Can the full force fury of a hurricane tame a top-ranked Tiger? 

A spot in a national championship is on the line if they can.  

This is the libretto that surrounds Saturday night’s showdown between top-ranked Clemson University, hosting the University of Miami -- ranked ninth in the AP Top 25 football poll. 

Redlands East Valley product Jaelan Phillips, a five-star recruit in 2017, is a pass-rushing specialist at Miami, perhaps making his way toward Tigers’ QB Trevor Lawrence. 

Phillips, who transferred to Miami from UCLA, has been part of the Hurricanes’ defense in a 3-0 start to the 2020 season -- if he plays. 

Phillips was part of a raging defensive effort in Miami’s Sept. 26 win over Florida State, 52-10.  

In that game, the Hurricanes’ defense put together a goal-line stand on Florida State’s opening drive, holding the Seminoles to a field goal. Late in the first half, Phillips intercepted a frantic Jordan Travis pass thrown under heavy pressure. 

Phillips and Curvan Hall were disqualified from that game, Phillips after a pair of emotional unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. It’s not clear if he will be unable to play against Clemson, though Phillips was not flagged for targeting. 

Hurricanes’ head coach Manny Diaz even commented on Phillips’ plays. 

“Jaelan had two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, one after his amazing play on the interception and then another one later on. 

“We said, ‘Listen, once you have one, another one disqualifies you.’ He felt awful about it. I think it’s a great teaching lesson, not just for Jaelan, but for everyone else on the roster.” 

The Tigers are coming off a win last weekend against Virginia. 

That game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. (PDT) kickoff. 

(Editors Note: Obrey Brown will have a game wrap-up in a future edition of the Highland Community News.)

COLLEGE SWIMMING 

At the Western Athletic Conference championships in Houston last spring, Autumn D’Arcy emerged with the following season totals: A total of 25 NCAA Division 1 first place finishes, a school record, three-time WAC Swimmer of the Week honors, plus WAC titles in the 200-IM, 100 and 200-fly, plus a leg of the 4 x 100 freestyle relay. 

D’Arcy, a former CIF-Southern Section champion at Redlands East Valley High School, wound up as the highest-scoring swimmer at the meet. 

She’ll compete at this year’s U.S. Olympic Trials (June 21-28). 

Her sophomore season nearly complete, D’Arcy has 45 career individual wins and should wind up with the school record of 59 sometime next season. 

Until COVID-19 hit, shutting down all collegiate sports, D’Arcy was set to swim at the March 11 National Invitational Championships. 

COLLEGE BASEBALL 

Catcher Michael Carpentier, who spent his freshman season at Citrus Valley High School before transferring to Yucaipa for his remaining years, left Arizona State and has wound up on the roster at California Baptist University-Riverside. 

CBU is now a transitioning NCAA Division 1 program. 

The Lancers have a few Citrus Belt League players on their roster besides Carpentier, whose former Yucaipa High teammates -- infielder Joseph Lomeli and outfielder Julian Alvarez -- are CBU’s squad. That trio was part of Yucaipa’s CIF Division 2 championship in 2018. 

Redlands East Valley products Damon Keith and Ryan Silva are also on CBU’s roster. 

The Lancers were off to a 6-5 start this season. 

Carpentier, incidentally, was a 30th round draft pick by Tampa Bay, choosing instead to play collegiately. He originally committed to Arizona State but, according to reports, left Tempe last year for CBU. 

PREP BASEBALL 

Mike Carpentier, father of afore-mentioned Michael Carpentier, had turned up as Aquinas High School’s Varsity baseball coach for 2020. 

The elder Carpentier has quite a background in baseball, notably as a 1995 10th-round draft pick by the Dodgers, notably spending part of the 1996 season with the San Bernardino Stampede, then managed by Del Crandall. 

An infielder who spent time at shortstop, second and third base, Carpentier is a Highland resident. 

COLLEGE TRACK & FIELD 

Red-shirt sophomore Claire Graves took eighth in the women’s 10,000-meter and 14th in the 5000 at the Mountain West Conference championships, the indoor finals taking place in Clovis, Calif. 

Graves is a Citrus Valley High product.

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