It was Zero week for teams across the nation and here locally seventeen teams from the valley jumped into the action over this past weekend. It was the beginning of preseason games and was what players, coaches and fans from near and far had been waiting for. From the countless practices over the summer, sometimes twice a day, to the rigorous strength and conditioning programs, this past weekend began to tell the tale of who is ready and who is not.
Four of the six Murrieta and Temecula high school football teams opened up at home as Temecula Valley was away and the 2013 Southwestern League Champions, the Vista Murrieta Broncos have a bye week.
In the Sunbelt league only two teams were giving the honor of being home, but all six teams started pre-season play this week.
- Southwestern League — SS Div West Valley (II)
– Victor Valley – 0 : 64 – Chaparral
If Chaparral was looking to turn the heads of their league counterparts, blanking the Victor Valley Jackrabbits last Friday night sure did help. The Pumas controlled the game from the opening kickoff to the very end and by halftime, four rushing and three passing touchdowns, along with a safety late in the second quarter would give Chaparral a 50-0 lead. The Pumas’ solid performance gave head coach Ryan Tukua some breathing room in the second half giving him the opportunity to get the entire roster in the game.
“We need everyone to be ready for Tesoro this upcoming Friday night and having the opportunity to get everyone some game time at the varsity level only helps us in the long run,” said Tukua.
Chaparral travels to Rancho Santa Margarita next week to take on the Tesoro High School Titans who beat the Pumas last season 24-21. Game time is 7p.m.
Carlsbad – 21 : 38 – Great Oak
– See full story here – www.myvalleynews.com/story/80466/
Indian Springs (SB) – 14 : 45 – Murrieta Mesa
– The Murrieta Mesa Rams skated past San Bernardino’s Indian Springs High School on the heels of McKinley Ross last Friday night. Ross ran for 170-yards and scored three touchdowns in the process. Junior Quarterback Peyton Uhl also had a couple of touchdown passes of his own to add to the equation, hooking up with RodricK Futrell and Austin Salcedo for the scores. It would be his go to target Bryan Phan who would lead all receivers with three catches and 64-yards.
Murrieta Mesa will travel to take on the Rancho Verde Mustangs this Friday night. The Mustangs beat a tough Citrus Hill team 37-34 to open their season with a win. Game time is 7p.m
Temescal Canyon – 20 : 46 – Murrieta Valley
Murrieta Valley hosted Sunbelt League Rivals, the Temescal Canyon Titans for their season home-opener. A new offense wasn’t the only thing The Titans were sporting as former assistant coach turned head coach Phil Cohen’s made his debut as the team’s leader alongside Murrieta Valley’s new head coach, George Wilson.
The game pretty much went the way of the Nighthawks all night as the offense put 46 points on the board, giving up only one touchdown on an offensive fumble. The passing game was not on for the Titans as Junior Justin Gomez coughed the ball up three times and only completed six of 20 passes. Senior Michael Erim rushed well for the Titan offense gaining 86 yards on 20 carries, scoring 2 of the Titans only offensive Touchdowns.
The Nighthawks will travel to face the Citrus Hill Hawks of Perris in a non-league match this Friday. The Hawks enter the match with a 0-1 record after their 37-34 non-league loss to the Rancho Verde Mustangs. The Titans (0-1) will prepare for their home opener against Temecula Valley Golden Bears on Friday night. Game time is 7 p.m.
– Temecula Valley and Vista Murrieta both had zero week byes.
– Vista Murrieta will open up their season on the road against Downey this Friday night. The Downey Vikings knocked off the host Mayfair Monsoons in their opening game by a final score of 34-21.
- Sunbelt League — SS Div Inland (VI)
Corona – 30 : 40 – Elsinore
– The Elsinore Tigers will play next when they travel to West Valley on Friday. Elsinore will play a Mustangs squad coming off a 34-26 win over La Sierra. Game time is 7 p.m.
Heritage – 27 : 26 – La Quinta
– The Heritage Patriots will face the JW North Huskies this Friday. The Huskies enter the bout with a 0-1 record after their 28-12 non-league loss to Paloma Valley. Game time is 7 p.m.
Lakeside – 7 : 30 – Chaffey
– The Lakeside Lancers take the field next when they host San Jacinto for a non-league game this Friday. Lakeside will battle a Tigers team coming off a 49-23 non-league win over Palm Desert. Game time is 7 p.m.
