Prep Impressions: Week 3-A

I covered the Fontana Kaiser-Riverside Poly varsity football game on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, for The Press-Enterprise and HSGametime.com, and came away thinking both teams are vastly different than they were last season.

Kaiser lacks a big-time runner like it had each of the last two seasons with Marquette Washington and (to a lesser extent) Taleeb Isom. Where that leaves the Cats (1-2 overall) is without the ability to be a driving offensive force complimented by a competent QB. Now Raymond Padilla (Sr., 6-1, 185) is left to direct an attack without much help and it has sputtered to just 46 points through three games.

“Any win is big but always Kaiser, they’re always well-coached, they’re always physical, they always give you a challenge and for us — going into league — it was a great victory,” Poly head coach Dennis Brown said.

History will tell you that what Brown said is true, but very recent history could suggest otherwise.

Brown and the Bears might be new to one another, but after a brief hiccup in Week 0, are forming one heck of a relationship. The first-year coach has led Poly (3-1) to three consecutive wins, each more impressive than the last.

“Coach Brown has done an excellent job and their players… they really, really have a good football team,” Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya said.

To be sure, the cupboard wasn’t for Brown. QB Chandler Drachslin (Sr., 6-3, 190) has size, a good arm and plays behind some big boys. Both lines are stout, in fact, and the running game is buoyed by one of the Inland Area’s best tandems.

The Bears’ talent level gave them the edge vs. Kaiser on Friday. Seems like a strange thing to say, but it’s true.

Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya:
“We couldn’t have penalties against us that would hurt us. We started out real well on offense. Defensively we just couldn’t get into a groove, just couldn’t get into a groove, and then you mix in some penalties and play selection, both offensively and defensively. … We just couldn’t get anything going.”

Poly Coach Dennis Brown:
“(The defense) was flying around, it was aggressive. We did some things wrong but overall we executed when we had to; stiffened up when we got down near the goal line (and) made some plays and some guys stepped up. The great things is that it’s not one guy. It’s 15, 20, 30 guys that are rotating in and out on both sides of the ball and everybody is stepping up when they get the chance. Jesse (Ybarra) and Evan Telliard made some big plays but it was a team victory. From the kicking game to the offense to the defense; Everybody did their part. It was a great team victory. At the end of the day we’re zero-zero and we start league this week and that’s what we’re looking forward to. That’s what we’ve talked about: It’s just one game at a time. Next week is Canyon Springs — they’re playing great football — and then it’s Rancho Verde the next week but we play Canyon next week so that’s what we’re going to try to concentrate on, put all our efforts to and see what happens next Friday.”

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