GAME OF THE WEEK: Upland vs. Rancho Verde

Upland vs. Rancho Verde
CIF-Southern Section – Week 14
Division 2 Playoffs – Championship
At Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde HS
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, Nov. 24

UPLAND (11-2 overall, 4-1 Baseline League) backed into the playoffs after a two-touchdown loss to Rancho Cucamonga in Week 10, then squeaked past Menifee Heritage, 17-16, in a first-round thriller to retake momentum. Nothing has come easy, though, as the Scots have had to topple Division 2 powerhouses Norco and Calabasas to make their back to a section title game for the first time since 2009. Senior RB Cameron Davis has been dependable and dynamic, rushing for more than 100 yards in a game 11 times this season while totaling 20 TDs and more than 1,900 yards from scrimmage. Junior LB Justin Flowe, an almost certain NCAA D-1 starlet, has been outperformed in one key statistical category by younger brother Jonathan Flowe, who leads the team with 10 sacks this season.
HEAD COACH: Tim Salter
ROSTER – QB: Evan Rowe, Sr. (6-foot-1, 185 pounds); RB: Cameron Davis, Sr. (6-foot, 180); RB: Tyevin Ford, Jr. (5-11, 170); WR: Taj Davis, Sr. (6-2, 185); TE: Sam Samarzich, Sr. (6-foot, 210): OL: Christian Connolly, Sr. (6-6, 277); DE: Robert Mitchell, Sr. (6-foot, 225); LB: Justin Flowe, Jr. (6-foot-3, 215); DB: Eric Zambrano, Sr. (6-3, 195); K: Archie Green, Jr. (5-11, 160)

RANCHO VERDE (13-0 overall, 5-0 Ivy League) have been incredibly consistent on offense in the playoffs, scoring 40, 42 and 41 points, respectively, heading in the CIF-SS Division 2 Championship Game. Freshman QB A.J. Duffy has been a difference-maker this season, completing 70-percent of his passes with 40 TDs and nearly 3,000 yards despite what would normally be considered the overwhelming pressure of usurping the incumbent and being the coach’s kid. It certainly has helped to have weapons like senior RB Xavier Ugorji (27 TDs) and seniors WRs Ty McCullouch (21) and Jamar Simpson (13), and a ball-hawking defense that creates turnovers at an outstanding rate (2.6 per game) with senior FS Devin Wilson grabbing nine of the team’s 22 total INTs.
HEAD COACH: Pete Duffy
ROSTER – QB: A.J. Duffy, Fr. (6-foot, 190 pounds); RB: Xavier Ugorji, Sr. (5-9, 180); RB: Jordan Jefferson, Jr. (5-7, 167); WR: Ty McCullouch, Sr. (6-foot, 170); WR: Jamar Simpson, Sr. (5-11, 160); OL: Jonah Reeder, Jr. (6-3, 224); DE: Dante Byrd, Sr. (6-foot, 215); LB: Jaylnd Hunt, Sr. (6-foot, 215); DB: Devin Wilson, Sr. (5-11, 175); K: Luis Santiago, Jr. (5-9, 152)

For all the offensive firepower on both sides, this game will come down to defense – and Rancho Verde’s forces mistakes.

Rancho Verde 26, Upland 20

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