Upland High School

Notes

10/17/17

By: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Photographer

 

     Add another win to the 2017 “win column” for the Upland Highlanders’ Varsity football team. The Highlanders won their seventh consecutive game of the season, last Friday night, against the Damien Spartans, by a score of 49 to 8. With the win, the Highlanders remain undefeated, as players from both offense and defense step-up and deliver impressive performances week in and week out.

    If you’ve been following along with the Highlanders’ season this year, each headline has pretty much been the same. Another game; another win. The Highlanders’ team has been extraordinary on both offense and defense thus far, excluding just a few blips in the road. The storyline wasn’t much different against Damien.

    The game started off with an interception, thrown by Upland quarterback, David Baldwin. Baldwin’s pass, intended for Taj Davis, was caught by both Davis and his defender, with the ball ultimately being ripped out of Davis’s hands. The interception counted as Baldwin’s fourth of the season, a relatively low number compared to his 20+ touchdown passes. Although Damien’s defense started out with momentum, their offense was never able to follow up and score.

    The rest of the first quarter was dominated by Upland running back, Cameron Davis, who has had quite the season thus far. With 5:18 remaining in the first, Davis scored a touchdown, via an 18-yard run, which complemented a successful offensive drive, up field by Upland. Then, just two minutes later, Cameron Davis scored again, thanks to a 44-yard-touchdown-run. At this point, Davis already had 70+ rushing yards and two touchdowns, with only a handful of carries. After two successful, extra-point kicks from Archie Green, the Highlanders were up 14 to nothing, by the end of the first quarter.

    The first eventful play of the second quarter came when Damien attempted a field goal from about 25 yards out. The Highlanders’ special teams’ unit was having none of it though, as Corey Thomas broke through the Spartan’s O-line, to block the kick and keep Damien scoreless.

    Perhaps one of David Baldwin’s greatest highlights of his career at Upland occurred next, with 9:43 remaining in the second quarter. After taking a snap and struggling to find an open receiver, and while facing pressure from Damien’s D-line, Baldwin scrambled out of the pocket and kept the ball for a wild 86-yard-touchdown-run. You read that right. An 86-yard quarterback keeper, all the way to the house. Keeping plays alive is vital to the game of football and Baldwin, in his junior year, was able to prove he can do just that on this scoring play.

    Continuing the dominance for Upland was senior running back, Kyle Jones, who went on to score a touchdown via a goal-line, go-ahead-run, with just over two minutes remaining, before halftime. After Archie Green knocked down his fourth extra point kick of the night, the Highlanders headed into halftime with a 28-to-nothing lead.

    Even with a stellar 28-point lead, the Highlanders were still all-throttle and no brakes, to begin the second half of play. With 9:49 remaining in the third, Highlanders quarterback, Baldwin, threw his one and only touchdown pass of the night to wide receiver, Simon Samarzich, who had to shake off a few Spartans to make it all the way into the endzone. Nevertheless, Samarzich was able to roll into the touchdown and complete the 21-yard-passing play. Samarzich, who is showing improvement on the field, has scored a touchdown in three of the last four games now.

    As if two rushing touchdowns wasn’t enough for Cameron Davis, the Highlanders’ junior running back scored his third touchdown of the night and completed the hat trick, with 4:49 remaining in the third quarter. Davis ran the ball in, from 39 yards out, on this scoring play. With the fog rolling in and time on the clock dwindling, the Highlanders had a massive, 42 to 0 lead.

    Highlanders’ backup quarterback, Keinon Ferdinand, came onto to the field with the Upland offense next, as the Highlanders began to rest their starters. Not all went well, however, for Ferdinand. On his second play of the night, a high snap, which overshot Ferdinand, resulted in him chasing the ball into Upland’s own end zone and being sacked for a safety. Although it was not Ferdinand’s fault, the Spartans had a couple points on the board--literally just a couple.

    Damien’s offense was finally able to get a drive going up field, early in the final quarter. Spartans’ quarterback, Warren Bryan, was able to throw an 18-yard-touchdown pass to his receiver, Mikey McCauley. After an unsuccessful extra point kick, which was blocked by Highlander, Jaden Dedman, the score was 42 to 8.

    Going out with one last bang, the Highlanders’ offense scored one more touchdown before the end of the night. On the final scoring play of the game, senior running back, Kyle Jones, shook off a few of the Spartan defenders to run 54-yards into the endzone and score his second rushing touchdown of the game. Backup kicker, junior, Cameron Walker, was able to split the uprights, with his second extra point kick of the night and put the icing on the cake for the Highlanders. With neither team scoring any more points in the remaining five minutes on the clock, the final score from Upland football stadium was 49 to 8.

    Dominating this match was obviously Upland’s run game. Kyle Jones was able to run for 129 yards and two touchdowns off of 10 carries for the Highlanders. Cameron Davis scored three rushing touchdowns and ran for 129 yards, with just seven carries for the Upland offense. Add in quarterback, David Baldwin, and his 110 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, the Highlanders were clearly in great shape, when running the ball Friday night.

    On defense, the story was much of what it has already been all year. An impressive defensive line, led by seniors, Fou Hoching and Andre Barnes to name a couple, continued to place constant pressure on the opponent’s offense and keep Damien at bay. Linebackers, Justin Flowe and Leonard Leau, were able to continue their dominance and earn 13 tackles together. On the man coverage, defensive backs, Caleb Roberson, Corey Thomas, and Gavin Scott, pulled together to deliver a whooping combined total of 28 tackles. Needless to say, the Highlanders’ defense has been putting up outstanding numbers all season long, from all three parts of what makes up a strong defense.

    With all eight cylinders firing off and immense momentum continuing to build, the Highlanders have already made this 2017 season one to be remembered for years to come. After running over opponents week by week, one can only begin to wonder what the near future holds for this Highlanders team. After all, playoffs are only about a month away. However, before we let our minds anticipate playoffs, the Highlanders must now prepare to do battle against Chino Hills, whom they will face this Friday night, at Upland High, at 7:00p.m. The game will be Upland’s annual Homecoming game. As one final tidbit of information, Chino Hills was able to beat the Highlanders’ last season, in a very low-scoring, 14 to 11 game.

 

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10/9/17

 

By: Anthony Lopez,

The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves,

The Plaid Photographer

     The biggest rivalry in Southern California high school football did not disappoint last Friday night, as the Upland Highlanders and Rancho Cucamonga Cougars delivered one of the best games in recent memory. From controversy, to several penalties, and three hours of “damn good football,” the game featured just about everything. When the slugfest was over, the Highlanders came out on top, defeating the Cougars 30 to 23,  and remaining undefeated.

    If you were not at the game, in person or watching the live broadcast on Fox Sports Prime Ticket, then you missed a vintage showdown between two old rivals, who both entered the night undefeated. Upland players, Justin Flowe, LeShaun Potts, Taj Davis, and Cameron Davis put in the effort and performances that carried the Highlanders across the finish line. At the same time, Cougars’ quarterback, Nick Acosta, and running back, Sean Dollars, put in respectable efforts for the Rancho team.

    With Upland winning the opening coin toss and deferring to the second half, the Cougars’ offense was first to hit the field. A few passes and runs up the field, paired with a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, set the Cougars up in prime scoring position. However, the Highlanders defense held strong in the red zone. Although the Cougars were able to score a field goal in the opening drive, preventing a touchdown was a huge win for the Upland defense.

    All it took for Upland’s offense was one play, as they caught the Cougars’ defense by surprise, right off the bat. The Highlanders scored the second they touched the ball, thanks to a double reverse play. Quarterback, David Baldwin, handed it off to Bryce Parker, who then reversed it to wide receiver, LeShaun Potts. Potts then heaved it 65 yards down the field to Taj Davis for a touchdown. The play caught fans, TV, and most importantly, the Cougars’ defense, by surprise. Potts’ first pass of the season was good for a 65-yard touchdown. With 8:28 remaining in the first quarter, Upland was up seven to three.

    After the ensuing kickoff and a quick TV timeout, the Cougars’ offense was back onto the field. This time, it only took Acosta and his crew a couple of plays to score their first touchdown of the night. With Acosta’s first touchdown pass of the night, the Cougars had the lead again. Upland phenom, Justin Flowe, broke right through the Cougars’ O-line on the PAT attempt, and blocked the kick. With the blocked PAT, the Cougars were up 9 to 7.

    The remainder of the first quarter did not go great for the Highlanders’ offense. On each of the Highlanders’ remaining two drives in the quarter, David Baldwin threw an interception. The junior quarterback turned in impressive numbers all season long, prior to the game, including only one interception, compared to 18 touchdowns. Despite these impressive numbers, Baldwin threw two interceptions in the waning minutes of the first. The Cougars were able to capitalize on these mistakes, as Cougars’ quarterback, Nick Acosta, was able to connect with receiver, J. Criddell, to put the Cougars up 16 to 7, to end the first.

    With the Cougars beginning to pick up a lot of momentum and an Upland offense struggling to make progress, the Highlanders’ defense and special teams unit would be the next group to deliver the goods for Upland. With 6:37 remaining in the second, Highlanders’ defensive lineman, Fou Hoching, was able to block a Cougars’ punt attempt. The ball wound up in Justin Flowe’s arms, who then ran it in 65 yards to the endzone, adding to the sophomore’s already impressive highlight reel. With an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the score was now 16 to 13, with the Cougars in the lead.

     After several minutes of general back and forth between the two teams and impressive defense from both sides, Baldwin and co. were eventually able to push their way through the Rancho defense in the waning moments before halftime. After an impressive drive and a few penalties against Rancho, Baldwin was able to throw a short touchdown pass to Le Shaun Potts, who made an outstanding catch, just above the defender’s head. With a successful PAT from kicker, Archie Green, the Highlanders were up 20 to 16, heading into halftime.

    The third quarter featured much of what the night had already been, as the two teams went back and forth on offense. Both team’s defenses were playing strong in the second half. The lone scoring play from the third quarter, came with 4:38 remaining, when Highlanders’ kicker, Archie Green, kicked his first field goal attempt of the year. The kick was good from 32 yards out, and the score put the Highlanders a full touchdown ahead, at 23 to 16.

    A marching drive up the field from the Cougars’ offense late in the third would be put to an end by Justin Flowe, who intercepted a pass from Nick Acosta, with just under two minutes left in the third. Flowe, who already had several solo tackles, a blocked PAT, and a fumble recovery touchdown, now added an interception to his growing list of highlights from the night. There is no question in anyone’s mind that Flowe will one day have a chance to chase down a career in professional football, if he sticks to it.

    In close games like this one, the fourth quarter is where the men are separated from the boys and the true winners emerge. Complementary to an already entertaining night, the fourth quarter of action was full of energy, excitement, and as Fox Sports best described it, controversy.

    The final quarter of play started off with a Rancho Cucamonga touchdown, by virtue of a memorable goal-line hurdle, by running back, Sean Dollars. The junior running back got the handoff and literally flew over both his O-line and Upland’s D-line. With the touchdown, the game was tied 23 to 23, with eleven minutes remaining. The intensity in the air was visible, and you could feel the energy from both crowds, home or away.

    Upland’s offense looked its best in the fourth quarter. After another reverse play, which featured a 41-yard pass from Potts to Davis again, the Highlanders’ offense found itself in scoring position, with 8:30 remaining in the game. On this scoring play,, it was Baldwin connecting with Potts once more, for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Potts now had three touchdowns on the night; two receiving and one passing. Green kicked another successful PAT, and the Highlanders had the lead 30 to 23, which would be the final score.

    The controversy in this game came, with just over one minute remaining. The Highlanders had the ball in their own territory and the Cougars had three timeouts. After each play, the Cougars would burn one of their timeouts. The Rancho defense was able to force a 4th-and-1 situation on the Highlanders’ offense. Upland decided to go for a QB sneak, to try to get the first down. With Fox Sports’ cameras all over the play, the spotting of the ball was extraordinarily close to the first down marker, as the ref spotted the ball on the 29-and-a-half yard line. The first down marker was originally at the 30-yard line. However, when the refs called the chain gang onto the field, to do an official measurement, the very tip of the ball surpassed the chain, which meant the Highlanders had the first down and the win. The question at hand here was whether or not the chain gang, which was being run by Rancho Cucamonga volunteers, accidentally took a few steps backwards during the measurements. Again, Fox Sports’ cameras were all over this incident and multiple replays clearly outline the first down marker and the spotting of the ball. However, an official call is an official call, and with that, the Highlanders were able to take a few knees to close out the game. Another classic showdown between Southern California’s biggest rivalry ended with fireworks (literally going off in the parking lot), and the visiting Upland crowd going wild.

    Some notable stats from Upland’s offense included Taj Davis’s five receptions, for a whopping 141 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver LeShaun Potts recorded one passing touchdown, 106 passing yards in total, and two receiving touchdowns. Quarterback, David Baldwin, completed 10 passes on 18 attempts, for 105 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Dynamic running back, Cameron Davis, who also played more than usual on defense, logged 12 carries for 54 yards.

    Notable stats from Upland’s defense included an impressive highlight reel from linebacker, Justin Flowe, who did just about everything. Flowe had 16 tackles in total, 9 of which were solo. In addition, Flowe had one interception, one blocked PAT, one sack, and one touchdown, via a punt-block. Caleb Roberson, who has been an incredibly consistent defensive back for Upland all season, had 6 solo tackles and played well throughout the night.

    When asked on the incredible performance from LeShaun Potts, Upland head coach, Tim Salter, said, “We ask LeShaun to do a lot of things now. He was injured earlier in the year, and came back from a sprained knee. He had a huge game tonight.”

    With the win, the Highlanders remain ranked among the top 10 in the state of California and move to 6-0, something that has not been done since the 2009 season. The win against Rancho was also Salter’s 225th win, as head coach for the Highlanders. Salter’s main takeaway from the night, “I think we found out tonight that as long as we hang together as a team, we’re pretty tough.”

    All eyes are on the Highlanders now, as they chug towards the midst of league competition. The triumphant Highlanders will now prepare to face Baseline League competitor, Damien High School, this Friday night, at Upland High, at 7:00p.m. The game will also be complementary to Upland High’s annual Senior Night.     

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10/6/17

  By: Andrea SosaThe Plaid, Staff Writer


     

On the 29th of September, juniors, Sanaa Johnson and Savannah Trujillo left to participate in the 15th annual Pathstar Swim Week (Oct. 1st to Oct. 9th), which concludes with the frigid swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco.

    The swim is organized by PATHSTAR, which helps to educate and promote wholesome nutrition and the importance of an active lifestyle among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The purpose of the event is to bring awareness to health issues, such as diabetes that are prevalent in Native American culture.

    It was Johnson’s and Trujillo's second time in the swim event. They were very excited to be swimming again and when asked if they felt prepared, both girls had a very positive response. Savannah Trujillo said, “Coming into the swim for a second time I definitely know what to expect. This makes me feel more prepared but there will always be factors that no one expects, so each time it is a new experience.” Sanna Johnson was fairly confident about competing in the swim for a second time. Johnson said, “Coming into this swim, I expect it to be a bit easier, since last year was the worst the water has been, since the program started. But I also have a feel as to what I should expect, which makes me feel more confident in the swim.”

    As expected, both girls were nervous about a few things going into the swim. Trujillo said, “The one thing I am nervous about is who my ‘Swim Angel’ will be. This is the person I will swim with in San Francisco, when we do the actual swim.” Johnson looked at her friend, nodded in agreement and said, “I am also nervous about my ‘Swim Angel.’ Everything else should be close to the way it was last year but this is the only thing that changes.”

   When the girls were asked about their training and if anything had changed, they both said, “No we will be swimming twice a day, like we did the previous year.” Johnson then said, “Our diet might change a little but besides that, everything will stay the same.”

   The girls also had some concerns, when it came to the race itself. Trujillo said, “I don't have any concerns besides the weather because the way the weather is determines if we swim or not. I am confident in my swimming abilities and look forward to getting into the water.” Johnson shared her concerns about the weather as well, when she said, “I am confident that Savannah and I will complete the swim and improve our times from last year.”  

