Prep Impressions: Week 0

I covered the Menifee Paloma Valley-Riverside North varsity football game for The Press-Enterprise on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, and came away thinking the Huskies still have more athletes but Paloma Valley performs like a top-notch infantry division.

The Wildcats (1-0 overall) are determined to run the ball, and kept at it with Demarco Prewitt despite suffering losses (five runs for negative yards), in a 28-12 non-league game.

Paloma Valley pounds and pounds as the coaching staff unearths, neutralize and ultimately exposes the opposing team’s weaknesses.

The Huskies (0-1) felt the full weight of Paloma’s somewhat limited artillery, and were burned by plays of no longer than 42 yards. It was enough to fatally damage North’s hopes of turning down a long losing streak dating to Week 7 last season. Coach John Rice’s bunch didn’t help itself, and even mishandled more than a few grenades (15 penalties for 127 yards).

North’s Armstrong Mephors is the real deal, however.

“He’s going to be a great back. the more he gets into it — he’s a corner, he’s a starting defensive back — he’s in man coverage every down and for him to cme in there and give that kind of performance is not beyond what we expected. He’ll play himself into shape and when we have (Maliek) Rosier and Mephors in the backfield we’re doing a pretty good job,” North coach John Rice said.

Mephors ran for touchdowns of 9 and 32 yards and would be a feature back at any school in the Inland area. Makes people wonder why he only got five carries.

Paloma Valley coach Bert Esposito:
“Yes, we’re happy we won. We had some opportunities and we took advantage of them. Up front, offensively, we have a lot of work to do. We started two sophomore that we weren’t expecting to start at guards, and we knew that was going to be a problem but they got to grow up. It was a little rough for them.”

North coach John Rice:
“We had starting cornerbacks go down right away and they found that guy and made a great play. After that initial storm I thought we made some adjustments to shut them down for the rest of the half. I was proud of our defense. That a great running back and a great offensive system. They averaged 35 points per game last season and that running back (Prewitt) is phenomenal and I thought our defense played very well. We have to clean up some procedural things. We have to now kill ourselves with penalties and we’ll get that stuff straightened out and we’ll be better. We only have three returning starters and that’s the hand you’re dealt and guys gotta step up. Next guy up. No excuses.”

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