1. After the season started with three consecutive losses, it was pretty clear Etiwanda wasn’t as bad as its record indicated. After all, the Eagles averaged 32 points in the losses. Defensively, they were still adjusting to the absence of junior linebacker Chandler Scott, who led the Baseline League in tackles as a sophomore but suffered a season-ending knee injury before the start of the season. Etiwanda is now riding a three-game winning streak after knocking off Glendora, 39-27, in a Baseline League opener Thursday night at Ontario Colony High. The Eagles’ high-octane offense was on display in the second quarter when they put up 27 points to erase a 14-point deficit. Larry Cutbirth continues to look like one of the Southland’s top quarterbacks in the class of 2012, throwing three more touchdowns to give him 17 on the season.
2. Gutsy call of the week belongs to Rancho Cucamonga coach Nick Baiz, who elected to go for two points during overtime in a Baseline League opener Friday night against host Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos. The roll of the dice paid off when quarterback Dimitri Morales found J.T. Huggins in the end zone for a two-point pass that sealed the 29-28 victory. Oregon State took the same chance Saturday night against Washington and the gamble didn’t pay off so well.
3. The Smudge Pot is all but obsolete these days, but the annual Smudge Pot game between Redlands and Redlands East Valley is alive and well. REV won the Citrus Belt League opener, 24-22, on Friday night at the University of Redlands, getting the final points on a 24-yard field goal by Cody Madsen as time expired. REV has now won four straight against its cross-town foe. The Terriers had taken their final lead on a 71-yard touchdown run by quarterback Mike Stallone on fourth and one with 6:33 remaining, followed by a successful two-point conversion.
4. Perris Citrus Hill had won 20 consecutive Mountain Pass League games and the last three league championships, but the Hawks were no match for Beaumont on Friday at San Gorgonio Middle School. Beaumont sophomore quarterback Josh Martin led the charge with 123 rushing yards in 18 carries, and the defense held Citrus Hill standout running back Davien Paynewithout a rushing yard in the second half after allowing 140 in the first. Beaumont, which has failed to qualify for the playoffs the last five seasons, can take a big step toward reaching that goal with a victory this week at San Jacinto.
5. Another long streak came to an end Friday night in the High Desert. Apple Valley Granite Hills defeated visiting Barstow, 14-0, in a Desert Sky League opener, ending a 10-game losing streak in which they lost by an average of nearly 20 points. Granite Hills allowed just 140 yards of total offense in securing their second consecutive shutout.