   The girls were asked if there was anything that they learned from the swim last year that would help with this year’s swim. Both of them said there were a couple of things that they were carrying into this year’s race. Johnson said, “I learned a way to use restore energy, while swimming, without falling behind. I switch to a stroke that I find less draining but will also allow me to stay at a constant speed.” Johnson said, “I learned to hydrate more than I usually do. If I seem to get more tired, I try an easier stroke and to eat the right food, so I can stay warm.”

   Both girls go through a training process and swim trials, which started after they arrived in San Francisco. After the initial training sessions, the girls find out who their “Swim Angel” is and the route they will take. The Highlander family wants to wish both girls the best of luck and are excited to hear about their experiences when they come back to campus.

 

 

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9/26/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Staff Photographer

 

    After a long drive all the way down to the deserts of Temecula, the Highlanders returned home victorious last Friday night, after a 41 to 20 win against the Great Oak Wolfpack. The victory means that the Highlanders are now 5-0 and have won all pre-league games, as they head into their week six bye.

    Entering the night with four wins and no losses, the Highlanders had a load of confidence coming into Great Oak’s territory. The rambunctious Temecula crowd was one of the hands-down greatest crowds seen in recent memory, as their student pound had to have at least two to three hundred students. Despite the beaming energy from the Great Oak home crowd, their football team was not able to hold off the double attack our Highlanders’ team presents this year. Just by sheer numbers, the Upland offense dominated the night, while the defense held up well too, only allowing 20 points throughout the 48-minute game.

    Contrary to the recent games that Upland has been featured in, the opposing team actually scored a touchdown before the Highlanders did. With 9:18 left in the first quarter, the Great Oak Wolfpack found their way to the end-zone, just a few plays into the first drive of the night. Wolfpack quarterback, McGwire Bustamante, connected with wide receiver, Mikel Barkley, for a 64-yard touchdown pass, one of the more impressive highlights of the night. After a blocked PAT attempt, the Wolfpack had the lead six to zero.

    The Highlanders’ offense scored on their first drive of the night too, however, as they put together a long drive up the field, which started all the way back near their own 20-yard line. For this scoring play, it was Upland quarterback, David Baldwin, running it into the end-zone himself, as he pulled off a successful goal-line QB sneak. With kicker, Archie Green, knocking down the PAT, the Highlanders had the lead seven to six. The scoring did not end there, as just a few seconds later, Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, forced a fumble, which was recovered by Shamar Whestone from the Highlanders. The fumble recovery set the Highlanders’ offense in prime position, as they scored once more, with 3:59 remaining in the first quarter, by virtue of a 25-yard touchdown pass from David Baldwin to Taj Davis. Another good PAT kick, from Archie Green, had the visiting Highlanders up 14 to 6.

    The second quarter was relatively quiet in scoring terms, as both teams played well on defense. Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, and defensive back, Malik Goss, had outstanding defensive performances that held Great Oak to only one touchdown in the first half of play. Great Oak’s defense looked beefy in the second quarter as well, but, the Highlanders eventually worked their way around the Wolfpack. With 10:18 remaining before halftime, Cameron Davis ran it into the house from five yards out, putting the icing on the cake, after another notable drive up the field from the Highlanders’ offense. With Green easily making his third PAT of the night, the Highlanders carried a 21 to 6 lead, into the locker rooms, at halftime.

    The third quarter of play featured highlights from both teams, as both Great Oak and Upland found their way to the end-zones. After a couple drives of back-and-forth to begin the third, the Highlanders’ offense worked its way down the field once more eventually scoring, with 7:09 remaining in the quarter, as Baldwin completed his second touchdown pass of the night to Simon Samarzich, from ten yards out. With the receiving touchdown, Samarzich had two touchdowns, in two consecutive weeks, for the Highlanders’ offense. The fourth PAT kick went up, and with that, the Highlanders had a commanding 28 to 6 lead.

    Great Oak’s third quarter touchdown came with 4:45 remaining in the quarter, as running back, Danny Morales, ran it into the end-zone. Being down 22 points, the Wolfpack attempted a two-point conversion, although it was no good. Heading into the final quarter of play, the Highlanders were up 28 to 12.

    The opening four minutes of the final quarter of play nailed the coffin closed for the Wolfpack, as the Highlanders brought an onslaught of touchdowns. It all started with a punt block to start the fourth quarter, setting the Highlanders’ offense up in tip-top position to score another touchdown. Kyle Jones ran it in for a three-yard touchdown run, with 11:46 remaining in the fourth. Then, one minute later, the Highlanders’ defense forced and recovered another fumble, setting up another prime situation for the offense. With 9:17 remaining in the fourth, Baldwin completed his third touchdown pass of the night, to receiver, Isaiah Banks. After the heavy hits from the Upland defense and the onslaught of touchdowns from the offense, the Highlanders had a 41 to 12 lead, with just half a quarter to go.

    After Great Oak scored one more time before the end of the game, the final score from Great Oak High School was 41 to 20 and the Highlanders earned their fifth consecutive win of the 2017 season. The Highlanders, with the win, also remain undefeated.

    Even with beating Great Oak being the main task at hand, the Highlanders had another focus going into this game. With the looming league-opener coming in two weeks, against rival Rancho Cucamonga, the Highlanders team came into Great Oak looking to win the game and prepare for the Rancho match at the same time. Wide receiver, LeShaun Potts, said, “Going into Friday’s game, the game plan was to play the starters the entire game, blowout or not, to prepare for our next game against Rancho.” Speaking of the game in general, Potts said, “Our defense came out a little sluggish on the first drive, giving up a long ball, but after that, we stepped it up on defense. Our offense answered back quickly with touchdowns of our own.”

    Notable stats from Friday night include Upland running back, Cameron Davis, who carried the ball 20 times for 177 yards and one touchdown. Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, finished the night completing 11 passes, out of 17 attempts, for 130 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception- his first all season. The lead receiver from the night for the Highlanders was Taj Davis, who caught the ball four times, for 62 yards and one touchdown. On defense, Highlanders’ linebacker and phenom, Justin Flowe, had one of his best games yet, forcing a fumble, getting a sack, 9 solo tackles, 7 assisted tackles, and 16 tackles in total.

    The undefeated Highlanders are now in their bye week. The team will return to action next Friday night against longtime rival, Rancho Cucamonga, at Rancho Cucamonga High School. The game will be a huge test for the Highlanders’ team, as they prepare to prove their worthiness in the 2017 championship conversations.

 

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9/18/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Photographer

 

    For the first time since the 2012 season, the Highlanders are 4-0, thanks in part to their most recent win against the La Mirada Matadores, last Friday night. When it was all said and done from Highlanders’ Stadium, the final score was 49 to 7, as the Highlanders showed their strength on all three sides of the ball.

    The Highlanders scored an impressive win over La Mirada last Friday night, by dominating all aspects of the game. It didn’t take long for the onslaught of Upland touchdowns to begin, as the home team got their first touchdown, just two and a half minutes into the game. Cameron Davis was able to run in a goal-line touchdown, after the Highlanders’ special teams unit blocked a Matadores’ punt attempt and got the ball down to the one-yard line. The play gave the Upland offense prime position and they made quick work with it, as Davis ran in for the go-ahead touchdown. A failed two-point conversion attempt meant the Highlanders were up six to zero early.

    With 4:14 left in the first, the Highlanders found the endzone for the second time of the night, after quarterback, David Baldwin, connected with Simon Samarzich, for an 18-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown was Samarzich’s first of the season. This time, the two point conversion attempt was successful, as Kyle Jones ran it in from two yards out, to put the Highlanders up 14 to nothing.

    La Mirada’s offense had begun to put together a decent drive late in the first, as they worked their way into Upland territory. Unfortunately for the Matadores, the Highlanders’ defense quickly brought an end to the Matadores hopes, as the Highlanders forced a fumble. Upland senior, Leonard Leau, was there to recover the fumble for the Highlanders’ defense. The first quarter would come to a close shortly thereafter and after 12 minutes of play, the Highlanders were up 14 to zero.

    An eventful second quarter saw a major increase in the Highlanders’ lead, as both the Upland’s offense and defense scored touchdowns in this quarter. Quite possibly the highlight of the night occurred with 9:05 left in the second, when Baldwin heaved a pass deep downfield to receiver, Taj Davis. Seemingly locked in a one-on-one battle with his defender, Davis somehow managed to catch the ball around the 10-yard line. From there, Davis hobbled his way into the endzone, as the La Mirada defender was desperately trying to bring Davis down. After a successful PAT kick from Archie Green, the Highlanders were up 21 to nothing.

    The next score came with 6:29 left in the second, as this time it was the Highlanders’ defense making another huge play. Shamar Whestone intercepted a pass from the Matadores’ quarterback and ran it all the way to the house, for a 75-yard pick-six. It was Whestone’s first pick-six interception of the season. Archie Green put up another successful PAT, and midway through the second, the Highlanders were up 28 to squat.

    The home crowd didn’t have to wait long for their team to score once more, as the Highlanders scored another touchdown the very next offensive drive. David Baldwin found an open Bryce Parker, for a touchdown pass, with 2:38 remaining before the end of the half. Although it was Parker’s only touchdown of the night, the senior led the Highlanders in the receiving category, as he caught the ball five times, for 100 yards and a touchdown. After Archie Green’s third successful PAT, the Highlanders were up 35 to nothing.

    As if La Mirada wasn’t already having a bad night, their offense turned the ball over again, just one minute later. Another interception, this time received by Upland defensive back, Jaden Dedman, meant that the Highlanders’ offense was going to get the ball back to close out the half. Heading into the locker room, the Highlanders had a massive 35 to 0 lead.

    The Highlanders quickly scored once more, as soon as the second half got underway, as running back, Cameron Davis, ran the ball in for his second rushing touchdown of the night. The touchdown added to Davis’s stats of the night, which included five rushes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. With 11:24 remaining in the third, the score was 42 to zero.

    Scoring for the Highlanders’ final time of the night would be LeShaun Potts, with seven minutes remaining in the third. Archie Green’s fifth and final PAT of the night was good, and the Highlanders were then up by 49 points. La Mirada eventually scored for the first time of the night, deep in the third, by virtue of a passing touchdown. However, that would be all she wrote, as no scoring would occur after that. The final score from Highlanders’ stadium was 49 to 7.

    Highlanders’ head coach, Tim Salter, had nothing but praise for his team after the game. When asked how the game went, Salter said, “It started out pretty good, when we blocked the punt. We blocked the punt and got an easy score. We had the interception returned for a touchdown.” Salter went on to say, “We did a lot of good things on defense and special teams that kind of ignited everything.” The best way to sum up the night though would be how Salter put it, when he said, “Tonight we scored on defense; we scored on special teams; and we scored on offense. When you do that, you’re going to win a lot of games.”

    Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, had another solid performance as he completed 11 passes out of 14 attempts, for 199 yards and four touchdowns. It left Baldwin with a 159.2 quarterback rating, one of his highest of the season thus far.

    The Highlanders will now prepare to take the fight on the road, as their next two games are both away. The first game of the two will be this Friday night, down in Temecula, as the Highlanders will face Great Oak, a team they beat 38 to 25 last season.

 

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9/11/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography By: Nadia Castro, The Plaid Photographer

    The momentous start to the 2017 season continued on Friday night, as the Highlanders travelled to Redlands High School to defeat the Redlands East Valley Wildcats 47 to 26. With strong performances turned in by players Kyle Jones, Cameron Davis, Taj Davis, and Justin Flowe, the Highlanders moved to 3-0 in the season, as they prepare to face La Mirada.

    Although the REV Wildcats were able to put up 26 points against the Highlanders defense, the Highlanders ultimately turned in the better overall performance in offense and defense. The scoring began after a nice offensive drive was put together by Baldwin and Co. as they marched up the field, handed it off to senior, Kyle Jones, who promptly ran it in for a three-yard-rushing touchdown, to put the Highlanders up seven to zero early in the first. About six minutes later in the first, it would be Kyle Jones scoring once more, for a 12-yard-touchdown run. Paired with a blocked PAT, the Highlanders were up 13 to nothing, as the first quarter of play came to a close. At this point, it seemed the Highlanders’ offense was finding ways around the Wildcats’ defense.

    After a sloppy drive by the Wildcats, the Highlanders quickly got the ball back in their hands early in the second. Similar to what they had already done twice before, the Highlanders made quick work of the Wildcats’ defense, with ten minutes left in the second. This time, it was Cameron Davis who would run it in from outside of the goal line to score another Highlanders’ touchdown. Although a failed two-point conversion followed, the Highlanders were now up 19 to zero, a familiar sight in the beginning half of this season.

    The Wildcats’ offense eventually found their way to the endzone, as they put up seven points, with eight minutes remaining in the second, by virtue of a passing touchdown thrown by quarterback, Myles Herrera. The pass was caught by Wildcats’ senior, Gabriel Clark. With eight minutes left in the second, the Highlanders were up 19 to 7.

    Perhaps one of the bigger highlights, if not the biggest, of the night, came on the Highlanders’ next offensive drive, with just over seven minutes left before the half. Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, who has turned in an impressive performances in the season’s first couple of games, proved his worth on the next scoring play of the night. Scrambling out of the pocket, Baldwin found an open Taj Davis way down field and the two juniors connected. Baldwin threw the ball at least 50 yards down field, and Davis caught the ball to take it all the way home, to complete a 75-yard-touchdown pass, which then put the Highlanders up 25 to 7.

    An ambitious Wildcat’ home crowd kept their team in the game though, as the Wildcats scored their second touchdown of the night, with three and a half minutes remaining in the second, which complemented a nice drive up the field. Gabriel Clark scored the Wildcats’ touchdown again, this time running it in. Paired with a blocked PAT, the score with three minutes left before the half was 25 to 13.

    Just when the crowd thought the first half was coming to a close, Justin Flowe, the latest phenom for the Highlanders, showed why you can never sleep on the Highlanders’ defense. The sophomore linebacker, who earned 12 total tackles in the night, seven of which were solo, sacked Wildcats’ quarterback, Myles Herrera, in their own endzone for a safety. Two points were thrown Upland’s way and heading into the locker rooms for halftime, the Highlanders were up 27 to 13.

    Midway through the third, junior, Cameron Davis, got his second touchdown of the night for the Highlanders with a 10-yard-rushing touchdown. Paired with a successful PAT kick by Archie Green, the Highlanders were quickly running away with the lead, as the score was now 40 to 13. It would end up being the only scoring play in the third quarter.

    An eventful final quarter of play added some juice to the game, as the Wildcats made a few zigs and zags that earned them two touchdowns. However, it wouldn’t be until after the Highlanders offense scored one more touchdown to cement their lead. On this score, it was Baldwin connecting with Kyle Jones, from six yards out. The completed pass meant Kyle Jones completed the hat trick and scored his third touchdown of the night, an impressive stat certainly. Archie Green kicked another successful PAT, and with 11 and a half minutes remaining in the fourth, the Highlanders were up 47 to 13.

    The Wildcats answered back immediately, as sophomore, Brandon Wells, ran in an 80-yard-plus kickoff return touchdown. The long run to the house got the home crowd excited and added to the already action-filled highlight reel of the night. Then, just one minute later, it was the Wildcats’ offense scoring again after a few passes up the field. After a successful PAT kick by the Wildcats’ kicker, the Wildcats chopped into the Highlanders lead. With 10 minutes left before the end of the game, the Highlanders were up 47 to 26.

    The comeback attempt ended there for the Wildcats, as the Highlanders defense held them at bay for the remainder of the game. Highlanders quarterback, David Baldwin, would exit the game, with roughly six minutes left in the game, due to an apparent leg injury. As of press time, the extent of the injury is unknown, but the injury did appear to be nothing more than bad legs cramps.

    At the end of four quarters of play from Redlands High School, the final score was 47 to 26 and the Highlanders earned their third consecutive win of the season and remain undefeated. Among the notable stats, Kyle Jones carried the ball 13 times for 73 yards, two rushing touchdowns, and one receiving touchdown. Cameron Davis ran the ball 13 times as well, for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Upland junior, Taj Davis, also scored two touchdowns on the night, as he had seven receptions for 178 yards. Taj Davis told the Daily Bulletin after the game, “We know we have things to work on but I still think we’re going to be the best team in our league. We just have to keep getting better.” On defense, Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, powered through the Wildcats’ O-line, for seven solo tackles, a safety, and 12 total tackles.

