The Redlands High football team flexed its muscle and skill with a 41-0 victory on Friday, Sept. 3, against Citrus Hill. The outcome shows how quickly the fortunes of public high school teams can change as Citrus Hill defeated Mountain View St. Francis 23-20 six years ago in the CIF-State title game.

The game also spurs optimism for Redlands, 0-5 in last spring’s abbreviated season.

The Terriers (1-1), behind freshman quarterback Dawson Martinez, scored 21 first-quarter points. The third of those three scores came on a 67-yard scoring pass to fellow freshman Julien Scarborough, who also had an 18-yard scoring run.

Redlands made it 28-0 at the half on a 2-yard Martinez scoring flip to pass to A’maean Lockett.

The Terriers added a short scoring run in the third quarter and a 13-yard Martinez scoring pass to still another freshman, Demond Littles Jr.

Senior Lamar Ashley added scoring runs of 1 and 17 yards for Redlands.

Returning first-team all-leaguer Dominic McMartin had four tackles for loss.

Redlands coach Mike McFarland knows his team is building.

“We have a great group of kids,” he said. “We have 15 seniors who played in the spring and that helps. And we have a good sprinkling of sophomores and freshmen who we’ve added in. The big takeaway from this game is we eliminated the pre-snap mistakes we had in the first game.”

McFarland said he can relate to the struggles of Citrus Hill.

“They had Orange Vista [High] open over there and they had a coaching change over the summer and are in post-distance-learning mode and it’s a tough deal.”

Redlands hosts La Quinta at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10.

YUCAIPA WINS AGAIN

The Yucaipa High football team absorbed a gut punch when it lost its quarterback less than a week before the season opener.

No problem. Sophomore Kai Smith stepped in and has excelled, including a 150-yard passing effort Friday, Sept. 3, in a 24-7 victory against host Temescal Canyon.

Now the Thunderbirds (3-0) are sitting pretty and destined for a trip down memory lane for coach Justin Price and his 72-year-old assistant coach Butch Price. The Prices return to their former home of the High Desert (Justin played at Apple Valley, Butch was the first football coach in Hesperia High history) when Yucaipa meets host Hesperia at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10.

“I was Hesperia’s first ball boy back in 1984, so that should count for something,” Justin Price quipped.

Besides Smith’s efficient passing night, which included a 45-yard touchdown pass to Everett Head, Yucaipa also got 111 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Emmanuel “JoJo” Barajas.

The Thunderbirds did struggle a bit on offense in the first half, though.

“We played great on defense the whole game but couldn’t do anything on offense in the first half; we only had a few first downs,” Justin Price said. “We played better in the second half.”

Sophomore kicker Dawit Crain kicked a fourth-quarter field goal to help fend off Temescal Canyon (2-1). The Titans scored their only touchdown on a pass from Koa Apana to Grant Givens.

On defense, Iain Matheson led the way for Yucaipa with 12 tackles, including a sack. Nick Juarez had eight tackles, Head and Barajas contributed seven each and Aiden Englert chipped in with six. Dillon Best made an interception.

“I thought Iain had a really good game,” Justin said. “He had a lot of tackles and helped us control their quarterback.”

Justin thought playing on the road contributed to Yucaipa’s first-half malaise. He’s hoping traffic won’t be heavy when the T’birds head for the High Desert this week – an always-iffy proposition.

KING DEFEATS REV

King was too much for host Redlands East Valley as the Wolves prevailed 40-22.

This game was a late replacement for REV’s originally scheduled meeting with Moreno Valley. The Vikings had to pull out due to COVID-19 protocols.

Laviel Pickett had touchdown receptions of 12 and 5 yards from freshman quarterback Izaiah Holley. The Wildcats’ other TD came on an intercepted pitch and 25-yard return by Hakim Halliburton.

REV coach Gavin Pachot was happy with the kickoff returns of Nate Wells, the only problem being there were too many of them as King piled up the points.

