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Rancho Verde Rolls Over Vista De Lago

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Neiborhood Rivals but programs are worlds apart

By Gary Montgomery, BVN Staff –

Rancho Verde High School has quietly built one of the elite programs in the area. Friday night’s runaway victory over intercity rival Vista Del Lago highlighted two programs with vastly different views and expectations.

The Mustangs are currently ranked number 1 in the Central Valley Division and number 3 in the overall polls. It’s football team has dominated the Inland Valley League since its inception.

Although MapQuest list the two campuses as only .9 miles apart that distance could be measured in light years when talking about athletics. Rancho Verde scored 9 touchdowns against the Ravens in nearly every way possible.

The Ravens offense managed to cross the 50- yard line only one time and that possession ended shortly after in a turnover. There was never any serious scoring threat coming from the Ravens.

“The offensive line was on tonight. Carlos was putting the ball on the numbers and all the receivers had to do was catch it,” said Mustang star receiver Damorea Stringfellow.

A relatively new school, Rancho Verde opened in 1991. The Mustangs have amassed and impressive list of alum’s. Starting in 1996, Larry Ned the outstanding running was first to reach the NFL. After starring at San Diego State Ned was drafted by the Raiders and later played for the Vikings.

After Ned, there was Da’Mon Cromartie Smith from the class of 2005 who was drafted by the Steelers.

The class of 2006 produced D’Aundre Reed the outstanding Arizona State defensive end and a 2011 draft pick by the Vikings.

The 2008 class launched offensive tackle Tyron Smith who went on to star for 3 years at USC and became the Cowboys first pick in the 2011 draft. And in 2010, defensive end Ronald Powell joined the Florida Gators.

“We have 18 players currently playing Division 1 college football. Corona Centennial has 13,” said Rancho Verde Head Coach Pete Duffy.

Coach Duffy’s comparison is interesting.

Corona Centennial’s football program has become the standard of excellence for the Southern Section.

Rancho Verde’s alumni status and win-loss records are all comparable yet they are barely mentioned in that conversation.

The 2011 Mustangs appear to be ready to take that next step and join Centennial as a standard of excellence. They have certainly proven that they belong in the conversation.

G. Montgomery can be reached at sports@blackvoicenews.com

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