    The Highlanders will now prepare for their fourth game of the season which will be against La Mirada this Friday night. The game will be here at Upland High School, with kickoff at 7:00p.m.

 

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9/11/17

By: Camille Sipple

The Plaid, Staff Writer

    On Thursday, September 7, the L.A. County Fair was host to our very own, Upland Highland Regiment. Recognizing the city of Upland for “Upland Day,” an invitation to perform in the annual parade of the fairgrounds was extended to the regiment. After months of practice, dedication and hard work, the Highland Regiment was ready to give everyone a parade that they would never forget. Even though it was a performance, these students still used it as an opportunity to improve themselves. Sophomore, Raquel Martinez, and bass clarinet player said “[parades] give us a chance to perfect our marching in a much more professional manner.”

    As the regiment marched to their cadences, cheers and smiles surrounded them all, throughout the fairgrounds. The excited cheers of their supporters drove the Highland Regiment to work harder and to enjoy the success after months of hard work. Junior trumpet player, Sebastian Gomez said, “I absolutely love participating in parades because it makes me feel good to hear people cheer for the band.”

    The experience is not new for the Regiment’s older members and some saw it as the kickoff to their last year with the beloved music program. Cameron Nicols, a senior baritone saxophone player said, “It made it so different just taking it all in and realizing I’ll never be able to do that again. It all went by so fast.” Natalie Noriega, a senior flute player also said, “I enjoy marching in the parades […] but it’s bittersweet since it’s my last year.” However, Noriega sees a bright future ahead for the program, long after her class is gone, as she said, “The regiment is continuing to get better throughout the years[...] a lot of the new freshmen are great and strong musicians.”

    With their fall show season about to begin, the LACF parade was a great start to the long season of competition to come. Head Drum Major, E.J. Miranda said that he, “enjoy[s] doing parades because it gives people a chance to see the regiment other than at field competitions.” It was clear that most of spectators cheering the regiment on were Upland High School alumni, who wished to see their alma mater once again and parades just seem to bring a community together to celebrate the good aspects of life. Senior flute player, Delainey Capps said, “Parades are one of the ways that band can represent the community by bringing everyone together.”

     It’s not the end of parades for Regiment seniors, however. The annual Upland Christmas Parade in December will also feature the Upland Highland Regiment on it’s parade route. If you missed this amazing experience at the L.A. County Fair, you can catch it again this winter. See you there!


 

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9/6/17

   By: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography By: S.Little

     The Highlanders proved they are one of the teams to beat this year, as they went ballistic against the Claremont Wolfpack last Friday night. Entering the game, most knew that there was already an advantage for the Highlanders, just based off of sheer stats. However, the final score exceeded many people’s predictions. After four quarters of pure domination, the Highlanders defeated the Wolfpack 62 to 3 and claimed their stake in this year’s championship run.

    During a game like Friday night’s, the focus is typically more on what players can put up big numbers, rather than which team is going to win. The reason is because by the end of the first quarter, the game was pretty much over. Just one minute into the Highlanders’ first drive of the night, quarterback, David Baldwin, threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to receiver, Isaiah Banks, to put the “mighty Scots” up six to zero. Kicker, Archie Green, then entered the field to put up the PAT and ensure the Highlanders got the full seven points from the scoring play. After a kickoff back to the Wolfpack, the Claremont offense would then enter the field, although not for long.

    Only a couple plays in, and the Wolfpack fumbled the ball, leading to a fumble recovery by the Highlanders defense. Baldwin and his crew came back out onto the field and made quick work of the Wolfpack defense once more, as Baldwin connected to wide receiver, Corey Thomas, for a three-yard touchdown-pass completion. After another PAT from Green, the Highlanders were up 14 to zero, not even three minutes into the game. The parade of first quarter scoring didn’t stop there though, as the Highlanders scored once more after the defense forced the Wolfpack to punt the ball back into the Highlanders’ hands. After a few big plays and a nice drive up the field, Baldwin threw another touchdown pass, this time connecting with receiver, Bryce Parker. Green’s PAT this time would go wide left a bit. However, the Highlanders’ lead was already cemented. At the end of one quarter of play, the Highlanders were up 20 to nothing against the Claremont Wolfpack.

    With the start of the second quarter, the Highlanders immediately began finding the endzone some more. Baldwin continued his respectable performance, as he connected with receiver, Taj Davis, for a 50-yard touchdown pass, just one minute into the second quarter. The Highlanders were now up 27 to nothing. Then, just a couple minutes later, the Highlanders found the endzone again. On this score, it was Baldwin connecting with receiver, Taj Davis, again for a 12-yard touchdown pass. After a successful PAT from Archie Green, the Highlanders were then up 34 to zero. As if the home team hadn’t enough of scoring, the Highlanders scored again, just a minute later and this time, on defense.

    Defensive back, Caleb Roberson, returned a fumble recovery for an 18-yard touchdown, and with a long eight minutes still to go before the half. The score was already 41 to nothing. Has the point gotten across yet? By now, the Highlanders had completely locked the game up. The Claremont Wolfpack did end up eventually scoring though, as they managed to sneak in a field goal, with three and a half minutes remaining in the second. However, this field goal was quickly trumped by yet another Highlanders’ touchdown a couple minutes later. With the first half of play coming to a close, the Highlanders’ offense was sure to go out with one more bang, as quarterback, David Baldwin, connected with receiver, Kyle Jones, for a 34-yard touchdown. Closing out the half, the score was 48 to 3, and most everybody knew exactly who the winner was going to be.

    It wasn’t until late in the third quarter, when the Highlanders found the endzone again. With a little over a minute to go in the third, the Highlanders marched up the field and handed it off to Tyevin Ford, for a two-yard rushing touchdown. After this scoring play, the next one didn’t occur until halfway through the final quarter of play, when running back, Kyle Floyd, ran it in from 22 yards out, for what seemed like the millionth touchdown of the night for the Highlanders. After this scoring play, the score was 62 to 3, and it would stay that way for the remainder of the game.

    Similar to last week against La Habra, Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, had another noticeably good performance against the Wolfpack defense. Baldwin was 12 for 14 on pass attempts, for 276 yards, a whopping 6 touchdowns, and a .857 completion rate. The junior quarterback has shown noticeable improvement thus far this season.

    Among the many noticeable performances of the night, Marcus Brown turned in the most rushing yards for the Highlanders. After three carries, the senior had run for 61 yards.

    When asked of the game, Upland receiver, Bryce Parker said, “Claremont was a week where we could focus on getting better. Everybody on the team had a better bond after the game.” Highlanders’ senior, Kyle Jones, also added in, “It was good to get everybody on the team in. It was a good experience for the team. It was great to see everyone who doesn’t have a chance to play to play in the game.”

    The Highlanders will now move on to face Redlands East Valley this Friday night, for their first away game of the season. Last season, the Highlanders were able to defeat Redlands, but the game was not in any means a blowout. The Highlanders have started off full of momentum and will greatly help as we get closer to the start of league.

    

 

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8/30/17

By: Nailea Castillo, The Plaid Editor-In-Chief

Photography By: Donia Farraj, The Plaid Photo Editor

     On Friday, August 25, at 6 am, the senior class of 2018 gathered at the field to watch the sunrise together and embrace the beginning of the end. Students gathered at the field across from the K building to participate in raffles and enjoy food and music. Those who attended were given one raffle ticket, another if they wore their senior class shirt and a third, if they dressed in all red or wore face paint.

     Senior, Hannah Ponce, dressed in the senior class’ baseball tee, said that she arrived very early in the morning to participate in the event, “about 5:50 am” she said. “I went with the rest of the cheer girls and my friends Dennise and Amy.”

Sleepy seniors were greeted by ASB with donuts, juices and waters, as they set down their chairs and blankets on the grass.They enjoyed music and the company of their peers as they took photos and waited for the sun to rise. And as it did, senior class president, Danika Hochberger, gave a moving speech to kick off the senior year. She stated in her speech that, “... we have 286 days left as highlanders. Make them count.”

     In the end, it was a bittersweet moment for the senior class, and one of many heartfelt  occasions that will take place throughout the duration of these students’ last year in high school. Here’s to an eventful year!

 

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8/30/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Staff Photographer

    Before Friday night, there were questions in the air surrounding the Upland Highlanders. Who would arise to team leader roles as last year’s seniors departed? How would the Scots fair in Division 2? After Friday night’s match between the Upland Highlanders and the La Habra Highlanders, we received promising answers to those questions. The Scots brought home a 35 to 7 victory in this season’s opening game.

    Maybe it was the brand new field or the overwhelming amount of excitement from the crowd on Friday night, but whatever the case, the “real Highlanders” looked, played, and executed well in the season opening game. To put Upland’s performance in an analogy, it was like watching an engine fire off on all eight cylinders. Among the night’s best performers for Upland were quarterback, David Baldwin; receiver, Taj Davis, with 137 receiving yards; and Upland’s latest phenom, linebacker, Justin Flowe, who had five solo tackles, one sack, and a total of nine tackles.

    Before people could even take their seats, the home team was already scoring. On the very first offensive play of the game, Baldwin connected with Davis, for an 80-yard touchdown, right alongside the Upland sidelines. Sophomore kicker, Archie Green came out on the field to kick the PAT and put the “Scots” up, seven to zero, just fifteen seconds into the game. With La Habra’s offense onto the field now, all eyes would be on Upland’s linebacker core, thanks in part to the recent ranking of #1 in the Class of 2020 for Justin Flowe, who already has nine full-ride offers from colleges across the country. The defensive star did not disappoint, as he and defensive back, Corey Thomas sacked the La Habra quarterback just a few plays into La Habra’s first drive. After a few minor penalties from both teams seemingly knocking the rust off, Upland regained possession of the ball, late in the first and scored once more by virtue of a three-yard touchdown, run by Cameron Davis, which complemented a touchdown-worthy-drive up the field, by the Scots offense. After the PAT went inches to the left and hit the goal post, the score at the end of the first quarter was 13 to nothing, with the home team riding high and looking good.

    The momentum kept rolling, as Upland’s offense made more quick work of the La Habra defense early in the second. An 18-yard touchdown, run by Cameron Davis, paired with a successful two-point conversion attempt by Kyle Jones, put the home team up 21 to zip, with a little over eleven minutes remaining in the second. The second quarter dragged on with a bit of a defensive battle between the two teams. Both sides were showing off decent defense for the majority of the second quarter. However, one of the more noticeable defensive highlights of the night came with about two minutes left before the half, when defensive back, Corey Thomas earned a solo sack in the backfield, on La Habra quarterback, Ryan Zanelli. The sack and few more defensive stops later, the Scots offense came back onto the field, with little time remaining before halftime. One of the more memorable offensive highlights happened during this drive with about a minute left before the half, when quarterback, David Baldwin was met with immense pressure from the blitzing La Habra defense. Baldwin managed to maneuver and scramble away enough from the defense to be able to connect with an open receiver and save Upland’s drive. With three seconds left before halftime, Baldwin found an open Bryce Parker, for a touchdown pass. A successful PAT by kicker, Archie Green cemented Upland’s lead by 28 points, as the teams headed into the locker rooms.

    After another strong halftime performance by the Upland regiment and color guard, it was time for the players to come back out to the field and for the fans to come back from the snack bars and into the stands. The majority of the third quarter was tame in football terms, except for what could have been a 100-yard, endzone-to-endzone, fumble-recovery-touchdown by Upland defensive back, Caleb Roberson, who also forced the fumble in the first place. However, there were two penalties on the play on both teams, which ultimately called the touchdown back. Although it didn’t count, the play got the home crowd up on their feet and reenergized. The Upland offense would score for the fifth and final time of the night, with two minutes left to go in the third, by virtue of another touchdown and successful PAT. At the end of the third quarter, the Scots were up 35 to squat and La Habra was going to need a miracle, to keep their chances alive.

    Although La Habra finally managed to score, with eight minutes remaining in the fourth and the final quarter of the game, that was all the visiting team had and the Upland Highlanders proved victorious in this rare battle between the Highlanders and the Highlanders. The final score at the end of the night was 35 to zero, and Upland has now opened the season with a win that places them with a 17th-place ranking, in the state of California. When asked how the game went, Upland Coach Kim replied, “We won. We got a lot of improvements to make. It was a good team effort.” Assistant coach, Darryl Thomas also stated, “There’s always improvements. We can always get better. We need to get better. Our offensive line did an extremely good job, driving the ball down the field. Defense did well the whole night too.”

    Arguably one of his best performances to date as Varsity quarterback for the Scots, David Baldwin completed 20 passes out of his 26 attempts, for 322 yards and two touchdowns. By virtue of being 20 for 26, Baldwin’s completion rate was .769 and his overall quarterback rating was 143.4. Adding to his impressive stats from Friday night, Baldwin also never thrown an interception. Overall, the numbers put up by Baldwin on Friday night were respectable and earned recognition by Coach Thomas who also said, “David [Baldwin] looked much more poised tonight.” Certainly, the quarterback’s noticeable improvement from last season, helped ensure the Scots walked away with the win.

    The Highlanders will now prepare for battle against the Claremont Wolfpack, a team the Highlanders defeated 42 to 3 last season. The second game of the season will be this upcoming Friday night, at home, with kickoff at 7:00p.m.

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The Plaid

The Plaid

10/17/17

By: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Photographer

 

     Add another win to the 2017 “win column” for the Upland Highlanders’ Varsity football team. The Highlanders won their seventh consecutive game of the season, last Friday night, against the Damien Spartans, by a score of 49 to 8. With the win, the Highlanders remain undefeated, as players from both offense and defense step-up and deliver impressive performances week in and week out.

    If you’ve been following along with the Highlanders’ season this year, each headline has pretty much been the same. Another game; another win. The Highlanders’ team has been extraordinary on both offense and defense thus far, excluding just a few blips in the road. The storyline wasn’t much different against Damien.

    The game started off with an interception, thrown by Upland quarterback, David Baldwin. Baldwin’s pass, intended for Taj Davis, was caught by both Davis and his defender, with the ball ultimately being ripped out of Davis’s hands. The interception counted as Baldwin’s fourth of the season, a relatively low number compared to his 20+ touchdown passes. Although Damien’s defense started out with momentum, their offense was never able to follow up and score.

    The rest of the first quarter was dominated by Upland running back, Cameron Davis, who has had quite the season thus far. With 5:18 remaining in the first, Davis scored a touchdown, via an 18-yard run, which complemented a successful offensive drive, up field by Upland. Then, just two minutes later, Cameron Davis scored again, thanks to a 44-yard-touchdown-run. At this point, Davis already had 70+ rushing yards and two touchdowns, with only a handful of carries. After two successful, extra-point kicks from Archie Green, the Highlanders were up 14 to nothing, by the end of the first quarter.

    The first eventful play of the second quarter came when Damien attempted a field goal from about 25 yards out. The Highlanders’ special teams’ unit was having none of it though, as Corey Thomas broke through the Spartan’s O-line, to block the kick and keep Damien scoreless.

    Perhaps one of David Baldwin’s greatest highlights of his career at Upland occurred next, with 9:43 remaining in the second quarter. After taking a snap and struggling to find an open receiver, and while facing pressure from Damien’s D-line, Baldwin scrambled out of the pocket and kept the ball for a wild 86-yard-touchdown-run. You read that right. An 86-yard quarterback keeper, all the way to the house. Keeping plays alive is vital to the game of football and Baldwin, in his junior year, was able to prove he can do just that on this scoring play.

    Continuing the dominance for Upland was senior running back, Kyle Jones, who went on to score a touchdown via a goal-line, go-ahead-run, with just over two minutes remaining, before halftime. After Archie Green knocked down his fourth extra point kick of the night, the Highlanders headed into halftime with a 28-to-nothing lead.

