For weeks, it has been an assumption that the Southern Section Division 1 football champion would be one of four teams — Santa Ana Mater Dei (6-0), Bellflower St. John Bosco (5-1), Corona Centennial (5-1) or Mission Viejo (7-0).
It's time to consider the unthinkable — that's there's a fifth title contender. That would be unbeaten Rancho Cucamonga (6-0), led by Oregon commit Jaylon Redd.
On Friday night, Redd returned a punt for a touchdown, returned a kickoff for a touchdown, ran for two touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass in a 47-10 Baseline League victory over Upland. He finished with 169 yards rushing.
And on Monday, three players who were starters for Upland last season become eligible at Rancho Cucamonga after transferring, adding depth and talent.
Streak busters: Murrieta Valley ended Vista Murrieta's 35-game Southwestern League win streak with a 42-37 victory. Lika Palmer rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns.
Wilmington Banning ended a 16-game losing streak to rival Carson with a 29-19 victory on its homecoming."I saw parents in tears," Banning Coach John Aponte said.
The Pilots are 6-0 and on pace to take on unbeaten Harbor City Narbonne for the Marine League championship on Nov. 4.
South Gate took a giant leap toward winning its first Eastern League title since 2000 when it defeated Garfield, 47-14. Ernie Arcia completed 13 of 18 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 121 yards and one touchdown. Jamaal Neal had 102 yards rushing, ran for two touchdowns and passed for another.
QBs going wild: What happens when two junior quarterbacks, committed to USC and Oklahoma, respectively, meet on the football field?
Call it a video game-like offensive experience when Westake Village Oaks Christian prevailed over Newbury Park, 63-49. The defensive coordinators went home exhausted.
According to statistics compiled by the Ventura Star, Matt Corral of Oaks Christian passed for 510 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 86 yards. Cameron Rising of Newbury Park passed for 478 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 137 yards.
Then there were the sophomores. Oaks Christian running back Zach Charbonnet scored six touchdowns and ran for 127 yards. Receiver Mycah Pittman caught four passes for 205 yards.
Oaks Christian (5-2) might provide more fan entertainment than any other team with its offense.
It has won games this season by scores of 65-55 and 63-62 (in two overtimes) and lost, 70-62.
"Last night was a highlight film," Coach Jim Benkert said. "I've never been through seven games with so much stress. If you want to be on the edge of your seat ..."
School cancels season: Pasadena Blair has become the first school this season to stop playing football because of safety concerns. Blair was 0-5 and down to 20 players with no junior varsity team.
Alhambra Mark Keppel forfeited to Montebello Schurr on Friday when it didn't have enough players.
As 10-week report cards come out, expect more teams to forfeit games because of dwindling numbers. That happened last season.