The dawn of league play for most Inland Empire teams meant better chess matches between coaching staffs who've grown familiar with one another over the years. Upland, Redlands East Valley and Vista Murrieta each had their unbeaten records put to the test by league rivals, but each managed to sneak away with victories. Meanwhile, Corona Centennial continued to run laps around any team in its path, familiar or otherwise.
1. (1) Centennial, 5-1 – The Huskies big-play ability was on display in a 56-34 victory Friday against host Corona Santiago, as they scored on six plays of 28 yards or more to take sole possession of first place in the Big VIII League. Next: vs. Norco, Friday.
2. (3) Upland, 6-0 – The Highlanders overcame an early 10-point deficit to defeat Etiwanda, 24-17, behind 227 yards passing and two touchdowns from quarterback Nick Romine. Upland was out-gained, 409-304, in total yardage. Next: vs. Rancho Cucamonga, Friday.
3. (2) Redlands East Valley, 6-0 – A week after upsetting Mission Viejo, the Wildcats nearly suffered a similar fate, rallying from a one-point halftime deficit Friday and holding on to beat A.B. Miller, 21-13. Miller had its chances, but a pass slipped through a receiver’s hands in the end zone in the closing seconds. Next: at Redlands, Friday.
4. (4) Rancho Cucamonga, 6-0 – Junior running back Tyan Washington topped 100 yards for the third straight game in a 41-17 victory Friday against Alta Loma. Washington finished with 115 yards and three touchdowns in the Baseline League opener. Next: at Upland, Friday.
5. (5) Vista Murrieta, 6-0 – The Broncos escaped with a win Friday night at Chaparral after forcing a red-zone turnover late in the game while leading by four points and then returning two interceptions for touchdowns in the final two minutes in the 27-10 victory. Next: vs. Temecula Valley, Friday.
6. (7) Rancho Verde, 6-0 – The Mustangs took care of business Friday in their final test in Inland Valley League play, blowing away La Sierra, 49-21. Rancho Verde did most of its work in the first half, surging to a 42-13 lead. Next: vs. Vista del Lago, Friday
7. (8) J.W. North, 5-1 – After a one-sided loss to Corona Centennial the week before, the Huskies returned to picking on a team their own size, moving the ball at will in a 48-7 victory Friday night against Riverside Poly. Next: at Roosevelt, Friday.
8. (6) Santiago, 3-3 – The Sharks got their chance to step between the lines against Corona Centennial and they came away feeling the same lumps as everyone else in the 56-34 loss. Next: vs. Corona, Friday.
9. (9) Cajon, 6-0 – The Cowboys get a lot of attention for their offense, but they’ve allowed a touchdown or less in four of their six victories. Their latest effort came Friday night in a 49-6 victory against Pacific. Next: at Rialto, Friday.
10. (10) Norco, 4-2 – The Cougars had the opportunity to regain some momentum against Riverside King and they didn't let it slip away in 42-7 victory. They'll need all the help they can get this week. Next: at Corona Centennial, Friday.
Just missed: Elsinore, Heritage, Summit, Citrus Hill, Palm Springs, Serrano, Chino, Colony, Chaparral, Murrieta Valley, Oak Hills, Yucaipa, Etiwanda, Carter, Los Osos.