    Even with a stellar 28-point lead, the Highlanders were still all-throttle and no brakes, to begin the second half of play. With 9:49 remaining in the third, Highlanders quarterback, Baldwin, threw his one and only touchdown pass of the night to wide receiver, Simon Samarzich, who had to shake off a few Spartans to make it all the way into the endzone. Nevertheless, Samarzich was able to roll into the touchdown and complete the 21-yard-passing play. Samarzich, who is showing improvement on the field, has scored a touchdown in three of the last four games now.

    As if two rushing touchdowns wasn’t enough for Cameron Davis, the Highlanders’ junior running back scored his third touchdown of the night and completed the hat trick, with 4:49 remaining in the third quarter. Davis ran the ball in, from 39 yards out, on this scoring play. With the fog rolling in and time on the clock dwindling, the Highlanders had a massive, 42 to 0 lead.

    Highlanders’ backup quarterback, Keinon Ferdinand, came onto to the field with the Upland offense next, as the Highlanders began to rest their starters. Not all went well, however, for Ferdinand. On his second play of the night, a high snap, which overshot Ferdinand, resulted in him chasing the ball into Upland’s own end zone and being sacked for a safety. Although it was not Ferdinand’s fault, the Spartans had a couple points on the board--literally just a couple.

    Damien’s offense was finally able to get a drive going up field, early in the final quarter. Spartans’ quarterback, Warren Bryan, was able to throw an 18-yard-touchdown pass to his receiver, Mikey McCauley. After an unsuccessful extra point kick, which was blocked by Highlander, Jaden Dedman, the score was 42 to 8.

    Going out with one last bang, the Highlanders’ offense scored one more touchdown before the end of the night. On the final scoring play of the game, senior running back, Kyle Jones, shook off a few of the Spartan defenders to run 54-yards into the endzone and score his second rushing touchdown of the game. Backup kicker, junior, Cameron Walker, was able to split the uprights, with his second extra point kick of the night and put the icing on the cake for the Highlanders. With neither team scoring any more points in the remaining five minutes on the clock, the final score from Upland football stadium was 49 to 8.

    Dominating this match was obviously Upland’s run game. Kyle Jones was able to run for 129 yards and two touchdowns off of 10 carries for the Highlanders. Cameron Davis scored three rushing touchdowns and ran for 129 yards, with just seven carries for the Upland offense. Add in quarterback, David Baldwin, and his 110 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, the Highlanders were clearly in great shape, when running the ball Friday night.

    On defense, the story was much of what it has already been all year. An impressive defensive line, led by seniors, Fou Hoching and Andre Barnes to name a couple, continued to place constant pressure on the opponent’s offense and keep Damien at bay. Linebackers, Justin Flowe and Leonard Leau, were able to continue their dominance and earn 13 tackles together. On the man coverage, defensive backs, Caleb Roberson, Corey Thomas, and Gavin Scott, pulled together to deliver a whooping combined total of 28 tackles. Needless to say, the Highlanders’ defense has been putting up outstanding numbers all season long, from all three parts of what makes up a strong defense.

    With all eight cylinders firing off and immense momentum continuing to build, the Highlanders have already made this 2017 season one to be remembered for years to come. After running over opponents week by week, one can only begin to wonder what the near future holds for this Highlanders team. After all, playoffs are only about a month away. However, before we let our minds anticipate playoffs, the Highlanders must now prepare to do battle against Chino Hills, whom they will face this Friday night, at Upland High, at 7:00p.m. The game will be Upland’s annual Homecoming game. As one final tidbit of information, Chino Hills was able to beat the Highlanders’ last season, in a very low-scoring, 14 to 11 game.

 

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10/9/17

 

By: Anthony Lopez,

The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves,

The Plaid Photographer

     The biggest rivalry in Southern California high school football did not disappoint last Friday night, as the Upland Highlanders and Rancho Cucamonga Cougars delivered one of the best games in recent memory. From controversy, to several penalties, and three hours of “damn good football,” the game featured just about everything. When the slugfest was over, the Highlanders came out on top, defeating the Cougars 30 to 23,  and remaining undefeated.

    If you were not at the game, in person or watching the live broadcast on Fox Sports Prime Ticket, then you missed a vintage showdown between two old rivals, who both entered the night undefeated. Upland players, Justin Flowe, LeShaun Potts, Taj Davis, and Cameron Davis put in the effort and performances that carried the Highlanders across the finish line. At the same time, Cougars’ quarterback, Nick Acosta, and running back, Sean Dollars, put in respectable efforts for the Rancho team.

    With Upland winning the opening coin toss and deferring to the second half, the Cougars’ offense was first to hit the field. A few passes and runs up the field, paired with a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, set the Cougars up in prime scoring position. However, the Highlanders defense held strong in the red zone. Although the Cougars were able to score a field goal in the opening drive, preventing a touchdown was a huge win for the Upland defense.

    All it took for Upland’s offense was one play, as they caught the Cougars’ defense by surprise, right off the bat. The Highlanders scored the second they touched the ball, thanks to a double reverse play. Quarterback, David Baldwin, handed it off to Bryce Parker, who then reversed it to wide receiver, LeShaun Potts. Potts then heaved it 65 yards down the field to Taj Davis for a touchdown. The play caught fans, TV, and most importantly, the Cougars’ defense, by surprise. Potts’ first pass of the season was good for a 65-yard touchdown. With 8:28 remaining in the first quarter, Upland was up seven to three.

    After the ensuing kickoff and a quick TV timeout, the Cougars’ offense was back onto the field. This time, it only took Acosta and his crew a couple of plays to score their first touchdown of the night. With Acosta’s first touchdown pass of the night, the Cougars had the lead again. Upland phenom, Justin Flowe, broke right through the Cougars’ O-line on the PAT attempt, and blocked the kick. With the blocked PAT, the Cougars were up 9 to 7.

    The remainder of the first quarter did not go great for the Highlanders’ offense. On each of the Highlanders’ remaining two drives in the quarter, David Baldwin threw an interception. The junior quarterback turned in impressive numbers all season long, prior to the game, including only one interception, compared to 18 touchdowns. Despite these impressive numbers, Baldwin threw two interceptions in the waning minutes of the first. The Cougars were able to capitalize on these mistakes, as Cougars’ quarterback, Nick Acosta, was able to connect with receiver, J. Criddell, to put the Cougars up 16 to 7, to end the first.

    With the Cougars beginning to pick up a lot of momentum and an Upland offense struggling to make progress, the Highlanders’ defense and special teams unit would be the next group to deliver the goods for Upland. With 6:37 remaining in the second, Highlanders’ defensive lineman, Fou Hoching, was able to block a Cougars’ punt attempt. The ball wound up in Justin Flowe’s arms, who then ran it in 65 yards to the endzone, adding to the sophomore’s already impressive highlight reel. With an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the score was now 16 to 13, with the Cougars in the lead.

     After several minutes of general back and forth between the two teams and impressive defense from both sides, Baldwin and co. were eventually able to push their way through the Rancho defense in the waning moments before halftime. After an impressive drive and a few penalties against Rancho, Baldwin was able to throw a short touchdown pass to Le Shaun Potts, who made an outstanding catch, just above the defender’s head. With a successful PAT from kicker, Archie Green, the Highlanders were up 20 to 16, heading into halftime.

    The third quarter featured much of what the night had already been, as the two teams went back and forth on offense. Both team’s defenses were playing strong in the second half. The lone scoring play from the third quarter, came with 4:38 remaining, when Highlanders’ kicker, Archie Green, kicked his first field goal attempt of the year. The kick was good from 32 yards out, and the score put the Highlanders a full touchdown ahead, at 23 to 16.

    A marching drive up the field from the Cougars’ offense late in the third would be put to an end by Justin Flowe, who intercepted a pass from Nick Acosta, with just under two minutes left in the third. Flowe, who already had several solo tackles, a blocked PAT, and a fumble recovery touchdown, now added an interception to his growing list of highlights from the night. There is no question in anyone’s mind that Flowe will one day have a chance to chase down a career in professional football, if he sticks to it.

    In close games like this one, the fourth quarter is where the men are separated from the boys and the true winners emerge. Complementary to an already entertaining night, the fourth quarter of action was full of energy, excitement, and as Fox Sports best described it, controversy.

    The final quarter of play started off with a Rancho Cucamonga touchdown, by virtue of a memorable goal-line hurdle, by running back, Sean Dollars. The junior running back got the handoff and literally flew over both his O-line and Upland’s D-line. With the touchdown, the game was tied 23 to 23, with eleven minutes remaining. The intensity in the air was visible, and you could feel the energy from both crowds, home or away.

    Upland’s offense looked its best in the fourth quarter. After another reverse play, which featured a 41-yard pass from Potts to Davis again, the Highlanders’ offense found itself in scoring position, with 8:30 remaining in the game. On this scoring play,, it was Baldwin connecting with Potts once more, for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Potts now had three touchdowns on the night; two receiving and one passing. Green kicked another successful PAT, and the Highlanders had the lead 30 to 23, which would be the final score.

    The controversy in this game came, with just over one minute remaining. The Highlanders had the ball in their own territory and the Cougars had three timeouts. After each play, the Cougars would burn one of their timeouts. The Rancho defense was able to force a 4th-and-1 situation on the Highlanders’ offense. Upland decided to go for a QB sneak, to try to get the first down. With Fox Sports’ cameras all over the play, the spotting of the ball was extraordinarily close to the first down marker, as the ref spotted the ball on the 29-and-a-half yard line. The first down marker was originally at the 30-yard line. However, when the refs called the chain gang onto the field, to do an official measurement, the very tip of the ball surpassed the chain, which meant the Highlanders had the first down and the win. The question at hand here was whether or not the chain gang, which was being run by Rancho Cucamonga volunteers, accidentally took a few steps backwards during the measurements. Again, Fox Sports’ cameras were all over this incident and multiple replays clearly outline the first down marker and the spotting of the ball. However, an official call is an official call, and with that, the Highlanders were able to take a few knees to close out the game. Another classic showdown between Southern California’s biggest rivalry ended with fireworks (literally going off in the parking lot), and the visiting Upland crowd going wild.

    Some notable stats from Upland’s offense included Taj Davis’s five receptions, for a whopping 141 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver LeShaun Potts recorded one passing touchdown, 106 passing yards in total, and two receiving touchdowns. Quarterback, David Baldwin, completed 10 passes on 18 attempts, for 105 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Dynamic running back, Cameron Davis, who also played more than usual on defense, logged 12 carries for 54 yards.

    Notable stats from Upland’s defense included an impressive highlight reel from linebacker, Justin Flowe, who did just about everything. Flowe had 16 tackles in total, 9 of which were solo. In addition, Flowe had one interception, one blocked PAT, one sack, and one touchdown, via a punt-block. Caleb Roberson, who has been an incredibly consistent defensive back for Upland all season, had 6 solo tackles and played well throughout the night.

    When asked on the incredible performance from LeShaun Potts, Upland head coach, Tim Salter, said, “We ask LeShaun to do a lot of things now. He was injured earlier in the year, and came back from a sprained knee. He had a huge game tonight.”

    With the win, the Highlanders remain ranked among the top 10 in the state of California and move to 6-0, something that has not been done since the 2009 season. The win against Rancho was also Salter’s 225th win, as head coach for the Highlanders. Salter’s main takeaway from the night, “I think we found out tonight that as long as we hang together as a team, we’re pretty tough.”

    All eyes are on the Highlanders now, as they chug towards the midst of league competition. The triumphant Highlanders will now prepare to face Baseline League competitor, Damien High School, this Friday night, at Upland High, at 7:00p.m. The game will also be complementary to Upland High’s annual Senior Night.     

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10/6/17

  By: Andrea SosaThe Plaid, Staff Writer


     

On the 29th of September, juniors, Sanaa Johnson and Savannah Trujillo left to participate in the 15th annual Pathstar Swim Week (Oct. 1st to Oct. 9th), which concludes with the frigid swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco.

    The swim is organized by PATHSTAR, which helps to educate and promote wholesome nutrition and the importance of an active lifestyle among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The purpose of the event is to bring awareness to health issues, such as diabetes that are prevalent in Native American culture.

    It was Johnson’s and Trujillo's second time in the swim event. They were very excited to be swimming again and when asked if they felt prepared, both girls had a very positive response. Savannah Trujillo said, “Coming into the swim for a second time I definitely know what to expect. This makes me feel more prepared but there will always be factors that no one expects, so each time it is a new experience.” Sanna Johnson was fairly confident about competing in the swim for a second time. Johnson said, “Coming into this swim, I expect it to be a bit easier, since last year was the worst the water has been, since the program started. But I also have a feel as to what I should expect, which makes me feel more confident in the swim.”

    As expected, both girls were nervous about a few things going into the swim. Trujillo said, “The one thing I am nervous about is who my ‘Swim Angel’ will be. This is the person I will swim with in San Francisco, when we do the actual swim.” Johnson looked at her friend, nodded in agreement and said, “I am also nervous about my ‘Swim Angel.’ Everything else should be close to the way it was last year but this is the only thing that changes.”

   When the girls were asked about their training and if anything had changed, they both said, “No we will be swimming twice a day, like we did the previous year.” Johnson then said, “Our diet might change a little but besides that, everything will stay the same.”

   The girls also had some concerns, when it came to the race itself. Trujillo said, “I don't have any concerns besides the weather because the way the weather is determines if we swim or not. I am confident in my swimming abilities and look forward to getting into the water.” Johnson shared her concerns about the weather as well, when she said, “I am confident that Savannah and I will complete the swim and improve our times from last year.”  

   The girls were asked if there was anything that they learned from the swim last year that would help with this year’s swim. Both of them said there were a couple of things that they were carrying into this year’s race. Johnson said, “I learned a way to use restore energy, while swimming, without falling behind. I switch to a stroke that I find less draining but will also allow me to stay at a constant speed.” Johnson said, “I learned to hydrate more than I usually do. If I seem to get more tired, I try an easier stroke and to eat the right food, so I can stay warm.”

   Both girls go through a training process and swim trials, which started after they arrived in San Francisco. After the initial training sessions, the girls find out who their “Swim Angel” is and the route they will take. The Highlander family wants to wish both girls the best of luck and are excited to hear about their experiences when they come back to campus.

 

 

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9/26/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Staff Photographer

 

    After a long drive all the way down to the deserts of Temecula, the Highlanders returned home victorious last Friday night, after a 41 to 20 win against the Great Oak Wolfpack. The victory means that the Highlanders are now 5-0 and have won all pre-league games, as they head into their week six bye.

    Entering the night with four wins and no losses, the Highlanders had a load of confidence coming into Great Oak’s territory. The rambunctious Temecula crowd was one of the hands-down greatest crowds seen in recent memory, as their student pound had to have at least two to three hundred students. Despite the beaming energy from the Great Oak home crowd, their football team was not able to hold off the double attack our Highlanders’ team presents this year. Just by sheer numbers, the Upland offense dominated the night, while the defense held up well too, only allowing 20 points throughout the 48-minute game.

    Contrary to the recent games that Upland has been featured in, the opposing team actually scored a touchdown before the Highlanders did. With 9:18 left in the first quarter, the Great Oak Wolfpack found their way to the end-zone, just a few plays into the first drive of the night. Wolfpack quarterback, McGwire Bustamante, connected with wide receiver, Mikel Barkley, for a 64-yard touchdown pass, one of the more impressive highlights of the night. After a blocked PAT attempt, the Wolfpack had the lead six to zero.

    The Highlanders’ offense scored on their first drive of the night too, however, as they put together a long drive up the field, which started all the way back near their own 20-yard line. For this scoring play, it was Upland quarterback, David Baldwin, running it into the end-zone himself, as he pulled off a successful goal-line QB sneak. With kicker, Archie Green, knocking down the PAT, the Highlanders had the lead seven to six. The scoring did not end there, as just a few seconds later, Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, forced a fumble, which was recovered by Shamar Whestone from the Highlanders. The fumble recovery set the Highlanders’ offense in prime position, as they scored once more, with 3:59 remaining in the first quarter, by virtue of a 25-yard touchdown pass from David Baldwin to Taj Davis. Another good PAT kick, from Archie Green, had the visiting Highlanders up 14 to 6.

