Player Of The Year: Justin Gheorghe

Think of one of those hopeless situations in football. Say, third-and-22 with the defense blitzing.

If there was a player from the Inland Area better suited to those conditions than Riverside North senior QB Justin Gheorghe, we haven’t seen him.

A 6-foot-1, 185-pound left-handed scrambler, Gheorghe played his best in the worst situations. His ability to escape and create led the Huskies to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Inland Division playoffs, and it’s those same qualities that make him FOMB’s second Player Of The Year.

Gheorghe was brilliant in every game in which we saw him, and we took a closer look following a huge blowout victory over Riverside Poly.

Standing by the bus after the game that night, Gheorghe exuded confidence, which was strange considering he had only completed six passes. Oh, except three of those completions went for touchdowns.

“He’s just a great athlete. He just wants to score,” North coach Mark Parades said.

In total, no player did as much to creat an elite-level offense in the Inland Area. Gheorghe’s 2,818 total yards and 31 total TDs catapulted the Huskies to the upper echelon on the Big VIII League.

North finished 9-1 in the regular season, its only loss to Corona Centennial. And Gheorghe’s effort in that game (3 total TDs) was perhaps a defining moment in his season.

“I worked hard in the off-season. Made sure I could be a leader to this team,” Gheorghe said.

His efforts clearly worked. North was a Top 10 team all season, and it would not have been possible without the 2011 FOMB Inland Area Prep Football Player of the Year.

Photo by RODRIGO PENA PHOTOGRAPHY

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