Prep Preview: Poly at North
I’m covering the Riverside Poly-Riverside North varsity football game tonight for The Press-Enterprise. The best part of this assignment is that this game will be played in venerable Wheelock Stadium on the campus of Riverside City College. It is the very best setting for a game in the Inland Area.
THE LOW DOWN:
The Bears (2-3 overall, 1-1 Big VIII) and coach Jeff Huerta’s offense just isn’t doing the job, evidenced by their recent 50-22 loss to Eastvale Roosevelt. I covered that game, and wrote about Poly’s insufficiencies on offense in a preview you can read here. Again, Poly lacks the offensive weapons necessary to compete in the Big VIII League, which makes their move to the Inland Valley League next season all the more reasonable.
The Huskies (4-1 overall, 1-1 Big VIII) got into the end zone a bunch, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with Centennial, eventually losing 52-34 and a game that could have changed their season. The team played without leading receiver Aaron Peck, who injured an ankle in the loss, is a game-time decision. As it stands, coach Mark Parades’ team is just second, third or maybe even fourth best in the Big VIII. Games against Norco and Corona Santiago still are yet to be played.
Riverside Poly – QB: Steven Hamm, Sr. (6-foot-1, 185 pounds); RB: Matt Ybarra, Jr. (6-foot, 170); Leighton Silva, Soph. (5-9, 180); WR: John Stuart, Sr. (6-2, 190); Matt O’Hara (6-foot, 297); OL: Andy Schouten, Sr. (6-1, 216); DL: Greg Hale, Sr. (6-1, 197); Sr. Joseph Oliver, Sr. (6-1, 225); Yancy Calhoun, Jr. (6-2, 265); LB: Roy Hale, Sr. (6-foot, 216); Aaron Thomas, Sr. (6-2, 190); DB: Matt Peck, Sr. (5-10, 185); Mark Badilla, Sr. (5-10, 172).
Riverside North — QB: Justin Gheorghe, Jr. (6-foot, 185 pounds); RB: Denzel Foster, Jr. (5-8, 185); WR: Aaron Peck, Sr. (6-3, 205); Denziel Myers, Sr. (6-foot, 183); Garrette Biggers (5-8, 160); OL: Uhila Afungia (6-3, 270); LB: Marcus Baugh, Sr. (6-5, 225), Colbert Calhoun, Sr. (6-foot, 182); Rene Rodriguez, Jr. (5-8, 185); DB: Leon Smith, Sr. (5-8, 147); Mychal Dominguez, Sr. (5-8, 155); Demetre Ramos-Davis, Sr. (5-8, 158); Jakeil Hampton, Jr. (5-10, 183).
THE DIFFERENCE: This a rivalry that dates back to North’s opening in the 1960s, so throw out much (but not all) of the matchups. This game will ultimately be won by the team that wants to win more. The team that wants to win front of THEIR family and friends. But don’t dismiss the impact Gheorghe-to-Peck-&-Baugh will have. If North’s dynamic passer gets into a rhythm with either of his vertically-gifted receivers, this game will be out of the Bears’ reach. Pun intended.
PREDICTION: North 32, Poly 18