    The second quarter was relatively quiet in scoring terms, as both teams played well on defense. Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, and defensive back, Malik Goss, had outstanding defensive performances that held Great Oak to only one touchdown in the first half of play. Great Oak’s defense looked beefy in the second quarter as well, but, the Highlanders eventually worked their way around the Wolfpack. With 10:18 remaining before halftime, Cameron Davis ran it into the house from five yards out, putting the icing on the cake, after another notable drive up the field from the Highlanders’ offense. With Green easily making his third PAT of the night, the Highlanders carried a 21 to 6 lead, into the locker rooms, at halftime.

    The third quarter of play featured highlights from both teams, as both Great Oak and Upland found their way to the end-zones. After a couple drives of back-and-forth to begin the third, the Highlanders’ offense worked its way down the field once more eventually scoring, with 7:09 remaining in the quarter, as Baldwin completed his second touchdown pass of the night to Simon Samarzich, from ten yards out. With the receiving touchdown, Samarzich had two touchdowns, in two consecutive weeks, for the Highlanders’ offense. The fourth PAT kick went up, and with that, the Highlanders had a commanding 28 to 6 lead.

    Great Oak’s third quarter touchdown came with 4:45 remaining in the quarter, as running back, Danny Morales, ran it into the end-zone. Being down 22 points, the Wolfpack attempted a two-point conversion, although it was no good. Heading into the final quarter of play, the Highlanders were up 28 to 12.

    The opening four minutes of the final quarter of play nailed the coffin closed for the Wolfpack, as the Highlanders brought an onslaught of touchdowns. It all started with a punt block to start the fourth quarter, setting the Highlanders’ offense up in tip-top position to score another touchdown. Kyle Jones ran it in for a three-yard touchdown run, with 11:46 remaining in the fourth. Then, one minute later, the Highlanders’ defense forced and recovered another fumble, setting up another prime situation for the offense. With 9:17 remaining in the fourth, Baldwin completed his third touchdown pass of the night, to receiver, Isaiah Banks. After the heavy hits from the Upland defense and the onslaught of touchdowns from the offense, the Highlanders had a 41 to 12 lead, with just half a quarter to go.

    After Great Oak scored one more time before the end of the game, the final score from Great Oak High School was 41 to 20 and the Highlanders earned their fifth consecutive win of the 2017 season. The Highlanders, with the win, also remain undefeated.

    Even with beating Great Oak being the main task at hand, the Highlanders had another focus going into this game. With the looming league-opener coming in two weeks, against rival Rancho Cucamonga, the Highlanders team came into Great Oak looking to win the game and prepare for the Rancho match at the same time. Wide receiver, LeShaun Potts, said, “Going into Friday’s game, the game plan was to play the starters the entire game, blowout or not, to prepare for our next game against Rancho.” Speaking of the game in general, Potts said, “Our defense came out a little sluggish on the first drive, giving up a long ball, but after that, we stepped it up on defense. Our offense answered back quickly with touchdowns of our own.”

    Notable stats from Friday night include Upland running back, Cameron Davis, who carried the ball 20 times for 177 yards and one touchdown. Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, finished the night completing 11 passes, out of 17 attempts, for 130 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception- his first all season. The lead receiver from the night for the Highlanders was Taj Davis, who caught the ball four times, for 62 yards and one touchdown. On defense, Highlanders’ linebacker and phenom, Justin Flowe, had one of his best games yet, forcing a fumble, getting a sack, 9 solo tackles, 7 assisted tackles, and 16 tackles in total.

    The undefeated Highlanders are now in their bye week. The team will return to action next Friday night against longtime rival, Rancho Cucamonga, at Rancho Cucamonga High School. The game will be a huge test for the Highlanders’ team, as they prepare to prove their worthiness in the 2017 championship conversations.

 

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9/18/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Photographer

 

    For the first time since the 2012 season, the Highlanders are 4-0, thanks in part to their most recent win against the La Mirada Matadores, last Friday night. When it was all said and done from Highlanders’ Stadium, the final score was 49 to 7, as the Highlanders showed their strength on all three sides of the ball.

    The Highlanders scored an impressive win over La Mirada last Friday night, by dominating all aspects of the game. It didn’t take long for the onslaught of Upland touchdowns to begin, as the home team got their first touchdown, just two and a half minutes into the game. Cameron Davis was able to run in a goal-line touchdown, after the Highlanders’ special teams unit blocked a Matadores’ punt attempt and got the ball down to the one-yard line. The play gave the Upland offense prime position and they made quick work with it, as Davis ran in for the go-ahead touchdown. A failed two-point conversion attempt meant the Highlanders were up six to zero early.

    With 4:14 left in the first, the Highlanders found the endzone for the second time of the night, after quarterback, David Baldwin, connected with Simon Samarzich, for an 18-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown was Samarzich’s first of the season. This time, the two point conversion attempt was successful, as Kyle Jones ran it in from two yards out, to put the Highlanders up 14 to nothing.

    La Mirada’s offense had begun to put together a decent drive late in the first, as they worked their way into Upland territory. Unfortunately for the Matadores, the Highlanders’ defense quickly brought an end to the Matadores hopes, as the Highlanders forced a fumble. Upland senior, Leonard Leau, was there to recover the fumble for the Highlanders’ defense. The first quarter would come to a close shortly thereafter and after 12 minutes of play, the Highlanders were up 14 to zero.

    An eventful second quarter saw a major increase in the Highlanders’ lead, as both the Upland’s offense and defense scored touchdowns in this quarter. Quite possibly the highlight of the night occurred with 9:05 left in the second, when Baldwin heaved a pass deep downfield to receiver, Taj Davis. Seemingly locked in a one-on-one battle with his defender, Davis somehow managed to catch the ball around the 10-yard line. From there, Davis hobbled his way into the endzone, as the La Mirada defender was desperately trying to bring Davis down. After a successful PAT kick from Archie Green, the Highlanders were up 21 to nothing.

    The next score came with 6:29 left in the second, as this time it was the Highlanders’ defense making another huge play. Shamar Whestone intercepted a pass from the Matadores’ quarterback and ran it all the way to the house, for a 75-yard pick-six. It was Whestone’s first pick-six interception of the season. Archie Green put up another successful PAT, and midway through the second, the Highlanders were up 28 to squat.

    The home crowd didn’t have to wait long for their team to score once more, as the Highlanders scored another touchdown the very next offensive drive. David Baldwin found an open Bryce Parker, for a touchdown pass, with 2:38 remaining before the end of the half. Although it was Parker’s only touchdown of the night, the senior led the Highlanders in the receiving category, as he caught the ball five times, for 100 yards and a touchdown. After Archie Green’s third successful PAT, the Highlanders were up 35 to nothing.

    As if La Mirada wasn’t already having a bad night, their offense turned the ball over again, just one minute later. Another interception, this time received by Upland defensive back, Jaden Dedman, meant that the Highlanders’ offense was going to get the ball back to close out the half. Heading into the locker room, the Highlanders had a massive 35 to 0 lead.

    The Highlanders quickly scored once more, as soon as the second half got underway, as running back, Cameron Davis, ran the ball in for his second rushing touchdown of the night. The touchdown added to Davis’s stats of the night, which included five rushes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. With 11:24 remaining in the third, the score was 42 to zero.

    Scoring for the Highlanders’ final time of the night would be LeShaun Potts, with seven minutes remaining in the third. Archie Green’s fifth and final PAT of the night was good, and the Highlanders were then up by 49 points. La Mirada eventually scored for the first time of the night, deep in the third, by virtue of a passing touchdown. However, that would be all she wrote, as no scoring would occur after that. The final score from Highlanders’ stadium was 49 to 7.

    Highlanders’ head coach, Tim Salter, had nothing but praise for his team after the game. When asked how the game went, Salter said, “It started out pretty good, when we blocked the punt. We blocked the punt and got an easy score. We had the interception returned for a touchdown.” Salter went on to say, “We did a lot of good things on defense and special teams that kind of ignited everything.” The best way to sum up the night though would be how Salter put it, when he said, “Tonight we scored on defense; we scored on special teams; and we scored on offense. When you do that, you’re going to win a lot of games.”

    Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, had another solid performance as he completed 11 passes out of 14 attempts, for 199 yards and four touchdowns. It left Baldwin with a 159.2 quarterback rating, one of his highest of the season thus far.

    The Highlanders will now prepare to take the fight on the road, as their next two games are both away. The first game of the two will be this Friday night, down in Temecula, as the Highlanders will face Great Oak, a team they beat 38 to 25 last season.

 

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9/11/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography By: Nadia Castro, The Plaid Photographer

    The momentous start to the 2017 season continued on Friday night, as the Highlanders travelled to Redlands High School to defeat the Redlands East Valley Wildcats 47 to 26. With strong performances turned in by players Kyle Jones, Cameron Davis, Taj Davis, and Justin Flowe, the Highlanders moved to 3-0 in the season, as they prepare to face La Mirada.

    Although the REV Wildcats were able to put up 26 points against the Highlanders defense, the Highlanders ultimately turned in the better overall performance in offense and defense. The scoring began after a nice offensive drive was put together by Baldwin and Co. as they marched up the field, handed it off to senior, Kyle Jones, who promptly ran it in for a three-yard-rushing touchdown, to put the Highlanders up seven to zero early in the first. About six minutes later in the first, it would be Kyle Jones scoring once more, for a 12-yard-touchdown run. Paired with a blocked PAT, the Highlanders were up 13 to nothing, as the first quarter of play came to a close. At this point, it seemed the Highlanders’ offense was finding ways around the Wildcats’ defense.

    After a sloppy drive by the Wildcats, the Highlanders quickly got the ball back in their hands early in the second. Similar to what they had already done twice before, the Highlanders made quick work of the Wildcats’ defense, with ten minutes left in the second. This time, it was Cameron Davis who would run it in from outside of the goal line to score another Highlanders’ touchdown. Although a failed two-point conversion followed, the Highlanders were now up 19 to zero, a familiar sight in the beginning half of this season.

    The Wildcats’ offense eventually found their way to the endzone, as they put up seven points, with eight minutes remaining in the second, by virtue of a passing touchdown thrown by quarterback, Myles Herrera. The pass was caught by Wildcats’ senior, Gabriel Clark. With eight minutes left in the second, the Highlanders were up 19 to 7.

    Perhaps one of the bigger highlights, if not the biggest, of the night, came on the Highlanders’ next offensive drive, with just over seven minutes left before the half. Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, who has turned in an impressive performances in the season’s first couple of games, proved his worth on the next scoring play of the night. Scrambling out of the pocket, Baldwin found an open Taj Davis way down field and the two juniors connected. Baldwin threw the ball at least 50 yards down field, and Davis caught the ball to take it all the way home, to complete a 75-yard-touchdown pass, which then put the Highlanders up 25 to 7.

    An ambitious Wildcat’ home crowd kept their team in the game though, as the Wildcats scored their second touchdown of the night, with three and a half minutes remaining in the second, which complemented a nice drive up the field. Gabriel Clark scored the Wildcats’ touchdown again, this time running it in. Paired with a blocked PAT, the score with three minutes left before the half was 25 to 13.

    Just when the crowd thought the first half was coming to a close, Justin Flowe, the latest phenom for the Highlanders, showed why you can never sleep on the Highlanders’ defense. The sophomore linebacker, who earned 12 total tackles in the night, seven of which were solo, sacked Wildcats’ quarterback, Myles Herrera, in their own endzone for a safety. Two points were thrown Upland’s way and heading into the locker rooms for halftime, the Highlanders were up 27 to 13.

    Midway through the third, junior, Cameron Davis, got his second touchdown of the night for the Highlanders with a 10-yard-rushing touchdown. Paired with a successful PAT kick by Archie Green, the Highlanders were quickly running away with the lead, as the score was now 40 to 13. It would end up being the only scoring play in the third quarter.

    An eventful final quarter of play added some juice to the game, as the Wildcats made a few zigs and zags that earned them two touchdowns. However, it wouldn’t be until after the Highlanders offense scored one more touchdown to cement their lead. On this score, it was Baldwin connecting with Kyle Jones, from six yards out. The completed pass meant Kyle Jones completed the hat trick and scored his third touchdown of the night, an impressive stat certainly. Archie Green kicked another successful PAT, and with 11 and a half minutes remaining in the fourth, the Highlanders were up 47 to 13.

    The Wildcats answered back immediately, as sophomore, Brandon Wells, ran in an 80-yard-plus kickoff return touchdown. The long run to the house got the home crowd excited and added to the already action-filled highlight reel of the night. Then, just one minute later, it was the Wildcats’ offense scoring again after a few passes up the field. After a successful PAT kick by the Wildcats’ kicker, the Wildcats chopped into the Highlanders lead. With 10 minutes left before the end of the game, the Highlanders were up 47 to 26.

    The comeback attempt ended there for the Wildcats, as the Highlanders defense held them at bay for the remainder of the game. Highlanders quarterback, David Baldwin, would exit the game, with roughly six minutes left in the game, due to an apparent leg injury. As of press time, the extent of the injury is unknown, but the injury did appear to be nothing more than bad legs cramps.

    At the end of four quarters of play from Redlands High School, the final score was 47 to 26 and the Highlanders earned their third consecutive win of the season and remain undefeated. Among the notable stats, Kyle Jones carried the ball 13 times for 73 yards, two rushing touchdowns, and one receiving touchdown. Cameron Davis ran the ball 13 times as well, for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Upland junior, Taj Davis, also scored two touchdowns on the night, as he had seven receptions for 178 yards. Taj Davis told the Daily Bulletin after the game, “We know we have things to work on but I still think we’re going to be the best team in our league. We just have to keep getting better.” On defense, Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, powered through the Wildcats’ O-line, for seven solo tackles, a safety, and 12 total tackles.

    The Highlanders will now prepare for their fourth game of the season which will be against La Mirada this Friday night. The game will be here at Upland High School, with kickoff at 7:00p.m.

 

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9/11/17

By: Camille Sipple

The Plaid, Staff Writer

    On Thursday, September 7, the L.A. County Fair was host to our very own, Upland Highland Regiment. Recognizing the city of Upland for “Upland Day,” an invitation to perform in the annual parade of the fairgrounds was extended to the regiment. After months of practice, dedication and hard work, the Highland Regiment was ready to give everyone a parade that they would never forget. Even though it was a performance, these students still used it as an opportunity to improve themselves. Sophomore, Raquel Martinez, and bass clarinet player said “[parades] give us a chance to perfect our marching in a much more professional manner.”

    As the regiment marched to their cadences, cheers and smiles surrounded them all, throughout the fairgrounds. The excited cheers of their supporters drove the Highland Regiment to work harder and to enjoy the success after months of hard work. Junior trumpet player, Sebastian Gomez said, “I absolutely love participating in parades because it makes me feel good to hear people cheer for the band.”

    The experience is not new for the Regiment’s older members and some saw it as the kickoff to their last year with the beloved music program. Cameron Nicols, a senior baritone saxophone player said, “It made it so different just taking it all in and realizing I’ll never be able to do that again. It all went by so fast.” Natalie Noriega, a senior flute player also said, “I enjoy marching in the parades […] but it’s bittersweet since it’s my last year.” However, Noriega sees a bright future ahead for the program, long after her class is gone, as she said, “The regiment is continuing to get better throughout the years[...] a lot of the new freshmen are great and strong musicians.”

    With their fall show season about to begin, the LACF parade was a great start to the long season of competition to come. Head Drum Major, E.J. Miranda said that he, “enjoy[s] doing parades because it gives people a chance to see the regiment other than at field competitions.” It was clear that most of spectators cheering the regiment on were Upland High School alumni, who wished to see their alma mater once again and parades just seem to bring a community together to celebrate the good aspects of life. Senior flute player, Delainey Capps said, “Parades are one of the ways that band can represent the community by bringing everyone together.”

     It’s not the end of parades for Regiment seniors, however. The annual Upland Christmas Parade in December will also feature the Upland Highland Regiment on it’s parade route. If you missed this amazing experience at the L.A. County Fair, you can catch it again this winter. See you there!


 

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9/6/17

   By: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography By: S.Little

     The Highlanders proved they are one of the teams to beat this year, as they went ballistic against the Claremont Wolfpack last Friday night. Entering the game, most knew that there was already an advantage for the Highlanders, just based off of sheer stats. However, the final score exceeded many people’s predictions. After four quarters of pure domination, the Highlanders defeated the Wolfpack 62 to 3 and claimed their stake in this year’s championship run.

