Prep Preview: R. Cucamonga at Redlands

I’m covering the Rancho Cucamonga-Redlands Week 0 varsity football game tonight, Aug. 30, 2013, for The Press-Enterprise and HSGametime.com

The best part of tonight’s game will be getting a look at two of San Bernardino’s most distinctive teams.

THE LOW DOWN:
Argue about his methods — and many do — but Nick Baiz has built a winner at Rancho Cucamonga. With a 64-21-1 record in seven seasons, Baiz has kept the Cougars among the elite in both the CIF-Southern Section Central and Inland Divisions. However, he permits a revolving door at QB and has yet win a title.

Stability is the name of the game at Redlands, where Jim Walker enters his 22nd season as Terriers coach. Stats aside — 210 wins, 10 wins per season average — Walker’s teams do it with class, and a few quality transfers like QB Cody Whitaker from Redlands East Valley. And did we mention that Dodge Stadium is a great place for football?

ranchocucamongaLOGO2THE KEY PLAYERS:
Rancho Cucamonga — QB: Gage Pucci, Sr. (5-foot-11, 195 pounds); RB: Khlail Muhammed, Jr. (5-9, 170); Kiraun Mayo, Jr. (5-9, 200) FB/TE: Ethan Pulley, Sr. (6-1, 190); DT: Chris Unga, Sr. (6-foot, 265); Cody Fahamokia, Jr. (5-10, 225) DB: Artuz Manning, Sr. (5-10, 170); Savion Whitney, Sr. (5-10, 170); Ralston Compton, Sr., (5-10, 180)

redlandsLOGO
Redlands — QB Kody Whitaker, Sr. (6-3, 185); LB/RB: D.J. Biggers, Sr. (6-foot, 205); WR/DB Marcus Durham, Sr. (6-foot, 180); FB/LB: Zack Lindsey, Sr. (5-10, 215); OL: Brett Landon, Sr. (6-3, 255); Jacob Smith, Sr. (6-1, 285); DB/RB: Cardell Parmer, Sr. (5-11, 175); LB: John Chambers, Sr. (6-foot, 180); DL: Sean Leckemby, Sr. (6-4, 290)

THE DIFFERENCE:
Rancho Cucamonga graduated four defensive players to NCAA Division I schools last season and all indications are that there’s another bumper crop this season. All eyes will be on Pucci, who transferred from La Verne Damien, though. If he performs as anticipated the Cougars should win by a narrow victory on the road.
THE FINAL SCORE: Rancho Cucamonga 28, Redlands 24

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