REV is a work in progress up front with three sophomores playing significant minutes and some juniors and seniors who are relatively new to football rotating at tackle.

The Wildcats (1-2) were scheduled to host Heritage on Thursday, Sept. 9 (too late for publication).

AQUINAS WINS, GIRDS FOR NEVADA TRIP

Aquinas (1-1) scored at least once in every quarter en route to a 37-14 victory against Xavier Prep.

A potent rushing game lifted the Falcons, according to a report in the Palm Springs Desert Sun.

JoJo Solis had scoring runs of 48, 2 and 2 yards for the Falcons. He totaled 131 yards rushing and 54 yards receiving.

Marco Perez added a pair of short scoring runs for Aquinas.

The other member of Aquinas’ powerful rushing trio, Daniel Hernandez, rushed for 79 yards.

The Falcons were stingy up front, limiting the ground game of Xavier Prep (0-2-1).

Next up for the Falcons is a trip to Sparks, Nev., to meet Spanish Springs (0-2-1). The game is at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10.

TYREE LOSES GAME, RETAINS SENSE OF HUMOR

Banning dropped its opening game, to host West Valley, 27-6 on Thursday night, Sept. 2.

“We spotted them 27 points in the first half and made every mistake known to man, but we won the second half 6-0,” Banning coach and Redlands resident John Tyree said. “It was just too little, too late.”

The Broncos know all about adversity, from the previous coach leaving after coaching just three games in the abbreviated spring season, to the players struggling to adjust to the disciplined Tyree, to losing both their scrimmage and scheduled opener with Canyon Springs being canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.

Some players had to be quarantined when deemed to have been too close on the seating chart to a student who tested positive for COVID-19.

“Marion Ancich [the late, great Santa Fe Springs St. Paul coach] said, ‘If you don’t have any problems, then you’re not living,’” Tyree said. “Well, we’re livin’ now.”

Topping everything off is high-flying rival Beaumont (3-0) coming to Banning at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, for the renewal of the “Battle for the Wheel” game, the oldest rivalry contest in Riverside County, dating back to 1923. It was not played last year due to the pandemic.

“We’re well aware they’re a good team, with their quarterback from Banning,” Tyree said with a laugh. “It’s a sign of the times.”

Kaden Tamez scored Banning’s only touchdown against West Valley on a 2-yard run. He played well all over the field.

Tyree was also impressed with quarterback Solomon Nicolas and linemen Xavier Davis and Anthony Patino.

CITRUS VALLEY DOWNS SILVERADO

Citrus Valley had no difficulty against one of the better 0-3 teams around. The Blackhawks scored 17 first-quarter points, led 31-0 at the half and 38-0 heading into the fourth quarter.

Silverado quarterback Darren Gandy, who had caused Yucaipa problems two weeks earlier in a Thunderbird victory, passed for 131 yards and a touchdown and ran for 46. But Citrus Valley also had interceptions by Cody Ramirez, Carlos Mota and Nathan Granillo, with two of those picks leading to scores.

Blackhawk quarterback Hunter Herrera had a good night, completing 9-of-21 for 181 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.

Citrus Valley’s Sergio Cervantes caught three passes for 64 yards and one TD and rushed five times for 64 yards.

Michael Counce and Brockton Lium also had TD catches for the Blackhawks (3-0).

On defense, Osman Bolanos led the way with 12 tackles, including three for loss; Joseph Zelaya made 13 tackles; and Ricardo Barrios had 11.

Citrus Valley (2-0) hosts Oak Hills at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10.

ACA EDGES SAN BERNARDINO

Arrowhead Christian Academy pulled off an upset, defeating host San Bernardino 26-21.

The victory came on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Jace Woods to Bradley Gilbert with 1:40 left in the game. Woods then secured the victory with an interception.

Woods completed 15-of-27 passes for 188 yards and two TDs. Gilbert caught three passes for 81 yards and a TD. Steven Van Dam had 10 tackles including a sack. And Jorge Larson had three fumble recoveries.

ACA trailed 14-0 in the first quarter.

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