    During a game like Friday night’s, the focus is typically more on what players can put up big numbers, rather than which team is going to win. The reason is because by the end of the first quarter, the game was pretty much over. Just one minute into the Highlanders’ first drive of the night, quarterback, David Baldwin, threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to receiver, Isaiah Banks, to put the “mighty Scots” up six to zero. Kicker, Archie Green, then entered the field to put up the PAT and ensure the Highlanders got the full seven points from the scoring play. After a kickoff back to the Wolfpack, the Claremont offense would then enter the field, although not for long.

    Only a couple plays in, and the Wolfpack fumbled the ball, leading to a fumble recovery by the Highlanders defense. Baldwin and his crew came back out onto the field and made quick work of the Wolfpack defense once more, as Baldwin connected to wide receiver, Corey Thomas, for a three-yard touchdown-pass completion. After another PAT from Green, the Highlanders were up 14 to zero, not even three minutes into the game. The parade of first quarter scoring didn’t stop there though, as the Highlanders scored once more after the defense forced the Wolfpack to punt the ball back into the Highlanders’ hands. After a few big plays and a nice drive up the field, Baldwin threw another touchdown pass, this time connecting with receiver, Bryce Parker. Green’s PAT this time would go wide left a bit. However, the Highlanders’ lead was already cemented. At the end of one quarter of play, the Highlanders were up 20 to nothing against the Claremont Wolfpack.

    With the start of the second quarter, the Highlanders immediately began finding the endzone some more. Baldwin continued his respectable performance, as he connected with receiver, Taj Davis, for a 50-yard touchdown pass, just one minute into the second quarter. The Highlanders were now up 27 to nothing. Then, just a couple minutes later, the Highlanders found the endzone again. On this score, it was Baldwin connecting with receiver, Taj Davis, again for a 12-yard touchdown pass. After a successful PAT from Archie Green, the Highlanders were then up 34 to zero. As if the home team hadn’t enough of scoring, the Highlanders scored again, just a minute later and this time, on defense.

    Defensive back, Caleb Roberson, returned a fumble recovery for an 18-yard touchdown, and with a long eight minutes still to go before the half. The score was already 41 to nothing. Has the point gotten across yet? By now, the Highlanders had completely locked the game up. The Claremont Wolfpack did end up eventually scoring though, as they managed to sneak in a field goal, with three and a half minutes remaining in the second. However, this field goal was quickly trumped by yet another Highlanders’ touchdown a couple minutes later. With the first half of play coming to a close, the Highlanders’ offense was sure to go out with one more bang, as quarterback, David Baldwin, connected with receiver, Kyle Jones, for a 34-yard touchdown. Closing out the half, the score was 48 to 3, and most everybody knew exactly who the winner was going to be.

    It wasn’t until late in the third quarter, when the Highlanders found the endzone again. With a little over a minute to go in the third, the Highlanders marched up the field and handed it off to Tyevin Ford, for a two-yard rushing touchdown. After this scoring play, the next one didn’t occur until halfway through the final quarter of play, when running back, Kyle Floyd, ran it in from 22 yards out, for what seemed like the millionth touchdown of the night for the Highlanders. After this scoring play, the score was 62 to 3, and it would stay that way for the remainder of the game.

    Similar to last week against La Habra, Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, had another noticeably good performance against the Wolfpack defense. Baldwin was 12 for 14 on pass attempts, for 276 yards, a whopping 6 touchdowns, and a .857 completion rate. The junior quarterback has shown noticeable improvement thus far this season.

    Among the many noticeable performances of the night, Marcus Brown turned in the most rushing yards for the Highlanders. After three carries, the senior had run for 61 yards.

    When asked of the game, Upland receiver, Bryce Parker said, “Claremont was a week where we could focus on getting better. Everybody on the team had a better bond after the game.” Highlanders’ senior, Kyle Jones, also added in, “It was good to get everybody on the team in. It was a good experience for the team. It was great to see everyone who doesn’t have a chance to play to play in the game.”

    The Highlanders will now move on to face Redlands East Valley this Friday night, for their first away game of the season. Last season, the Highlanders were able to defeat Redlands, but the game was not in any means a blowout. The Highlanders have started off full of momentum and will greatly help as we get closer to the start of league.

    

 

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8/30/17

By: Nailea Castillo, The Plaid Editor-In-Chief

Photography By: Donia Farraj, The Plaid Photo Editor

     On Friday, August 25, at 6 am, the senior class of 2018 gathered at the field to watch the sunrise together and embrace the beginning of the end. Students gathered at the field across from the K building to participate in raffles and enjoy food and music. Those who attended were given one raffle ticket, another if they wore their senior class shirt and a third, if they dressed in all red or wore face paint.

     Senior, Hannah Ponce, dressed in the senior class’ baseball tee, said that she arrived very early in the morning to participate in the event, “about 5:50 am” she said. “I went with the rest of the cheer girls and my friends Dennise and Amy.”

Sleepy seniors were greeted by ASB with donuts, juices and waters, as they set down their chairs and blankets on the grass.They enjoyed music and the company of their peers as they took photos and waited for the sun to rise. And as it did, senior class president, Danika Hochberger, gave a moving speech to kick off the senior year. She stated in her speech that, “... we have 286 days left as highlanders. Make them count.”

     In the end, it was a bittersweet moment for the senior class, and one of many heartfelt  occasions that will take place throughout the duration of these students’ last year in high school. Here’s to an eventful year!

 

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8/30/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Staff Photographer

    Before Friday night, there were questions in the air surrounding the Upland Highlanders. Who would arise to team leader roles as last year’s seniors departed? How would the Scots fair in Division 2? After Friday night’s match between the Upland Highlanders and the La Habra Highlanders, we received promising answers to those questions. The Scots brought home a 35 to 7 victory in this season’s opening game.

    Maybe it was the brand new field or the overwhelming amount of excitement from the crowd on Friday night, but whatever the case, the “real Highlanders” looked, played, and executed well in the season opening game. To put Upland’s performance in an analogy, it was like watching an engine fire off on all eight cylinders. Among the night’s best performers for Upland were quarterback, David Baldwin; receiver, Taj Davis, with 137 receiving yards; and Upland’s latest phenom, linebacker, Justin Flowe, who had five solo tackles, one sack, and a total of nine tackles.

    Before people could even take their seats, the home team was already scoring. On the very first offensive play of the game, Baldwin connected with Davis, for an 80-yard touchdown, right alongside the Upland sidelines. Sophomore kicker, Archie Green came out on the field to kick the PAT and put the “Scots” up, seven to zero, just fifteen seconds into the game. With La Habra’s offense onto the field now, all eyes would be on Upland’s linebacker core, thanks in part to the recent ranking of #1 in the Class of 2020 for Justin Flowe, who already has nine full-ride offers from colleges across the country. The defensive star did not disappoint, as he and defensive back, Corey Thomas sacked the La Habra quarterback just a few plays into La Habra’s first drive. After a few minor penalties from both teams seemingly knocking the rust off, Upland regained possession of the ball, late in the first and scored once more by virtue of a three-yard touchdown, run by Cameron Davis, which complemented a touchdown-worthy-drive up the field, by the Scots offense. After the PAT went inches to the left and hit the goal post, the score at the end of the first quarter was 13 to nothing, with the home team riding high and looking good.

    The momentum kept rolling, as Upland’s offense made more quick work of the La Habra defense early in the second. An 18-yard touchdown, run by Cameron Davis, paired with a successful two-point conversion attempt by Kyle Jones, put the home team up 21 to zip, with a little over eleven minutes remaining in the second. The second quarter dragged on with a bit of a defensive battle between the two teams. Both sides were showing off decent defense for the majority of the second quarter. However, one of the more noticeable defensive highlights of the night came with about two minutes left before the half, when defensive back, Corey Thomas earned a solo sack in the backfield, on La Habra quarterback, Ryan Zanelli. The sack and few more defensive stops later, the Scots offense came back onto the field, with little time remaining before halftime. One of the more memorable offensive highlights happened during this drive with about a minute left before the half, when quarterback, David Baldwin was met with immense pressure from the blitzing La Habra defense. Baldwin managed to maneuver and scramble away enough from the defense to be able to connect with an open receiver and save Upland’s drive. With three seconds left before halftime, Baldwin found an open Bryce Parker, for a touchdown pass. A successful PAT by kicker, Archie Green cemented Upland’s lead by 28 points, as the teams headed into the locker rooms.

    After another strong halftime performance by the Upland regiment and color guard, it was time for the players to come back out to the field and for the fans to come back from the snack bars and into the stands. The majority of the third quarter was tame in football terms, except for what could have been a 100-yard, endzone-to-endzone, fumble-recovery-touchdown by Upland defensive back, Caleb Roberson, who also forced the fumble in the first place. However, there were two penalties on the play on both teams, which ultimately called the touchdown back. Although it didn’t count, the play got the home crowd up on their feet and reenergized. The Upland offense would score for the fifth and final time of the night, with two minutes left to go in the third, by virtue of another touchdown and successful PAT. At the end of the third quarter, the Scots were up 35 to squat and La Habra was going to need a miracle, to keep their chances alive.

    Although La Habra finally managed to score, with eight minutes remaining in the fourth and the final quarter of the game, that was all the visiting team had and the Upland Highlanders proved victorious in this rare battle between the Highlanders and the Highlanders. The final score at the end of the night was 35 to zero, and Upland has now opened the season with a win that places them with a 17th-place ranking, in the state of California. When asked how the game went, Upland Coach Kim replied, “We won. We got a lot of improvements to make. It was a good team effort.” Assistant coach, Darryl Thomas also stated, “There’s always improvements. We can always get better. We need to get better. Our offensive line did an extremely good job, driving the ball down the field. Defense did well the whole night too.”

    Arguably one of his best performances to date as Varsity quarterback for the Scots, David Baldwin completed 20 passes out of his 26 attempts, for 322 yards and two touchdowns. By virtue of being 20 for 26, Baldwin’s completion rate was .769 and his overall quarterback rating was 143.4. Adding to his impressive stats from Friday night, Baldwin also never thrown an interception. Overall, the numbers put up by Baldwin on Friday night were respectable and earned recognition by Coach Thomas who also said, “David [Baldwin] looked much more poised tonight.” Certainly, the quarterback’s noticeable improvement from last season, helped ensure the Scots walked away with the win.

    The Highlanders will now prepare for battle against the Claremont Wolfpack, a team the Highlanders defeated 42 to 3 last season. The second game of the season will be this upcoming Friday night, at home, with kickoff at 7:00p.m.

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Sports

10/17/17

By: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Photographer

 

     Add another win to the 2017 “win column” for the Upland Highlanders’ Varsity football team. The Highlanders won their seventh consecutive game of the season, last Friday night, against the Damien Spartans, by a score of 49 to 8. With the win, the Highlanders remain undefeated, as players from both offense and defense step-up and deliver impressive performances week in and week out.

    If you’ve been following along with the Highlanders’ season this year, each headline has pretty much been the same. Another game; another win. The Highlanders’ team has been extraordinary on both offense and defense thus far, excluding just a few blips in the road. The storyline wasn’t much different against Damien.

    The game started off with an interception, thrown by Upland quarterback, David Baldwin. Baldwin’s pass, intended for Taj Davis, was caught by both Davis and his defender, with the ball ultimately being ripped out of Davis’s hands. The interception counted as Baldwin’s fourth of the season, a relatively low number compared to his 20+ touchdown passes. Although Damien’s defense started out with momentum, their offense was never able to follow up and score.

    The rest of the first quarter was dominated by Upland running back, Cameron Davis, who has had quite the season thus far. With 5:18 remaining in the first, Davis scored a touchdown, via an 18-yard run, which complemented a successful offensive drive, up field by Upland. Then, just two minutes later, Cameron Davis scored again, thanks to a 44-yard-touchdown-run. At this point, Davis already had 70+ rushing yards and two touchdowns, with only a handful of carries. After two successful, extra-point kicks from Archie Green, the Highlanders were up 14 to nothing, by the end of the first quarter.

    The first eventful play of the second quarter came when Damien attempted a field goal from about 25 yards out. The Highlanders’ special teams’ unit was having none of it though, as Corey Thomas broke through the Spartan’s O-line, to block the kick and keep Damien scoreless.

    Perhaps one of David Baldwin’s greatest highlights of his career at Upland occurred next, with 9:43 remaining in the second quarter. After taking a snap and struggling to find an open receiver, and while facing pressure from Damien’s D-line, Baldwin scrambled out of the pocket and kept the ball for a wild 86-yard-touchdown-run. You read that right. An 86-yard quarterback keeper, all the way to the house. Keeping plays alive is vital to the game of football and Baldwin, in his junior year, was able to prove he can do just that on this scoring play.

    Continuing the dominance for Upland was senior running back, Kyle Jones, who went on to score a touchdown via a goal-line, go-ahead-run, with just over two minutes remaining, before halftime. After Archie Green knocked down his fourth extra point kick of the night, the Highlanders headed into halftime with a 28-to-nothing lead.

    Even with a stellar 28-point lead, the Highlanders were still all-throttle and no brakes, to begin the second half of play. With 9:49 remaining in the third, Highlanders quarterback, Baldwin, threw his one and only touchdown pass of the night to wide receiver, Simon Samarzich, who had to shake off a few Spartans to make it all the way into the endzone. Nevertheless, Samarzich was able to roll into the touchdown and complete the 21-yard-passing play. Samarzich, who is showing improvement on the field, has scored a touchdown in three of the last four games now.

    As if two rushing touchdowns wasn’t enough for Cameron Davis, the Highlanders’ junior running back scored his third touchdown of the night and completed the hat trick, with 4:49 remaining in the third quarter. Davis ran the ball in, from 39 yards out, on this scoring play. With the fog rolling in and time on the clock dwindling, the Highlanders had a massive, 42 to 0 lead.

    Highlanders’ backup quarterback, Keinon Ferdinand, came onto to the field with the Upland offense next, as the Highlanders began to rest their starters. Not all went well, however, for Ferdinand. On his second play of the night, a high snap, which overshot Ferdinand, resulted in him chasing the ball into Upland’s own end zone and being sacked for a safety. Although it was not Ferdinand’s fault, the Spartans had a couple points on the board--literally just a couple.

    Damien’s offense was finally able to get a drive going up field, early in the final quarter. Spartans’ quarterback, Warren Bryan, was able to throw an 18-yard-touchdown pass to his receiver, Mikey McCauley. After an unsuccessful extra point kick, which was blocked by Highlander, Jaden Dedman, the score was 42 to 8.

    Going out with one last bang, the Highlanders’ offense scored one more touchdown before the end of the night. On the final scoring play of the game, senior running back, Kyle Jones, shook off a few of the Spartan defenders to run 54-yards into the endzone and score his second rushing touchdown of the game. Backup kicker, junior, Cameron Walker, was able to split the uprights, with his second extra point kick of the night and put the icing on the cake for the Highlanders. With neither team scoring any more points in the remaining five minutes on the clock, the final score from Upland football stadium was 49 to 8.

    Dominating this match was obviously Upland’s run game. Kyle Jones was able to run for 129 yards and two touchdowns off of 10 carries for the Highlanders. Cameron Davis scored three rushing touchdowns and ran for 129 yards, with just seven carries for the Upland offense. Add in quarterback, David Baldwin, and his 110 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, the Highlanders were clearly in great shape, when running the ball Friday night.

    On defense, the story was much of what it has already been all year. An impressive defensive line, led by seniors, Fou Hoching and Andre Barnes to name a couple, continued to place constant pressure on the opponent’s offense and keep Damien at bay. Linebackers, Justin Flowe and Leonard Leau, were able to continue their dominance and earn 13 tackles together. On the man coverage, defensive backs, Caleb Roberson, Corey Thomas, and Gavin Scott, pulled together to deliver a whooping combined total of 28 tackles. Needless to say, the Highlanders’ defense has been putting up outstanding numbers all season long, from all three parts of what makes up a strong defense.

