Inland Empire: The Top 10

If there was any doubt which was the best team in the Inland Empire, Corona Centennial put that to rest Friday night with a 45-12 victory against host Temecula Chaparral. Norco leapfrogged Vista Murrieta with its second victory against a quality opponent, and Redlands East Valley, Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana Kaiser make their season debuts in the top 10 after undefeated starts.

1. (1) Corona Centennial, 3-0

The Huskies destroyed their nonleague competition, now the rest of the Big VIII League can see what they’ve been missing. Last week: Beat Temecula Chaparral, 45-12. Next: vs. Riverside King, Friday.

2. (3) Norco, 3-0

Just when you think the Cougars might get tested, they turn to Stanford-bound running back Kelsey Young for all the answers. Last week: Beat Upland, 35-21. Next: vs. Riverside North at Riverside King, Friday.

3. (2) Vista Murrieta, 3-0

The Broncos are getting better on both sides of the ball, evident by their thrashing of Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos last weekend. The Southwestern League title looks like theirs to lose. Last week: Beat Los Osos, 30-7. Next: vs. Encino Crespi, Friday.

4. (NR) Redlands East Valley, 3-0

Can’t discount the Wildcats any longer after their victory against Orange Lutheran. The next two weeks will determine if they have any staying power. Last week: Beat Orange Lutheran, 10-6. Next: vs. Chino Hills at University of Redlands, Friday.

5. (4) Upland, 3-1

The Highlanders couldn’t catch up with the Cougars, but the loss shouldn’t put them far behind. Last week: Lost to Norco, 35-21. Next: vs. Los Angeles Loyola at L.A. Valley College, Friday.\

6. (6) Eastvale Roosevelt, 3-0

Another ho-hum opponent for the Mustangs and another predictable result. Their first real challenge awaits this week. Last week: Beat San Marcos, 49-3. Next: at Corona Santiago, Friday.

7. (10) La Quinta, 2-1

Time to begin calling the Nighthawks more than just Desert Valley League favorites. They are legitimate Central Division contenders. Last week: Beat Riverside Arlington, 21-0. Next: vs. Ridgecrest Burroughs, Friday.

8. (8) Moreno Valley Rancho Verde, 4-0

The Mustangs don’t need an extra week to prepare for their Inland Valley League opener against Moreno Valley, but they took one. Cover your eyes because it likley won’t be pretty. Last week: Bye. Next: at Moreno Valley, Friday.

9. (NR) Rancho Cucamonga, 4-0

The Cougars aren’t going to let Upland walk away with the Baseline League title. This week should be a good indication of how good they are. Last week: Beat Covina Charter Oak, 40-28. Next: at Redlands, Friday.

10. (NR) Fontana Kaiser, 3-0

Back-to-back shutouts have the Cats rolling like a tumble weed as they prepare to play in the desert this week. Last week: Beat San Bernardino Cajon, 35-0. Next. At Palm Desert, Friday.

Dropped out: Palm Springs, Arlington, Chaparral.