offense in the area? Not sure, but the most complete. This was over when they got off the bus.
South El Monte 41, Temple City 27 — Don’t doubt the South? That was the theme when they had it rolling a few years back. They’re doing it again.
Redlands East Valley 34, Chino Hills 0 –– What else to say but ouch.
Serrano 41, Claremont 0 — See the Chino Hills comment.


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Thursday Final: Gladstone squeezes out 9-6 win over Ganesha in Montview League opener

By Brian Baiotto
Heading into Thursday night’s Montview League opener, Gladstone High had been outscored by 101 points and had yet to earn a victory in three tries. But the Gladiators held off a late Ganesha surge to edge the Giants, 9-6, in front of approximately 200 fans at Citrus in a game that had more penalties (23) than points.
Ganesha (1-2-1, 0-1) drove the ball to the Gladiators (1-3, 1-0) 28 yard line with 2:05 left in the game, but the Gladstone defense forced an incompletion and a fumble on consecutive play with heavy pressure on Ganesha quarterback Erik Acevedo and took over on downs. (To continue reading click thread).

Robledo’s Montview League predictions
1. La Puente (3-0) — Will be undefeated when they beat three-time champion Azusa in Week 10.
2. Azusa (0-3) — Coach Joe Scherf has never lost a Montview League game. Aztecs are 19-0 since he took over in 2008, which should stretch to 25-0 when La Puente comes calling.
3. Workman (2-1) — Only two teams are guaranteed playoff spots, but if the Lobos finish 7-3, they have a shot at a wild-card berth.
4. Duarte (2-0) — The surprise of league. We’ll find out how much they improved in league. I like them beating everyone but the top three.
5. Ganesha (1-2) — They beat Montclair and lost to two undefeated teams, so who knows.
6. Gladstone (0-3) — After Azusa, Gladstone has played the toughest non-league schedule, losing to Covina, El Monte and Bosco Tech.
7. Sierra Vista (1-2) — When all is said and done, they won finish at the bottom of the table.
8. Bassett (1-2) — Someone has to be at the bottom of the list.

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Breaking News: West Covina transfer Justin Hornsby’s request denied by CIF

Justin Hornsby, who transferred from Rancho Verde to West Covina, while moving into the South Hills area of the Covina Unified School District, was denied a hardship transfer request by CIF-Southern Section officials late Wednesday. Hornsby, a junior defensive end, figured to be one of the better defensive players in the area. West Covina coach coach Mike Maggiore said the family is deciding whether to appeal the decision.

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With more parity in Hacienda than a year ago, how will they finish in 2011

With the Hacienda League starting on Friday, defending league and Southeast champ West Covina is still the favorite, but the gap is closing and the race for playoff spots could change from week to week. Here is how I think it will shape up.

Robledo’s predictions
1. West Covina (3-1) — They will win league but not go undefeated. There will be a slip-up along the way against Diamond Bar, Diamond Ranch, Los Altos or Bonita.
2. Los Altos (4-0) — I’m buying. I love a feel-good story and when you start winning, confidence comes with it. I love the fact they can run the ball, teams that run are built for the long haul.
3. Bonita (2-2) –– They might win games you don’t expect them to win, but they also will lose games you don’t expect them to lose. They’re still a playoff team, but not sure if they’re consistent enough to win league.
4. Diamond Bar (2-2) — This may shock some that I have Diamond Bar ahead of Diamond Ranch, but when you have a quarterback like Henry Omana, the best in the Hacienda, you should finish no worse than fourth.
5. Diamond Ranch (1-3) — These aren’t the Panthers of the previous years. They will not enter league and flip the switch. For the first time in the Layton era, they will miss the playoffs.
6. Rowland (2-2) — They could have a lot to do with the league outcome because they’re capable of big upsets. They aren’t consistent enough or good enough among this group to make the playoffs, but they will compete.
7. Walnut (0-4) — It’s going to be a long, long year. Don’t be surprised if the Mustangs finish 0-10.

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Covina QB Billy Livingston has Grade 2 shoulder separation; game-time decision vs. Pomona

By Aram Tolegian
Covina quarterback Billy Livingston hasn’t practiced this week and will be a game-time decision Friday against Pomona, according to Colts head coach Darryl Thomas. Livingston suffered a Grade 2 separation of his right shoulder in last week’s win over Walnut. The senior was treated at a local hospital after the game and has made progress, but has yet to get any reps with the first-team offense this week or even throw a ball.

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Bishop Amat’s Richard Wiard will remain the girls basketball coach at Amat while he serves as interim athletic director at Charter Oak

By Fred J. Robledo
Richard Wiard, the winningest high school girls basketball coach in San Gabriel Valley history, isn’t ready to give up what he’s built at Bishop Amat. Wiard, who has won four CIF championships and two state titles the past 12 years, will remain coach at Bishop Amat while he serves as interim athletic director at Charter Oak, a position he strongly considered pursuing before deciding to remain as the Lancers’ girls basketball coach.
Wiard, who took a one-year sabbatical from coaching in 2008 to pursue a second Masters degree at Azusa Pacific, is an economics teacher at Charter Oak, where his wife Kathy Wiard is the principal.
For years, Wiard has taught at Charter Oak and coached girls basketball at Bishop Amat. He’s been a high school basketball coach for nearly three decades.
Over the summer, Charter Oak vice principal and athletic director Glenn Martinez left the school to become the CIF-Southern Section assistant commissioner, leading to speculation that Wiard would become the athletic director or vice principal at Charter Oak.
Since Martinez left, Wiard has served as the interim athletic director at Charter Oak. However, Wiard said he isn’t seeking the job permanently. “This is what happens when your wife is the principal,” Wiard joked. “I’m helping out. I’m not considering it (athletic director) long term, it’s a short-term solution.”
Wiard came to this decision recently. Two months ago, he was strongly considering a move to the administrative side, whether at Charter Oak or somewhere else.
But when it came time to make the decision, his heart was with the Amat girls basketball team. “I didn’t want to give it up,” Wiard said. “I’m not that old yet. I still enjoy it.”

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