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I.E.: 5 questions to ponder after Week 9

Which team has the best chance of beating Rancho Verde in the playoffs? Palm Springs is ranked second behind the Mustangs in the Southern Section Central Division coaches’ poll, but the Indians might just be the better team. Though the games were played nearly two months ago, both teams beat Moreno Valley in consecutive weeks this season. Palm Springs won, 54-21, in a nonleague game, and Rancho Verde prevailed the following week, 28-7, in an Inland Valley League opener. If comparative scores can be used as a measuring stick, Palm Springs looks to have the edge.

Where did that loss come from? It was just two weeks ago that Rialto stunned Cajon, 27-25, in a San Andreas League game. Just as surprising was Rialto’s performance Friday night against San Gorgonio. The Knights gave up a touchdown 30 seconds into the game and two more in the opening quarter before eventually losing, 41-10. The saving grace for Rialto is it can still clinch a playoff berth with a victory Thursday against Pacific.

Who will be the top quarterback in the I.E. next season? There are a few possibilities, but Chase Chambers of Murrieta Mesa is quietly putting together the best junior season of any signal caller in the region. The 6-foot-1 left-hander threw for 404 yards and a touchdown in a 30-24 overtime loss Friday night against Temecula Valley. On the season, he has 19 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. The other junior quarterback to watch isn’t far away. Andrew Blake of Murrieta Valley, a good friend of Chambers, has 16 touchdown passes and three interceptions.

Which team’s season couldn’t end soon enough? With a bye in Week 10, Canyon Springs officially finished 0-10, getting shut out six times in the process. The Cougars have lost 15 straight games dating to last season. San Bernardino probably wishes its season was already over, but the Cardinals still have one more game to lose. San Bernardino’s problem has been its defense. The Cardinals have given up 55 or more points in six of their nine losses.

Which team managed to get a monkey off its back last weekend? Cathedral City defeated Coachella Valley to end an 18-game losing streak in Desert Valley League play. The Lions had not won a DVL game since defeating Palm Springs, 45-40, in the 2007 season finale. Earlier this season, the Lions ended a 23-game losing streak with a nonleague victory against Desert Mirage.