    With all eight cylinders firing off and immense momentum continuing to build, the Highlanders have already made this 2017 season one to be remembered for years to come. After running over opponents week by week, one can only begin to wonder what the near future holds for this Highlanders team. After all, playoffs are only about a month away. However, before we let our minds anticipate playoffs, the Highlanders must now prepare to do battle against Chino Hills, whom they will face this Friday night, at Upland High, at 7:00p.m. The game will be Upland’s annual Homecoming game. As one final tidbit of information, Chino Hills was able to beat the Highlanders’ last season, in a very low-scoring, 14 to 11 game.

 

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10/9/17

 

By: Anthony Lopez,

The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves,

The Plaid Photographer

     The biggest rivalry in Southern California high school football did not disappoint last Friday night, as the Upland Highlanders and Rancho Cucamonga Cougars delivered one of the best games in recent memory. From controversy, to several penalties, and three hours of “damn good football,” the game featured just about everything. When the slugfest was over, the Highlanders came out on top, defeating the Cougars 30 to 23,  and remaining undefeated.

    If you were not at the game, in person or watching the live broadcast on Fox Sports Prime Ticket, then you missed a vintage showdown between two old rivals, who both entered the night undefeated. Upland players, Justin Flowe, LeShaun Potts, Taj Davis, and Cameron Davis put in the effort and performances that carried the Highlanders across the finish line. At the same time, Cougars’ quarterback, Nick Acosta, and running back, Sean Dollars, put in respectable efforts for the Rancho team.

    With Upland winning the opening coin toss and deferring to the second half, the Cougars’ offense was first to hit the field. A few passes and runs up the field, paired with a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, set the Cougars up in prime scoring position. However, the Highlanders defense held strong in the red zone. Although the Cougars were able to score a field goal in the opening drive, preventing a touchdown was a huge win for the Upland defense.

    All it took for Upland’s offense was one play, as they caught the Cougars’ defense by surprise, right off the bat. The Highlanders scored the second they touched the ball, thanks to a double reverse play. Quarterback, David Baldwin, handed it off to Bryce Parker, who then reversed it to wide receiver, LeShaun Potts. Potts then heaved it 65 yards down the field to Taj Davis for a touchdown. The play caught fans, TV, and most importantly, the Cougars’ defense, by surprise. Potts’ first pass of the season was good for a 65-yard touchdown. With 8:28 remaining in the first quarter, Upland was up seven to three.

    After the ensuing kickoff and a quick TV timeout, the Cougars’ offense was back onto the field. This time, it only took Acosta and his crew a couple of plays to score their first touchdown of the night. With Acosta’s first touchdown pass of the night, the Cougars had the lead again. Upland phenom, Justin Flowe, broke right through the Cougars’ O-line on the PAT attempt, and blocked the kick. With the blocked PAT, the Cougars were up 9 to 7.

    The remainder of the first quarter did not go great for the Highlanders’ offense. On each of the Highlanders’ remaining two drives in the quarter, David Baldwin threw an interception. The junior quarterback turned in impressive numbers all season long, prior to the game, including only one interception, compared to 18 touchdowns. Despite these impressive numbers, Baldwin threw two interceptions in the waning minutes of the first. The Cougars were able to capitalize on these mistakes, as Cougars’ quarterback, Nick Acosta, was able to connect with receiver, J. Criddell, to put the Cougars up 16 to 7, to end the first.

    With the Cougars beginning to pick up a lot of momentum and an Upland offense struggling to make progress, the Highlanders’ defense and special teams unit would be the next group to deliver the goods for Upland. With 6:37 remaining in the second, Highlanders’ defensive lineman, Fou Hoching, was able to block a Cougars’ punt attempt. The ball wound up in Justin Flowe’s arms, who then ran it in 65 yards to the endzone, adding to the sophomore’s already impressive highlight reel. With an unsuccessful two-point conversion, the score was now 16 to 13, with the Cougars in the lead.

     After several minutes of general back and forth between the two teams and impressive defense from both sides, Baldwin and co. were eventually able to push their way through the Rancho defense in the waning moments before halftime. After an impressive drive and a few penalties against Rancho, Baldwin was able to throw a short touchdown pass to Le Shaun Potts, who made an outstanding catch, just above the defender’s head. With a successful PAT from kicker, Archie Green, the Highlanders were up 20 to 16, heading into halftime.

    The third quarter featured much of what the night had already been, as the two teams went back and forth on offense. Both team’s defenses were playing strong in the second half. The lone scoring play from the third quarter, came with 4:38 remaining, when Highlanders’ kicker, Archie Green, kicked his first field goal attempt of the year. The kick was good from 32 yards out, and the score put the Highlanders a full touchdown ahead, at 23 to 16.

    A marching drive up the field from the Cougars’ offense late in the third would be put to an end by Justin Flowe, who intercepted a pass from Nick Acosta, with just under two minutes left in the third. Flowe, who already had several solo tackles, a blocked PAT, and a fumble recovery touchdown, now added an interception to his growing list of highlights from the night. There is no question in anyone’s mind that Flowe will one day have a chance to chase down a career in professional football, if he sticks to it.

    In close games like this one, the fourth quarter is where the men are separated from the boys and the true winners emerge. Complementary to an already entertaining night, the fourth quarter of action was full of energy, excitement, and as Fox Sports best described it, controversy.

    The final quarter of play started off with a Rancho Cucamonga touchdown, by virtue of a memorable goal-line hurdle, by running back, Sean Dollars. The junior running back got the handoff and literally flew over both his O-line and Upland’s D-line. With the touchdown, the game was tied 23 to 23, with eleven minutes remaining. The intensity in the air was visible, and you could feel the energy from both crowds, home or away.

    Upland’s offense looked its best in the fourth quarter. After another reverse play, which featured a 41-yard pass from Potts to Davis again, the Highlanders’ offense found itself in scoring position, with 8:30 remaining in the game. On this scoring play,, it was Baldwin connecting with Potts once more, for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Potts now had three touchdowns on the night; two receiving and one passing. Green kicked another successful PAT, and the Highlanders had the lead 30 to 23, which would be the final score.

    The controversy in this game came, with just over one minute remaining. The Highlanders had the ball in their own territory and the Cougars had three timeouts. After each play, the Cougars would burn one of their timeouts. The Rancho defense was able to force a 4th-and-1 situation on the Highlanders’ offense. Upland decided to go for a QB sneak, to try to get the first down. With Fox Sports’ cameras all over the play, the spotting of the ball was extraordinarily close to the first down marker, as the ref spotted the ball on the 29-and-a-half yard line. The first down marker was originally at the 30-yard line. However, when the refs called the chain gang onto the field, to do an official measurement, the very tip of the ball surpassed the chain, which meant the Highlanders had the first down and the win. The question at hand here was whether or not the chain gang, which was being run by Rancho Cucamonga volunteers, accidentally took a few steps backwards during the measurements. Again, Fox Sports’ cameras were all over this incident and multiple replays clearly outline the first down marker and the spotting of the ball. However, an official call is an official call, and with that, the Highlanders were able to take a few knees to close out the game. Another classic showdown between Southern California’s biggest rivalry ended with fireworks (literally going off in the parking lot), and the visiting Upland crowd going wild.

    Some notable stats from Upland’s offense included Taj Davis’s five receptions, for a whopping 141 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver LeShaun Potts recorded one passing touchdown, 106 passing yards in total, and two receiving touchdowns. Quarterback, David Baldwin, completed 10 passes on 18 attempts, for 105 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Dynamic running back, Cameron Davis, who also played more than usual on defense, logged 12 carries for 54 yards.

    Notable stats from Upland’s defense included an impressive highlight reel from linebacker, Justin Flowe, who did just about everything. Flowe had 16 tackles in total, 9 of which were solo. In addition, Flowe had one interception, one blocked PAT, one sack, and one touchdown, via a punt-block. Caleb Roberson, who has been an incredibly consistent defensive back for Upland all season, had 6 solo tackles and played well throughout the night.

    When asked on the incredible performance from LeShaun Potts, Upland head coach, Tim Salter, said, “We ask LeShaun to do a lot of things now. He was injured earlier in the year, and came back from a sprained knee. He had a huge game tonight.”

    With the win, the Highlanders remain ranked among the top 10 in the state of California and move to 6-0, something that has not been done since the 2009 season. The win against Rancho was also Salter’s 225th win, as head coach for the Highlanders. Salter’s main takeaway from the night, “I think we found out tonight that as long as we hang together as a team, we’re pretty tough.”

    All eyes are on the Highlanders now, as they chug towards the midst of league competition. The triumphant Highlanders will now prepare to face Baseline League competitor, Damien High School, this Friday night, at Upland High, at 7:00p.m. The game will also be complementary to Upland High’s annual Senior Night.     

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10/6/17

  By: Andrea SosaThe Plaid, Staff Writer


     

On the 29th of September, juniors, Sanaa Johnson and Savannah Trujillo left to participate in the 15th annual Pathstar Swim Week (Oct. 1st to Oct. 9th), which concludes with the frigid swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco.

    The swim is organized by PATHSTAR, which helps to educate and promote wholesome nutrition and the importance of an active lifestyle among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The purpose of the event is to bring awareness to health issues, such as diabetes that are prevalent in Native American culture.

    It was Johnson’s and Trujillo's second time in the swim event. They were very excited to be swimming again and when asked if they felt prepared, both girls had a very positive response. Savannah Trujillo said, “Coming into the swim for a second time I definitely know what to expect. This makes me feel more prepared but there will always be factors that no one expects, so each time it is a new experience.” Sanna Johnson was fairly confident about competing in the swim for a second time. Johnson said, “Coming into this swim, I expect it to be a bit easier, since last year was the worst the water has been, since the program started. But I also have a feel as to what I should expect, which makes me feel more confident in the swim.”

    As expected, both girls were nervous about a few things going into the swim. Trujillo said, “The one thing I am nervous about is who my ‘Swim Angel’ will be. This is the person I will swim with in San Francisco, when we do the actual swim.” Johnson looked at her friend, nodded in agreement and said, “I am also nervous about my ‘Swim Angel.’ Everything else should be close to the way it was last year but this is the only thing that changes.”

   When the girls were asked about their training and if anything had changed, they both said, “No we will be swimming twice a day, like we did the previous year.” Johnson then said, “Our diet might change a little but besides that, everything will stay the same.”

   The girls also had some concerns, when it came to the race itself. Trujillo said, “I don't have any concerns besides the weather because the way the weather is determines if we swim or not. I am confident in my swimming abilities and look forward to getting into the water.” Johnson shared her concerns about the weather as well, when she said, “I am confident that Savannah and I will complete the swim and improve our times from last year.”  

   The girls were asked if there was anything that they learned from the swim last year that would help with this year’s swim. Both of them said there were a couple of things that they were carrying into this year’s race. Johnson said, “I learned a way to use restore energy, while swimming, without falling behind. I switch to a stroke that I find less draining but will also allow me to stay at a constant speed.” Johnson said, “I learned to hydrate more than I usually do. If I seem to get more tired, I try an easier stroke and to eat the right food, so I can stay warm.”

   Both girls go through a training process and swim trials, which started after they arrived in San Francisco. After the initial training sessions, the girls find out who their “Swim Angel” is and the route they will take. The Highlander family wants to wish both girls the best of luck and are excited to hear about their experiences when they come back to campus.

 

 

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9/26/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Staff Photographer

 

    After a long drive all the way down to the deserts of Temecula, the Highlanders returned home victorious last Friday night, after a 41 to 20 win against the Great Oak Wolfpack. The victory means that the Highlanders are now 5-0 and have won all pre-league games, as they head into their week six bye.

    Entering the night with four wins and no losses, the Highlanders had a load of confidence coming into Great Oak’s territory. The rambunctious Temecula crowd was one of the hands-down greatest crowds seen in recent memory, as their student pound had to have at least two to three hundred students. Despite the beaming energy from the Great Oak home crowd, their football team was not able to hold off the double attack our Highlanders’ team presents this year. Just by sheer numbers, the Upland offense dominated the night, while the defense held up well too, only allowing 20 points throughout the 48-minute game.

    Contrary to the recent games that Upland has been featured in, the opposing team actually scored a touchdown before the Highlanders did. With 9:18 left in the first quarter, the Great Oak Wolfpack found their way to the end-zone, just a few plays into the first drive of the night. Wolfpack quarterback, McGwire Bustamante, connected with wide receiver, Mikel Barkley, for a 64-yard touchdown pass, one of the more impressive highlights of the night. After a blocked PAT attempt, the Wolfpack had the lead six to zero.

    The Highlanders’ offense scored on their first drive of the night too, however, as they put together a long drive up the field, which started all the way back near their own 20-yard line. For this scoring play, it was Upland quarterback, David Baldwin, running it into the end-zone himself, as he pulled off a successful goal-line QB sneak. With kicker, Archie Green, knocking down the PAT, the Highlanders had the lead seven to six. The scoring did not end there, as just a few seconds later, Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, forced a fumble, which was recovered by Shamar Whestone from the Highlanders. The fumble recovery set the Highlanders’ offense in prime position, as they scored once more, with 3:59 remaining in the first quarter, by virtue of a 25-yard touchdown pass from David Baldwin to Taj Davis. Another good PAT kick, from Archie Green, had the visiting Highlanders up 14 to 6.

    The second quarter was relatively quiet in scoring terms, as both teams played well on defense. Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, and defensive back, Malik Goss, had outstanding defensive performances that held Great Oak to only one touchdown in the first half of play. Great Oak’s defense looked beefy in the second quarter as well, but, the Highlanders eventually worked their way around the Wolfpack. With 10:18 remaining before halftime, Cameron Davis ran it into the house from five yards out, putting the icing on the cake, after another notable drive up the field from the Highlanders’ offense. With Green easily making his third PAT of the night, the Highlanders carried a 21 to 6 lead, into the locker rooms, at halftime.

    The third quarter of play featured highlights from both teams, as both Great Oak and Upland found their way to the end-zones. After a couple drives of back-and-forth to begin the third, the Highlanders’ offense worked its way down the field once more eventually scoring, with 7:09 remaining in the quarter, as Baldwin completed his second touchdown pass of the night to Simon Samarzich, from ten yards out. With the receiving touchdown, Samarzich had two touchdowns, in two consecutive weeks, for the Highlanders’ offense. The fourth PAT kick went up, and with that, the Highlanders had a commanding 28 to 6 lead.

    Great Oak’s third quarter touchdown came with 4:45 remaining in the quarter, as running back, Danny Morales, ran it into the end-zone. Being down 22 points, the Wolfpack attempted a two-point conversion, although it was no good. Heading into the final quarter of play, the Highlanders were up 28 to 12.

    The opening four minutes of the final quarter of play nailed the coffin closed for the Wolfpack, as the Highlanders brought an onslaught of touchdowns. It all started with a punt block to start the fourth quarter, setting the Highlanders’ offense up in tip-top position to score another touchdown. Kyle Jones ran it in for a three-yard touchdown run, with 11:46 remaining in the fourth. Then, one minute later, the Highlanders’ defense forced and recovered another fumble, setting up another prime situation for the offense. With 9:17 remaining in the fourth, Baldwin completed his third touchdown pass of the night, to receiver, Isaiah Banks. After the heavy hits from the Upland defense and the onslaught of touchdowns from the offense, the Highlanders had a 41 to 12 lead, with just half a quarter to go.

    After Great Oak scored one more time before the end of the game, the final score from Great Oak High School was 41 to 20 and the Highlanders earned their fifth consecutive win of the 2017 season. The Highlanders, with the win, also remain undefeated.

    Even with beating Great Oak being the main task at hand, the Highlanders had another focus going into this game. With the looming league-opener coming in two weeks, against rival Rancho Cucamonga, the Highlanders team came into Great Oak looking to win the game and prepare for the Rancho match at the same time. Wide receiver, LeShaun Potts, said, “Going into Friday’s game, the game plan was to play the starters the entire game, blowout or not, to prepare for our next game against Rancho.” Speaking of the game in general, Potts said, “Our defense came out a little sluggish on the first drive, giving up a long ball, but after that, we stepped it up on defense. Our offense answered back quickly with touchdowns of our own.”

