GAME OF THE WEEK: Norte Vista at San Gorgonio
Riverside Norte Vista vs. San Bernardino San Gorgonio
CIF-Southern Section Division 7 Championship Game
At Spartans Stadium – San Gorgonio HS, San Bernardino (Calif.)
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT on Friday, Dec. 2
RIVERSIDE NORTE VISTA (11-2 overall, 5-0 River Valley) has a 4,000-yard rusher and a chance to go all the way. That’s way more than any coach can ask from a player or from a team, and it’s all come to a head this season for the Braves. Senior RB Eric Melesio is a golden god (or something) and the offensive line continues to do the work. Watch out once he gets to the second level of the defense. He’s electric in the open field and can outrun 99-percent of opposing defensive backs. Seniors Solomon Iosefa and Stanton Manumaleuna have been the backbone of the team each of the last two years, and need one more punishing performance to cap their time as top dogs of the River Valley League.
HEAD COACH: Ken Batdorf
SAN BERNARDINO SAN GORGONIO (10-3 overall, 5-0 San Andreas) lost three consecutive games early in the season but turned it around to go undefeated in league and ride an eight-game winning streak in a CIF-Southern Section final. Senior QB Kaleb Hayes has been given the keys to the offense and 43 points per game in the playoffs. Senior RBs Dezhon Williams and Xzavier Leslie have been a punishing lightning-and-thunder combination on offense while combining to similar effect on defense. The Spartans are playing in their first title game in more than 13 years. They’ve made the semifinals just once since 2004, losing to Norte Vista, 38-37, in 2013.
HEAD COACH: Ron Gueringer
THE KEY PLAYERS:
Riverside Norte Vista – QB/DB Isaiah Hughes, Sr. (6-foot, 160 pounds); RB Eric Melesio, Sr. (5-9, 165); RB/OLB Martin Solano, Sr. (5-11, 175); FB/MLB Omar Godoy, Sr. (6-foot, 245); RB/OLB Adam Garcia, Sr. (5-9, 170); DT/C Solomon Iosefa, Sr. (6-1, 285); DT/FB Stanton Manumaleuna, Sr. (6-2, 295); OL/FB Andrew Davidson, Sr. (5-10, 240); K Alberto Aguiliara, Soph. (6-foot, 180)
San Bernardino San Gorgonio – QB Kaleb Hayes, Sr. (6-foot-foot, 165 pounds); RB/LB Dezhon Williams, Sr. (65-foot-10, 210); RB/DE Xzavier Leslie, Sr. (6-foot, 215); RB Elijah Hall, Soph. (5-5, 160); WR/S Tyreque Jones, Sr. (6-3, 200); WR/CB Jerome Weber, Jr. (6-foot, 175); LB Pika Favaka, Sr. (5-11, 255); LB Gabriel Murgo, Sr. (6-foot, 210); K Anthony Del Cid, Sr. (5-7, 160)
Norte Vista’s offensive line vs. San Gorgonio hard-hitting linebackers will be where the game is either won or lost.
THE FINAL SCORE:
Norte Vista 35, San Gorgonio 34