FOUR & MORE: Best Inland Area QBs


1. Chase Chambers, Murrieta Mesa — The big lefty can hit any target (his favorite being Khalil Sharpe), and racked up 2,412 yards and 21 TDs in 2011 for a team that lost a bunch of close games. His size — 6-foot-2, 200 pounds — should attract the attention of PAC-12 schools. But winning would do more.

2. Johnny Salazar, Riverside La Sierra — The catalyst the Eagles’ recent resurgence has been a tougher defense and this 6-foot-1, 180-pound scrambler who has passed for 3,049 yards and 32 TDs in his career. Will a move to the Eastern Division mean a CIF title shot?

3. Nate Romine, Upland — Lost by 21 points in the semifinals to the eventual Inland Division champs but emassed numbers that cannot be ignored. Romine (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) passed for 2,192 yards and 22 TDs in 2011, a season in which the Scots lost only one game. He should be motivated.

4. Nicholas Stevens, Vista Murrieta — The starting QB for the CIF-Southern Section Inland Division champions is somewhere on this list, right? Stevens (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) recently committed to Colorado State, and will be seeking his second consecutive title this fall.

AND MORE: Michael Darr, Corona Santiago — How time flies. 2012 will be the third varsity season for the wunderkind. So why is he yet to win a playoff game? Does he think about the 99-yard interception return for a TD he threw as the Sharks allowed 63 points in the 1st Round to Covina Charter Oak?

Trevor Hodge, Perris Citrus Hill — Playing alongside bruising RB Damien Payne provided a release valve for Hodge (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) in 2011. The Iowa State-commit has great career numbers: 3,366 yards passing, 1,065 rushing and 39 total career TDs but will need to dominate games for the Hawks to win.

Matt Simko, Ontario Colony — Big and tall with all kinds of intangibles but got blown out by Moreno Valley Rancho Verde in a Semifinal Round playoff game last season. Still, Simko (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) threw for 775 yards and four TDs in three postseason games.

2 Responses to “FOUR & MORE: Best Inland Area QBs”
  1. Fred Taylor says:

    I am not so sure that Chambers is the best QB in the IE. I really like Hodge and a few that weren’t mentioned such as Blake from Murrieta Valley and Carson Luna from Great Oak. These 2 in particular have won more with less and should be recognized.

    • A Mesa Parent says:

      I certainly see that deciding who is the “best” quarterback is a tricky question. Each athlete has a specific set of circumstances, different teammates, various opponents and many variables. Add to that such a subjective term as “best” and it is really a crapshoot. While I would never want to minimize the achievements of Andrew Blake or Carson Luna, the phrase “won more with less” stands out in my mind. Less what? Less experience? A less established football program? No.

      The Rams of Murrieta Mesa have done something that is exceedingly difficult to do. They have jumped headfirst into one of the most competitive divisions in Southern California. You are correct that they have not had a lot of wins, but I think it is unfair to minimize their successes. They were underclassmen playing older, more experienced teams and they have been steadily building their program. Chase Chambers has managed to rack up some impressive statistics DESPITE his team’s lack of experience. He is a fine athlete with a composure that many quarterbacks older and more experienced lack. As a parent of a Mesa football player, I am proud of all of our boys and what they have achieved. I hope this is their year to shine. But regardless of what happens this season, please do not minimize the talent of this fine young man.

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