Paloma Valley – 28 : 12 – JW North
– The Paloma Valley Wildcats play next when they host the Clackamas Cavaliers this Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Shadow Hills – 13 : 38 – Perris
– In their next game, the Panthers clash with the Notre Dame Titans in a non-league bout this Friday. The Titans enter the field with a 1-0 record after their 27-21 win over Xavier Prep.
- Ambassador League — SS Div Northwest (XI)
Linfield – 24 : 27 – Brentwood School
– The Linfield Christian Lions opened up their 2014 season with a tough competitor in Brentwood School. The Lions hoped to create a good start to this season with a win led by Lorenzo Burns and Greg Holt.
The Lions didn’t exactly get off to the start they wanted. They started with the ball but failed to get a first down. The Brentwood Eagles took advantage of the Lions lackluster start by scoring two quick touchdowns putting Linfield on their heels. The Eagles took a 14 point lead by generating big plays for their QB Eli Stern. Stern threw a 20-yard touchdown and ran for a few other big first downs.
Linfield responded fast by putting on a clinical drive led by QB Lorenzo Burns who scrambled for multiple first downs and then finally finishing it off with a tremendous 20-yard run for the score. This drive really signaled a resurgence from the Lions.
Their offensive success fired up the defense who stopped the Eagles on a turnover on downs. Linfield was optimistic heading into this drive but had to settle for a 35-yard field goal by K Michael Brown who hammered it above the uprights.
The Lions kept this momentum rolling by forcing a three and out and getting the ball back quick. Linfield used the powerful running of Holt and RB RyeZeir Wilkins to pick up first down after first down. They were eventually stopped by the worthy Brentwood defense and got a chance for another field goal. Brentwood’s defensive line surged through and got a hand on the ball.
The Eagles’ safety caught the ball and flipped the field on the Lions by returning it to the red zone. Brentwood caught a bad break and was called for a personal foul which pushed them out of field goal range. Linfield stopped them and had some energy going into halftime.
The Lions took this momentum and came in the second half ready to battle. The Lions defense did their job and forced a three and out on the first possession of the second half. QB Burns honored the defensive stand by connecting with RB Wilkins two times, one of those to take the lead on a nine yard connection in the end zone.
Linfield seemed to have all the bounces going their way with 17 unanswered points but the Eagles weren’t going to quit that easily. They completed two passes for a combined 53-yards, putting themselves in great position. It was on second down when QB Stern threw up a prayer to the wide open receiver in the end zone dropping it as he fell to the ground. Linfield caught a break and two plays later Brentwood failed to convert on a fourth down.
The Eagles caught a break of their own by having QB Burns throw a pass that was tipped then intercepted. The Eagles were in the red zone but were running out of downs, but got a fresh set of downs thanks to a personal foul by the Lions. Brentwood easily punched it in on a 6 yard touchdown run.
The player of the game, Lorenzo Burns, would give the Lions the lead once again, when, on the ensuing kickoff, he returned it 8- yards for the score.
The game came to a standstill for a few possessions due to each team’s fierce defensive stands. This changed when the Eagles decided to let the ball fly. 18- 26-and 37-ard completions vaulted Brentwood down the field and enabled QB Stern to run in a 1 yard touchdown to seal the deal in this thriller.
Linfield’s slow start and inability to cover the deep ball is what cost this game in the end. The Lions will have their home opener next Friday against Adelanto. Game time is 7 p.m. This portion of the article was written by JP Saar.
- South Valley — SS Div East Valley (XIII)
Calif Military Inst – 18 : 57 – Crean Lutheran
– The CMI Rough Riders play the Arrowhead Christian Eagles on Friday. The Eagles enter the battle with a 1-0 record after their 34-7 non-league win over Bellerose (St. Albert, Alberta). Game time is 7p.m.
Calvary Murrieta – 43 : 7 – Western Christian
– The Calvary Murrieta Warriors will now prepare for their challenge against Ontario Christian this Friday night. Game time is 7p.m
Rancho Christian – 52 : 42 – Tri-City Christian
– The Rancho Christian Eagles will face Army-Navy Warriors of Carlsbad. Game time is 7 p.m.
Calvary Chapel – 41 : 0 – Santa Rosa Academy
– The Santa Rosa Academy Rangers play the Hamilton Bobcats on Thursday, September 11. Santa Rosa Academy will attempt to upgrade on its 0-1 season record. Game time is 7 p.m.
- Freelance — SS Div East Valley (XIII)
Hamilton – 13 : 6 – Mountain Empire