Norco runs the ball more frequently, but averages 42 more yards per game in the air and has 31 touchdowns rushing and passing on the season. Upland leans more heavily on the run, but last week relied heavily on the defense. In a 17-16 win over Heritage ...and more »
Previews of Friday’s featured high school football games.
Norco (9-2) at Upland (9-2), 7 p.m.
Outlook: In terms of passing/rushing balance, Norco is about as balanced as they come. Junior QB Shane Illingworth has thrown for 2,418 yards and 25 touchdowns with eight interceptions, while 5-foot-11, 170-pound freshman Jaydn Ott leads the rushing attack with 1,059 yards and 13 touchdowns. Norco runs the ball more frequently, but averages 42 more yards per game in the air and has 31 touchdowns rushing and passing on the season. Upland leans more heavily on the run, but last week relied heavily on the defense. In a 17-16 win over Heritage, Upland ran only 21 offensive plays, and only four in the second half. Washington-bound senior Cameron Davis leads the way with 1,512 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. The area powers haven’t played since Upland won a nonleague game 54-27 in 2011.
Kaiser (10-1) at San Dimas (9-2), 7 p.m.
Outlook: Kaiser was caught a little off-guard last week, needing to rally in the second half to beat a Sultana team the Cats had routed in nonleague play. Yes, Kaiser running back Christian Hunter is having an incredible season with 2,565 yards rushing and 39 touchdowns, but coach Billy Cardosi believes the play of sophomore quarterback Tre Tribble has been a big factor. Opposing teams can’t key on Hunter as much with Tribble a threat to pass (69 yards per game, 10 touchdowns) and run (684 yards, five touchdowns). San Dimas’ defense has been solid this year, allowing only 14.5 points per game and recovering 11 fumbles on the season. The Saints’ offense is led by 5-10, 195-pound Austin Rivera, who has 1,311 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns, including an average of 153 yards per game during the last eight games.
Riverside Hillcrest (8-3) vs. Bonita (8-3) at Damien High School, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Some teams are balanced, but Bonita relies heavily on the pass as 6-foot-3 senior quarterback J.P. Andrade, who has completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,583 yards and 33 touchdowns. Last week in a win over Temecula Rancho Christian, Andrade had his first two-interception game of the season. He has six games of at least 300 yards passing. He also has two 1,000-yard receivers: senior Cade Cadam and junior Aalias Williams. Hillcrest is much more balanced, although sophomore Dominique Clay has led the way of late, with 728 yards rushing in the last seven weeks. Clay also has 16 touchdowns in the last five weeks. Hillcrest’s defense has been dominant of late. In the Trojans’ last five games, they have two shutouts and have allowed just 24 total points.
Glendora (10-1) at Apple Valley (10-1), 7 p.m.
Outlook: Before the last game of the regular season, these teams were ranked No. 5 and No. 1 in Division 5. But Apple Valley lost to Oak Hills, dropping the Sun Devils out of a top-four seed and moving Glendora up to the No. 4 seed. Apple Valley has a dynamic passing attack, with 6-foot-2 senior Jeff Widener passing for 3,350 yards and 48 touchdowns. He has not thrown for less than 208 yards in any game this season, although two of his three interceptions this season have come in the last two weeks. In the last two games, his rushing has made a bigger impact with 167 yards and five touchdowns. In his other nine games, he has just 160 yards and three touchdowns rushing. Glendora has a balanced attack, with junior Xzavier Ford rushing for 1,794 yards and 22 touchdowns and he’s coming off a season-best 298 yards and five touchdowns last week against Burbank.
Aquinas (10-1) vs. Palos Verdes (8-3) at El Camino College, 7 p.m.
Outlook: Division 5 top-seeded Aquinas hasn’t been tested of late, but this could be the week that the Falcons do get tested. Aquinas didn’t play a team as high as Division 5 until last week’s playoff opener against Hacienda Heights Los Altos. With most of their games blowouts and many players seeing action, the Falcons don’t have gaudy individual statistics. Senior Andrew Kellstrom had seven 100-yard rushing games in his last eight regular season games and multiple touchdowns in each of his last four regular season games. Palos Verdes hasn’t had much success throwing the ball this year, completing only 48 percent of passes and throwing only eight touchdown passes all year. Ryan Wilson, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior, leads Palos Verdes with 1,153 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. Unlike Aquinas, Palos Verdes has played four teams that are CIF-SS Division 5 or higher this season, including last week, going 3-1 in those games.
Placentia Valencia (10-1) at Grand Terrace (7-4), 7 p.m.
Outlook: Division 7 second-seeded Valencia travels to play a Grand Terrace team that rebounded with a road win a week after falling short against Kaiser in the Sunkist League title showdown the week before. Valencia doesn’t have a 1,000-yard rusher, but does average 226.5 yards rushing per game. The Tigers have excelled on defense this season, holding opponents to seven points or less six times this season. Grand Terrace has been battle-tested of late. The Titans’ last four games, all against teams that made the playoffs, have been decided by 14 points or less.
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