Still got a couple more teams to get to in previews, but luckily they don’t play this week. There are several teams that do play, however, and several intriguing games, including a doozy tonight.
Etiwanda at Summit
This is where I’ll be in T minus-3 hours, as the Baseline co-champion Eagles play a Summit team that might have more explosion than any team in the area. I’m interested in two things a) how creative Summit is in using Devon Blackmon and b) how the Etiwanda offense will look after losing Angel Santiago and Bobby Ratliff, among others. I think Summit will have a bit too much firepower.
Summit 27, Etiwanda 17
Rancho Cucamonga at Silverado
I was originally slated to be at this game tomorrow, but changes out of my control prevent that. And that’s really too bad, because I was looking forward to seeing the Cougars in the High Desert. Silverado doesn’t dodge anyone in the nonleague schedule, but injury issues to its offensive line will make it tough for its skill players to dodge the Rancho defenders.
Rancho Cucamonga 31, Silverado 16
Upland at Miller
The Baseline League is all over Week 0 apparently. This game was highly anticipated when it was played at Upland last year and turned out to be prophetic, as a CIF-champion Highlander team choked out a highly-touted Miller team that eventually ended up underachieving. The Rebels will want to turn the tables, but I don’t think they’ll be able to.
Upland 24, Miller 10
Cajon at Claremont
Another intriguing Sun/Bulletin crossover game, as both teams feel they are ready for a considerable leap. For Cajon, the feeling is that the Cowboys will have a team comparable to its 2008 SAL champion and Central semifinalist. For the Wolfpack, the change to the Sierra League and a new opportunity is something they are stoked about. I’ll go with the team that’s more used to success in this one.
Cajon 26, Claremont 20
Temecula Greak Oak at Redlands
This is where I was switched to tomorrow and, despite my regret about not seeing Rancho-Silverado, I’m not going to complain. Great Oak handled the Terriers 24-7 in the season opener last year, something that I’ll bet Redlands coach Jim Walker is reminding his team about. I think the Terriers will come out hungry and push Great Oak around a bit.
Redlands 19, Great Oak 13
Los Osos at Colony
The Bechtel Bowl should be a fun one, as former Los Osos offensive coordinator Matt Bechtel will be making his debut as the Colony coach against his old team. It will be interesting to see how the Titans handle Bechtel’s system in game one and how much the Grizzlies can reload from last year. Los Osos has never lost a season opener and I’m not betting against that streak.
Los Osos 28, Colony 21
Apple Valley at Barstow
Both of these teams aren’t really sure what kind of hand they have, as graduation losses have ravaged them. The Sun Devils won their first playoff game in over two decades last season, giving them some momentum, while Barstow is always a tough out, especially at home. In a game filled with uncertainty, I will go with the safe pick and take the home team.
Barstow 17, Apple Valley 12
Silver Valley at Citrus Valley
After a year of waiting, the Blackhawks will finally play their first game in their swanky new, on-campus stadium. A manageable league and a returning roster have expectations high at Citrus Valley. Playing a feckless Silver Valley team will only make them higher. The Blackhawks will get their first home victory in their first home game.
Citrus Valley 56, Silver Valley 6
Paraclete at Serrano
Paraclete gave Serrano an early wake-up call a year ago, throttling the Diamondbacks’ young offensive line in a 13-3 victory. Well, that offensive line isn’t so young anymore, as four starters return from a team that went to the Eastern Division championship game. Add in the homefield advantage of Snowline Stadium and Serrano’s season starts out nicely.
Serrano 27, Paraclete 9
Ayala at Don Lugo
Two teams that I really don’t have a handle on go head-to-head in this game. Ayala has suffered heavy personnel losses in the past two years, going from being a Central quarterfinalist to a team that might struggle in the Sierra League. The Conquistadores lost some top-line talent last year in George Uko and Steven Bethley. Once again, I will go with the home team here.
Don Lugo 21, Ayala 16
Other games of interest:
Montclair 27, Ganesha 12
Chaffey 42, Alta Loma 6
Aquinas 24, Desert Hot Springs 13
Chino Hills 30, Lakewood Mayfair 14
Granite Hills 31, Lancaster Eastside 21
El Monte Arroyo 30, Ontario 10
Twentynine Palms 38, Xavier Prep 6
Moreno Valley 20, Rialto 14
Ridgecrest Burroughs 41, Hesperia 13
Ontario Christian 23, Whittier Christian 21
Yucca Valley 26, Rubidoux 17
Pasadena Maranatha 23, Big Bear 17