The drumbeat is growing louder in the Inland Empire as a number of top 10 teams prepare to face their league rivals. Corona Centennial still must wade through Norco and Eastvale Roosevelt, Fontana Kaiser has Fontana Summit on the horizon, La Quinta must get past Palm Springs and Palm Desert, Moreno Valley Rancho Verde hasn’t played anybody until it meets Riverside Arlington and Upland gets a showdown this week against Rancho Cucamonga.
1. (1) Centennial, 7-0
Dual-threat quarterback Michael Eubank received his second and third scholarship offers last week (San Jose State and Utah State), then went out and rushed for a season-high 128 yards against Corona Santiago. Last week: Beat Santiago, 69-13. Next: at Norco, Friday.
2. (3) Norco, 6-1
Horsetown USA is known for its equestrian lifestyle, lack of sidewalks and a pretty good high school football team. Visitors can see all three Friday when the Cougars host their biggest game since 2007. Last week: Beat Riverside King, 35-15. Next: vs. Centennial, Friday.
3. (2) Vista Murrieta, 6-1
Something about the Broncos isn’t adding up to a second consecutive appearance in the Inland Division championship game. Could be the 21.5 points a game their opponents are putting up this season? Last week: Beat Temecula Valley, 33-22. Next: vs. Temecula Great Oak, Friday.
4. (5) Roosevelt, 6-1
If you haven’t jumped on the Roosevelt bandwagon, it might be time to hitch a ride. The Mustangs just put up 56 points on a defense led by former USC standout and NFL first-round pick Chris Claiborne. Last week: Beat Corona, 56-35. Next: vs. Riverside North at King, Thursday.
5. (4) Kaiser, 7-0
The Cats are putting up more zeros than Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum combined. They have five shutouts and have allowed just 20 points this season. Last Week: Beat Riverside Patriot, 49-0. Next: at Riverside Notre Vista, Friday.
6. (6) La Quinta, 6-1
Running backs Chyl Robinson and Desmond Dukes don’t have a nickname yet, but we’re suggesting the "Frozen One-Two Punch." Well, that might not work in the Coachella Valley. Last week: Beat Indio, 49-7. Next: vs. Coachella Valley, Friday.
7. (7) Rancho Verde, 7-0
Two more yawners before we can actually see the Mustangs play a quality team. Their opponents so far this season are a combined 23-26. Last week: Beat Moreno Valley Vista del Lago, 49-21. Next: vs. Riverside Ramona, Friday.
8. (8) Chino Hills, 5-2
The Huskies still need to limit their penalties, but they still played one of their better all-around games last Friday, even with standout two-way player Ifo Ekpre-Olomu still limited by a shoulder injury. Last week: Beat La Verne Damien, 42-7. Next: vs. West Covina South Hills.
9. (9) Redlands East Valley, 5-2
No letdown following REV’s victory over cross-town rival Redlands the week before. The Wildcats get another breather this week before closing out with tough road games against Yucaipa and Fontana Miller. Last week: Beat Rialto Eisenhower, 48-12. Next: at Fontana, Friday.
10. (NR) Upland, 5-2
The Highlanders survived the aerial attack of Etiwanda, now they must out-muscle Rancho Cucamonga, which is getting lots of love from the coaches who contribute for the Inland Division poll. Last week: Beat Etiwanda, 53-34. Next: vs. Rancho Cucamonga at Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, Friday.
Dropped out: King.