Redlands High didn’t have a punter, but visiting San Gorgonio didn’t have a placekicker.
As for the matchup of quarterbacks, chart that one as a huge difference in the Terriers’ season-opening win over the defending CIF Division 9 champion Spartans, 21-18, Aug. 30.
Terrier junior Trent Young (15-of-21, 213 yards, two TDs) outgunned Spartan junior Seth Burbine (21-of-31, 178 yards, TD). A key benefit for Redlands was that Young played nearly a full schedule last season. Burbine, making only his second varsity appearance, backed up CIF Player of the Year Gavin Pachot.
Which allowed Spartans’ coach Rich McClure to size that up discrepancy very quickly.
“One hundred percent,” said McClure, who watched his QB throw two interceptions, including a late-game pickoff that ended San G’s hopes to win.
The Spartans, a onetime rival to Redlands in the Citrus Belt League years earlier, got linebacker Jaheim Crawford’s interception, a 66-yard return, that cut Redlands’ 21-point lead to 21-6 with 1.5 seconds left in the opening half. It was just the spark San G needed.
“You can’t spot somebody 21 points and expect to win,” said McClure. His team shut down Redlands in the second half.
Redlands (Div. 7) was awaiting the Spartans’ returning All-CIF wide receiver Jaylen Matthews, who has shifted to tailback in the Spartans’ 2019 scheme. Matthews responded with 73 yards on seven receptions, plus another 60 yards on seven carries.
“Our whole offense is based on (getting the ball to players like Matthews),” said McClure, noting that Burbine “got rattled. At times, he looked great.”
Redlands had its own special teams headaches, namely punts of 13, 11, 22 and 36 yards. The first two set up San G TDs ⎯ Desi Hernandez’s 1-yard run and Damajae Mitchell’s 4-yard pass from Burbine.
Matthews’ 57-yard run off a loose snap set up Burbine’s 4-yard toss to Mitchell.
Something was missing from the Spartans’ attack, though. There were no PAT kicks.
“We’ll get our placekicker back next week,” said McClure. “Ineligible.”
Redlands’ 3-for-3 on PAT kicks was another factor.
The Terriers shut down San G’s trio of PATs ⎯ one pass, one run and a failed run-or-pass option.
Redlands 21, San G 18 ⎯ Burbine’s inexperience wasn’t all that obvious. The Spartans had possession on Redlands’ side of the 50 before Jess Luna’s game-killing interception. Fourteen of his 21 completions came in second half play.
Fontana Kaiser 10, Aquinas 0 ⎯ For the second straight week, the Falcons took on a defending CIF champion with similar results. On the plus side, Aquinas surrendered only a TD and a 40-yard field goal in its loss to the Cats. On the downside, the Falcons’ offense couldn’t seem to find the rhythm on a running game or their short passing game, totaling under 200 yards.
Citrus Valley 35, Moreno Valley Valley View 0 ⎯ QB Dylan Wheatley put the finishing touches on the Blackhawks’ win over the visiting Eagles, finding Colby Grames for a 30-yard TD pass. Get used to this combination, especially since Grames caught four TD passes last season, 15 for over 20 yards a reception.
San Gorgonio (1-1) at Fontana Summit (2-0) ⎯ Wins over Fontana A.B. Miller and Long Beach Cabrillo has the Skyhawks headed for a San G rematch of a game won by the Spartans, 37-17, last season. It should be noted that Summit coach Nick Matheny once coached at Aquinas. A RB trio of Jesse Davis (355 yards), Nate Ellison (405 yards, three TDs) and Darrin Thomas (830 yards, three TDs) has returned to Summit.
Aquinas (0-2) at Long Beach Millikan (1-1) ⎯ The Rams are coming off a 45-point beating by Carlsbad (San Diego County) squad that has reached the playoffs 13 times in the previous 16 years. Millikan’s lone win was a come-from-behind, 29-28, over Carson High School on Aug. 23.
Ontario Colony (0-2) at Citrus Valley (1-0), 7 p.m. ⎯ A pair of one-point losses to Rialto Carter and Charter Oak has the playoff regular Titans (every season since 2005) off to a winless start. Junior QB Trillian Harris has WRs Marco Gonzalez and Anthony Junius as weapons, plus RB Terrance Allen.
University of Redlands (8-2, 6-1 SCIAC last season) at George Fox (6-4), noon ⎯ In last year’s 20-12 Bulldogs’ win, there were 65 total passes thrown and no interceptions.
Santa Ana (4-6, 2-4 American Metro) at San Bernardino Valley College (9-2, 5-0 American-Mountain), 6 p.m. ⎯ It was a big turnaround season for the Wolverines, who started it with a 41-38 win over Santa Ana with sophomore QB Cade Sparks throwing the first couple of TD passes.