As Linfield Christian won Friday's neutral playoff game against Malibu by a score of 44-21, Temecula’s Chaparral and Great Oak both fell.
Here is a look back at the season of the Pumas and Wolfpack:
Coach Ryan Tukua’s Chaparral Pumas were ready for their CIF playoff challenge.
They had been there many a time before and were prepped for the occasion, but Friday was not meant to be. The Pumas fell in round one, 24-14, at Charter Oak.
The Pumas have a football legacy. Last season the team made it to the second round of the playoffs, losing to Centennial (Corona) 56-21. In 2009 they won it all, taking down Vista Murrieta 13-7 in the championship game.
Except for a big loss last week to number-one Vista Murrieta (38-0) and a couple of close ones to Murrieta Valley and Tesoro, Chaparral’s football team knew how to control the ball and the scoreboard.
With the two Murrieta losses, the Pumas entered Friday’s first-round playoff game as the third-place team from the Southwestern League. But the loss Friday to the Charter Oak may not have been a surprise.
The Chargers were highly ranked with a 9-1 record. They are the champions of the Sierra League and came into Friday’s contest riding a seven-game winning streak.
The Chargers’ primary threat came from senior running back Aaren Vaughns who led the league in rushing with 1,528 yards through Nov. 2. Vaughns had scored 156 points this season.
Defensively, the Chargers had two players with 11 sacks each, seniors Alex Hernandez and Matt Ciseneros.
Chaparral came into Friday with strengths. Consistent at the quarterback position was Puma senior Mitch Glasmann 56 of 103 on pass completions for 975 yards, nine touchdowns and only three interceptions. His primary receiver had been senior Chris Stratton with 411 yards on 24 catches—an impressive 17-plus yards per catch. Six of those were for touchdowns.
At running back was league-leader senior Justin Harris with 1,379 yards on 168 carries with 17 touchdowns. Harris also led the league in points scored with 102.
Puma defensive end senior Andrew Madera had 10 league-leading sacks on the season to go with his 63 tackles. Teammates senior Robert Trujillo and senior Kyle Jones had at least 50 tackles of their own for the cause.
Stratton was also to be counted on while playing defensive back. He was tied for first in the league with Great Oak’s sophomore defensive back Nick Fisher with four interceptions each.
Kickoff return specialist sophomore Davian Taylor averaged 27.8 yards-per-return tally for the season.
Great Oak entered the CIF-SS playoffs as an at-large entry. With a 5-5 record, the Wolfpack rounded out the field of 16 teams seeking the Inland Division trophy.
Because of the at-large status, the Wolfpack had to travel to its game Friday night against the formidable 10-0 Upland High School squad that is itching for a CIF championship after bowing out of last year’s quest for a ring via a loss to Vista Murrieta, 39-18.
In the end, Upland proved it is ready for victory by claiming a win Friday against Great Oak, 35-6.
Throughout the season, Coach Robbie Robinson’s Wolfpack was led by senior quarterback Carson Luna. His 1,332 yards placed him fourth in the league with 96 completions of 178 attempts, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Luna’s primary targets had been sophomore Brandon Presley and senior Kyle Ruhe, as well as juniors Raekwon Yates and Andrew Molinar.
Great Oak’s senior running back Jakob Certeza had been second in the league this season with 1,289 yards, trailing only fellow Temecula standout Justin Harris of Chaparral. Any running back getting that many yards speaks volumes for how the offensive line is doing a quality job.
Four senior Wolfpack defensive players had over 50 tackles this season including Garrett Ackerman, Tyler Papaco, Ulualo Coffin and Christian Smith.
Nick Fisher was tied for first in the league with Chaparral’s Chris Stratton in the category of interceptions with four each.
Ackerman had been quite the punter this year with a 43.3-yard average. His longest boot was for 61 yards. Additionally, Yates had been averaging over 25-yards per kickoff return with one for 85 yards against Chino Hills.