Prep Preview: Norco at Rancho Cucamonga

I’m covering the Norco-Rancho Cucamonga CIF-Southern Section Inland Division quarterfinal round playoff football game on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, for The Press-Enterprise and HSGametime.com.

The best part of this assignment will be observing the matchup between Norco’s rushing attack and Rancho Cucamonga’s elite-level defense.

norcoLOGOTHE LOW DOWN:
Norco (8-3 overall) enters the game having scored 56 points in back-to-back games, and riding the back of 2,000-yard rusher Cory Young the whole way. Young, the younger brother of former Cougar Kelsey Young (now at Stanford) has scored 20 touchdowns and is the Inland Area leader with more than 2,100 yards thus far. Sophomore QB Victor Viramontes has made strides, and has contributed heavily down the stretch. Senior LB Justin Carter, who had 3.5 sacks in a 24-7 loss to Rancho Cucamonga in Week 1, has averages less than a sack per game since.

ranchocucamongaLOGO2Rancho Cucamonga (10-1 overall) won its first nine game of the season before stumbling — epically — in Week 10 vs. Upland. The Cougars enjoyed a huge bounce-back vs. REV in the 1st Round but will face a much better Norco team than the one they beat in the Week 1. The quarterback situation has evolved all season for Nick Baiz, who started with Gage Pucci but has turned to sophomore Angel Matute with more consistency the last half of the season.

THE KEY PLAYERS:
Norco — QB: Victor Viramontes (Soph., ); RBs: Cory Young (Sr., 5-10, 185); Alec Burr (Jr., 5-8, 170); WRs: Matthew Williams (Sr., 5-9, 170); Angel Mota (Sr., 5-9, 180); DE: Andra Davis (Sr., 6-4, 239); LBs: Taylor Wille (Sr., 6-2, 235); Justin Carter (Sr., 6-1, 195); Kason Jackett (Sr., 6-1, 205); Jared Emanuele (Sr., 6-1, 205); ATH: Jesse Cota (Sr., 6-1, 180); K: Wes Koerber (Jr., 6-1, 170).

Rancho Cucamonga — QB Angel Matute (Soph., 6-2, 190); RB: Aaron Manning (Soph. 5-9, 170); Khalil Muhammed (Jr., 59, 175); WRs: Blake Fisher (Jr., 6-4, 180); Jerry Cheney (Jr., 6-1, 195); DL: Robert Cuevas (Sr., 6-1, 215); Uepi Kaufusi (Jr., 6-foot, 190); LBs: Chris Unga (Sr., 6-1, 260); Dylan Taylor (Sr., 6-foot, 185); Isi Fonua (Jr., 5-11, 200); K: Christian Casillas (Sr., 6-foot, 170).

THE DIFFERENCE:
Norco’s current run in undeniable. Cory Young has established himself as one of the top RBs on the West Coast, and first-year head coach Larry Baker has done the job of managing the program out of chaos and back into prominence.
THE FINAL SCORE: Norco 44, Rancho Cucamonga 38

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