After Yucaipa’s 56-7 loss at Citrus Valley High School last Friday, neither football coach had an explanation as to what just occurred. “I don’t have all the answers. All we can do is get back to work on Monday,” said Yucaipa coach Justin Price. “It was hard to recover from our mistakes against the best defense in the league.” The Blackhawks’ Dylan Wheatley made Yucaipa High School pay for those mistakes by throwing six touchdown passes. Four of those touchdowns coming after YHS turnovers.
It was the Citrus Belt league opener for both teams. YHS drops to 1-5 overall and Citrus Valley improved to 6-0. Price said hopes of leading the Thunderbirds into the post season playoffs still exist. “It’s far from over. We need to win three in a row. We won’t quit no matter what.” Yucaipa must defeat Carter, Redlands East Valley, and Redlands to get into the playoffs. YHS will close the regular season Oct. 31 by hosting Cajon, a team that most predict will become undefeated CBL champions for a third straight year.
“I do not know what to say about Yucaipa. They have a good coach,” said CVHS coach Kurt Bruich. “We’ve been playing well lately and tonight we executed very well. Our goal for quarterback (Dylan Wheatley) was to complete every pass.” Wheatley came close by completing 14-of-17 attempts for 317 yards and one interception to go with his six scoring passes. Wheatley did all his damage in the first half before being replaced by Brock Lium and Jayden Renner. Wheatley tossed touchdown passes of 33 yards and 77 yards to Sergio Cervantes, another of 58 yards to Ty’Jhon Belton and two more to Scott.
Price expected his starting quarterback Elijah James to have a difficult time in his first game this season. James had to sit out the first five games of the season due to the CIF transfer rule. James showed glimpses of greatness by completing 15-of-25 passes for 125 yards. He gained another 58 yards on nine carries. But he was responsible for having three of his passes intercepted, all by his cousin Jordan Scott, who also caught touchdown passes of 6 and 33 yards.
Kaleb Stamps finished off a Yucaipa 96-yard drive by scoring on a 55-yard pass from James late in the game. Stamps’ 62 yards receiving was tops for YHS. Teammate David Fisher caught seven passes for 59 yards and earned 149 multi-purpose yards. Yucaipa’s Dylan Cruz and Dylan Stevens made outstanding defensive plays. Jackson Beamish made a touchdown saving interception. Gavin Mink played his part with four punts deep into Citrus Valley territory.
The Thunderbirds travel to Carter of Rialto tonight (Oct. 11) and return home to play Redlands East Valley, Oct 18.