GAME OF THE WEEK: Arlington vs. Hillcrest

THE DETAILS:
Riverside Arlington vs. Riverside Hillcrest
CIF-Southern Section – Week 0
Nonleague
At Riverside (Calif.) Norte Vista HS
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT on Friday, Aug. 17

RIVERSIDE ARLINGTON (0-0 overall, 0-0 Sunbelt) start a whole new era of Lions football in 2018 with a new league, a new head coach and a new quarterback. It’ll be a statement game of sorts for Arlington, who will need a good start under assistant-turned-head coach Jeff Roney to talk of a slip in performance. The offense will be almost all Carter Alvarado and Zach Alexander, unless another player steps up. They’re a crafty duo so expect them to take care of the ball and not force a big-play that isn’t there. Alexander is the only player on the roster who scored a touchdown last season.
HEAD COACH: Jeff Roney
ROSTER – QB: Carter Alvarado, Sr. (5-foot-10, 160 pounds); RB: Zach Alexander, Sr. (5-5, 145); FB Joseph Delgado, Sr. (5-8, 185); WR: Angel Villalba, Sr. (5-11, 155); Kerry Collins, Sr. (5-11, 175); OL: Simon Mercado, Sr. (5-9, 260); ND/DE: Jayden Khneiser, Jr. (6-3, 275); DL: Malik McGill, Sr. (5-foot-11, 255); LB: Daniel Zelada, Sr. (5-8, 200); CB: David Rogers, Sr. (5-7, 145)

RIVERSIDE HILLCREST (0-0 overall, 0-0 River Valley) wants more of what it got last season – a share of a league title and a playoff appearance. The Trojans are in good shape despite losing two best offensive players and the only kicker the program has ever known. There’s experience and size on the offensive line with senior T Nick Baker, but only one QB (sophomore Camren Payne) is rostered. That’s kind of scary, and not in a good way. Hillcrest has some athletes to move the chains but you got to get them the ball. Senior LB Josh Ford has transformed himself into a big-play linebacker and leader of a defense that is beginning to round into shape.
HEAD COACH: John Brandom
ROSTER – QB: Cameron Payne, Soph. (5-foot-10, 160 pounds); RB: Brandon Wallner, Sr. (5-11, 194); Angel Ruiz, Sr. (5-5, 160); WR: Ryan Howard, Jr. (5-6, 140); Asanti Mokwala, Jr. (5-9, 165); OL Nick Baker, Sr. (6-foot-1, 275); DL: Jonathan Flores, Sr. (6-1, 255); LB Joshua Ford, Sr. (6-foot, 224); DB: Keyontay Clay, Jr. (5-11, 150); K: Gerardo Ek, Sr. (5-5, 175)

THE DIFFERENCE:
Arlington’s strength on the defensive line. Jayden Khneiser will create chaos behind the line of scrimmage. That might be enough to beat an inexperienced offense like Hillcrest’s.

THE FINAL SCORE (PROJECTED):
Arlington 31, Hillcrest 24

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