Prep Impression: Week 6

I covered the San Bernardino Cajon-Redlands East Valley varsity football game on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, for The Press-Enterprise and HSGametime.com, and came away thinking there is no substitute for experience.

After Week 1, Redlands East Valley (2-4 overall, 1-0 Citrus Belt) faced a murderers row of non-league opponents and couldn’t win a game. The Wildcats lost to Ventura St. Bonaventure, Vista Murrieta, Orange Lutheran and Mission Viejo and got beat up a little. Heck, who are we kidding? They got a beat up a lot, and were forced to hand the QB’ing duties to a freshman.

Now that freshman — Armando Herrera — is off to a torrid start after passing for three TDs in a 55-21 victory over Cajon and making observers wonder why he wasn’t the starter coming out of preseason camp.

But Kurt Bruich had gone with senior Mark Neilssien until the player broke a bone in his throwing hand in Week 3. Neilssien (5-9, 184) had been effective, but does not have the ability to throw the ball like the 6-foot Herrera.

Cajon (2-4 overall, 0-1 CBL) has the potential to have an explosive rushing attack. Senior Christopher Boston is a steady force inside the red zone, and game-breaking juniors Moleke Forte and Gavin Westover have carried the Cowboys, who continue to average more than 265 rushing yards per game.

San Bern ardino Cajon coach Kim Battin:
“Lack of numbers doesn’t have anything to do with it. We could dress out 90 like they do, but what it really comes down to is that we have 10 sophomore playing against some very good senior football players. We’re taking our lumps. We have 10 sophomores starting — not just playing but starting — and I’ve never started that many sophomores in a football game (or) in a season. It’s just a very, very young football team. They showed a lot of heart in the first half — trading punches with them — and that’s a good football team over there. Their record means nothing. It’s all about the people they played. It’s not a numbers thing, it’s not a lack of balance — we just have too many sophomores on defense starting. It’s a learning process. I think if the defense could’ve made some stops the offense would be on the field a little longer. It’s a little frustrating. If we could’ve done this or that or a kid could’ve made a play here or there. It is what it is.”

Redlands East Valley coach Kurt Bruich:
“They had fun tonight. They had a lot of fun. We got every senior in our program in tonight. So that was really cool at the end. We’ve kind of mastered that whole deal — when to task them and when to let them screw around — and we think we do a good job.”

Redlands East Valley senior Alonzo Anderson:
“It was a struggle. We were coming up, playing these tough teams and we needed a big ‘W’ and we got. It just made us better. It made our line figure out where we need to block and figure out what we needed to do.”

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