    Notable stats from Friday night include Upland running back, Cameron Davis, who carried the ball 20 times for 177 yards and one touchdown. Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, finished the night completing 11 passes, out of 17 attempts, for 130 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception- his first all season. The lead receiver from the night for the Highlanders was Taj Davis, who caught the ball four times, for 62 yards and one touchdown. On defense, Highlanders’ linebacker and phenom, Justin Flowe, had one of his best games yet, forcing a fumble, getting a sack, 9 solo tackles, 7 assisted tackles, and 16 tackles in total.

    The undefeated Highlanders are now in their bye week. The team will return to action next Friday night against longtime rival, Rancho Cucamonga, at Rancho Cucamonga High School. The game will be a huge test for the Highlanders’ team, as they prepare to prove their worthiness in the 2017 championship conversations.

 

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9/18/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Photographer

 

    For the first time since the 2012 season, the Highlanders are 4-0, thanks in part to their most recent win against the La Mirada Matadores, last Friday night. When it was all said and done from Highlanders’ Stadium, the final score was 49 to 7, as the Highlanders showed their strength on all three sides of the ball.

    The Highlanders scored an impressive win over La Mirada last Friday night, by dominating all aspects of the game. It didn’t take long for the onslaught of Upland touchdowns to begin, as the home team got their first touchdown, just two and a half minutes into the game. Cameron Davis was able to run in a goal-line touchdown, after the Highlanders’ special teams unit blocked a Matadores’ punt attempt and got the ball down to the one-yard line. The play gave the Upland offense prime position and they made quick work with it, as Davis ran in for the go-ahead touchdown. A failed two-point conversion attempt meant the Highlanders were up six to zero early.

    With 4:14 left in the first, the Highlanders found the endzone for the second time of the night, after quarterback, David Baldwin, connected with Simon Samarzich, for an 18-yard touchdown pass. The touchdown was Samarzich’s first of the season. This time, the two point conversion attempt was successful, as Kyle Jones ran it in from two yards out, to put the Highlanders up 14 to nothing.

    La Mirada’s offense had begun to put together a decent drive late in the first, as they worked their way into Upland territory. Unfortunately for the Matadores, the Highlanders’ defense quickly brought an end to the Matadores hopes, as the Highlanders forced a fumble. Upland senior, Leonard Leau, was there to recover the fumble for the Highlanders’ defense. The first quarter would come to a close shortly thereafter and after 12 minutes of play, the Highlanders were up 14 to zero.

    An eventful second quarter saw a major increase in the Highlanders’ lead, as both the Upland’s offense and defense scored touchdowns in this quarter. Quite possibly the highlight of the night occurred with 9:05 left in the second, when Baldwin heaved a pass deep downfield to receiver, Taj Davis. Seemingly locked in a one-on-one battle with his defender, Davis somehow managed to catch the ball around the 10-yard line. From there, Davis hobbled his way into the endzone, as the La Mirada defender was desperately trying to bring Davis down. After a successful PAT kick from Archie Green, the Highlanders were up 21 to nothing.

    The next score came with 6:29 left in the second, as this time it was the Highlanders’ defense making another huge play. Shamar Whestone intercepted a pass from the Matadores’ quarterback and ran it all the way to the house, for a 75-yard pick-six. It was Whestone’s first pick-six interception of the season. Archie Green put up another successful PAT, and midway through the second, the Highlanders were up 28 to squat.

    The home crowd didn’t have to wait long for their team to score once more, as the Highlanders scored another touchdown the very next offensive drive. David Baldwin found an open Bryce Parker, for a touchdown pass, with 2:38 remaining before the end of the half. Although it was Parker’s only touchdown of the night, the senior led the Highlanders in the receiving category, as he caught the ball five times, for 100 yards and a touchdown. After Archie Green’s third successful PAT, the Highlanders were up 35 to nothing.

    As if La Mirada wasn’t already having a bad night, their offense turned the ball over again, just one minute later. Another interception, this time received by Upland defensive back, Jaden Dedman, meant that the Highlanders’ offense was going to get the ball back to close out the half. Heading into the locker room, the Highlanders had a massive 35 to 0 lead.

    The Highlanders quickly scored once more, as soon as the second half got underway, as running back, Cameron Davis, ran the ball in for his second rushing touchdown of the night. The touchdown added to Davis’s stats of the night, which included five rushes for 90 yards and two touchdowns. With 11:24 remaining in the third, the score was 42 to zero.

    Scoring for the Highlanders’ final time of the night would be LeShaun Potts, with seven minutes remaining in the third. Archie Green’s fifth and final PAT of the night was good, and the Highlanders were then up by 49 points. La Mirada eventually scored for the first time of the night, deep in the third, by virtue of a passing touchdown. However, that would be all she wrote, as no scoring would occur after that. The final score from Highlanders’ stadium was 49 to 7.

    Highlanders’ head coach, Tim Salter, had nothing but praise for his team after the game. When asked how the game went, Salter said, “It started out pretty good, when we blocked the punt. We blocked the punt and got an easy score. We had the interception returned for a touchdown.” Salter went on to say, “We did a lot of good things on defense and special teams that kind of ignited everything.” The best way to sum up the night though would be how Salter put it, when he said, “Tonight we scored on defense; we scored on special teams; and we scored on offense. When you do that, you’re going to win a lot of games.”

    Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, had another solid performance as he completed 11 passes out of 14 attempts, for 199 yards and four touchdowns. It left Baldwin with a 159.2 quarterback rating, one of his highest of the season thus far.

    The Highlanders will now prepare to take the fight on the road, as their next two games are both away. The first game of the two will be this Friday night, down in Temecula, as the Highlanders will face Great Oak, a team they beat 38 to 25 last season.

 

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9/11/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography By: Nadia Castro, The Plaid Photographer

    The momentous start to the 2017 season continued on Friday night, as the Highlanders travelled to Redlands High School to defeat the Redlands East Valley Wildcats 47 to 26. With strong performances turned in by players Kyle Jones, Cameron Davis, Taj Davis, and Justin Flowe, the Highlanders moved to 3-0 in the season, as they prepare to face La Mirada.

    Although the REV Wildcats were able to put up 26 points against the Highlanders defense, the Highlanders ultimately turned in the better overall performance in offense and defense. The scoring began after a nice offensive drive was put together by Baldwin and Co. as they marched up the field, handed it off to senior, Kyle Jones, who promptly ran it in for a three-yard-rushing touchdown, to put the Highlanders up seven to zero early in the first. About six minutes later in the first, it would be Kyle Jones scoring once more, for a 12-yard-touchdown run. Paired with a blocked PAT, the Highlanders were up 13 to nothing, as the first quarter of play came to a close. At this point, it seemed the Highlanders’ offense was finding ways around the Wildcats’ defense.

    After a sloppy drive by the Wildcats, the Highlanders quickly got the ball back in their hands early in the second. Similar to what they had already done twice before, the Highlanders made quick work of the Wildcats’ defense, with ten minutes left in the second. This time, it was Cameron Davis who would run it in from outside of the goal line to score another Highlanders’ touchdown. Although a failed two-point conversion followed, the Highlanders were now up 19 to zero, a familiar sight in the beginning half of this season.

    The Wildcats’ offense eventually found their way to the endzone, as they put up seven points, with eight minutes remaining in the second, by virtue of a passing touchdown thrown by quarterback, Myles Herrera. The pass was caught by Wildcats’ senior, Gabriel Clark. With eight minutes left in the second, the Highlanders were up 19 to 7.

    Perhaps one of the bigger highlights, if not the biggest, of the night, came on the Highlanders’ next offensive drive, with just over seven minutes left before the half. Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, who has turned in an impressive performances in the season’s first couple of games, proved his worth on the next scoring play of the night. Scrambling out of the pocket, Baldwin found an open Taj Davis way down field and the two juniors connected. Baldwin threw the ball at least 50 yards down field, and Davis caught the ball to take it all the way home, to complete a 75-yard-touchdown pass, which then put the Highlanders up 25 to 7.

    An ambitious Wildcat’ home crowd kept their team in the game though, as the Wildcats scored their second touchdown of the night, with three and a half minutes remaining in the second, which complemented a nice drive up the field. Gabriel Clark scored the Wildcats’ touchdown again, this time running it in. Paired with a blocked PAT, the score with three minutes left before the half was 25 to 13.

    Just when the crowd thought the first half was coming to a close, Justin Flowe, the latest phenom for the Highlanders, showed why you can never sleep on the Highlanders’ defense. The sophomore linebacker, who earned 12 total tackles in the night, seven of which were solo, sacked Wildcats’ quarterback, Myles Herrera, in their own endzone for a safety. Two points were thrown Upland’s way and heading into the locker rooms for halftime, the Highlanders were up 27 to 13.

    Midway through the third, junior, Cameron Davis, got his second touchdown of the night for the Highlanders with a 10-yard-rushing touchdown. Paired with a successful PAT kick by Archie Green, the Highlanders were quickly running away with the lead, as the score was now 40 to 13. It would end up being the only scoring play in the third quarter.

    An eventful final quarter of play added some juice to the game, as the Wildcats made a few zigs and zags that earned them two touchdowns. However, it wouldn’t be until after the Highlanders offense scored one more touchdown to cement their lead. On this score, it was Baldwin connecting with Kyle Jones, from six yards out. The completed pass meant Kyle Jones completed the hat trick and scored his third touchdown of the night, an impressive stat certainly. Archie Green kicked another successful PAT, and with 11 and a half minutes remaining in the fourth, the Highlanders were up 47 to 13.

    The Wildcats answered back immediately, as sophomore, Brandon Wells, ran in an 80-yard-plus kickoff return touchdown. The long run to the house got the home crowd excited and added to the already action-filled highlight reel of the night. Then, just one minute later, it was the Wildcats’ offense scoring again after a few passes up the field. After a successful PAT kick by the Wildcats’ kicker, the Wildcats chopped into the Highlanders lead. With 10 minutes left before the end of the game, the Highlanders were up 47 to 26.

    The comeback attempt ended there for the Wildcats, as the Highlanders defense held them at bay for the remainder of the game. Highlanders quarterback, David Baldwin, would exit the game, with roughly six minutes left in the game, due to an apparent leg injury. As of press time, the extent of the injury is unknown, but the injury did appear to be nothing more than bad legs cramps.

    At the end of four quarters of play from Redlands High School, the final score was 47 to 26 and the Highlanders earned their third consecutive win of the season and remain undefeated. Among the notable stats, Kyle Jones carried the ball 13 times for 73 yards, two rushing touchdowns, and one receiving touchdown. Cameron Davis ran the ball 13 times as well, for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Upland junior, Taj Davis, also scored two touchdowns on the night, as he had seven receptions for 178 yards. Taj Davis told the Daily Bulletin after the game, “We know we have things to work on but I still think we’re going to be the best team in our league. We just have to keep getting better.” On defense, Highlanders’ linebacker, Justin Flowe, powered through the Wildcats’ O-line, for seven solo tackles, a safety, and 12 total tackles.

    The Highlanders will now prepare for their fourth game of the season which will be against La Mirada this Friday night. The game will be here at Upland High School, with kickoff at 7:00p.m.

 

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9/11/17

By: Camille Sipple

The Plaid, Staff Writer

    On Thursday, September 7, the L.A. County Fair was host to our very own, Upland Highland Regiment. Recognizing the city of Upland for “Upland Day,” an invitation to perform in the annual parade of the fairgrounds was extended to the regiment. After months of practice, dedication and hard work, the Highland Regiment was ready to give everyone a parade that they would never forget. Even though it was a performance, these students still used it as an opportunity to improve themselves. Sophomore, Raquel Martinez, and bass clarinet player said “[parades] give us a chance to perfect our marching in a much more professional manner.”

    As the regiment marched to their cadences, cheers and smiles surrounded them all, throughout the fairgrounds. The excited cheers of their supporters drove the Highland Regiment to work harder and to enjoy the success after months of hard work. Junior trumpet player, Sebastian Gomez said, “I absolutely love participating in parades because it makes me feel good to hear people cheer for the band.”

    The experience is not new for the Regiment’s older members and some saw it as the kickoff to their last year with the beloved music program. Cameron Nicols, a senior baritone saxophone player said, “It made it so different just taking it all in and realizing I’ll never be able to do that again. It all went by so fast.” Natalie Noriega, a senior flute player also said, “I enjoy marching in the parades […] but it’s bittersweet since it’s my last year.” However, Noriega sees a bright future ahead for the program, long after her class is gone, as she said, “The regiment is continuing to get better throughout the years[...] a lot of the new freshmen are great and strong musicians.”

    With their fall show season about to begin, the LACF parade was a great start to the long season of competition to come. Head Drum Major, E.J. Miranda said that he, “enjoy[s] doing parades because it gives people a chance to see the regiment other than at field competitions.” It was clear that most of spectators cheering the regiment on were Upland High School alumni, who wished to see their alma mater once again and parades just seem to bring a community together to celebrate the good aspects of life. Senior flute player, Delainey Capps said, “Parades are one of the ways that band can represent the community by bringing everyone together.”

     It’s not the end of parades for Regiment seniors, however. The annual Upland Christmas Parade in December will also feature the Upland Highland Regiment on it’s parade route. If you missed this amazing experience at the L.A. County Fair, you can catch it again this winter. See you there!


 

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9/6/17

   By: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography By: S.Little

     The Highlanders proved they are one of the teams to beat this year, as they went ballistic against the Claremont Wolfpack last Friday night. Entering the game, most knew that there was already an advantage for the Highlanders, just based off of sheer stats. However, the final score exceeded many people’s predictions. After four quarters of pure domination, the Highlanders defeated the Wolfpack 62 to 3 and claimed their stake in this year’s championship run.

    During a game like Friday night’s, the focus is typically more on what players can put up big numbers, rather than which team is going to win. The reason is because by the end of the first quarter, the game was pretty much over. Just one minute into the Highlanders’ first drive of the night, quarterback, David Baldwin, threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to receiver, Isaiah Banks, to put the “mighty Scots” up six to zero. Kicker, Archie Green, then entered the field to put up the PAT and ensure the Highlanders got the full seven points from the scoring play. After a kickoff back to the Wolfpack, the Claremont offense would then enter the field, although not for long.

    Only a couple plays in, and the Wolfpack fumbled the ball, leading to a fumble recovery by the Highlanders defense. Baldwin and his crew came back out onto the field and made quick work of the Wolfpack defense once more, as Baldwin connected to wide receiver, Corey Thomas, for a three-yard touchdown-pass completion. After another PAT from Green, the Highlanders were up 14 to zero, not even three minutes into the game. The parade of first quarter scoring didn’t stop there though, as the Highlanders scored once more after the defense forced the Wolfpack to punt the ball back into the Highlanders’ hands. After a few big plays and a nice drive up the field, Baldwin threw another touchdown pass, this time connecting with receiver, Bryce Parker. Green’s PAT this time would go wide left a bit. However, the Highlanders’ lead was already cemented. At the end of one quarter of play, the Highlanders were up 20 to nothing against the Claremont Wolfpack.

    With the start of the second quarter, the Highlanders immediately began finding the endzone some more. Baldwin continued his respectable performance, as he connected with receiver, Taj Davis, for a 50-yard touchdown pass, just one minute into the second quarter. The Highlanders were now up 27 to nothing. Then, just a couple minutes later, the Highlanders found the endzone again. On this score, it was Baldwin connecting with receiver, Taj Davis, again for a 12-yard touchdown pass. After a successful PAT from Archie Green, the Highlanders were then up 34 to zero. As if the home team hadn’t enough of scoring, the Highlanders scored again, just a minute later and this time, on defense.

    Defensive back, Caleb Roberson, returned a fumble recovery for an 18-yard touchdown, and with a long eight minutes still to go before the half. The score was already 41 to nothing. Has the point gotten across yet? By now, the Highlanders had completely locked the game up. The Claremont Wolfpack did end up eventually scoring though, as they managed to sneak in a field goal, with three and a half minutes remaining in the second. However, this field goal was quickly trumped by yet another Highlanders’ touchdown a couple minutes later. With the first half of play coming to a close, the Highlanders’ offense was sure to go out with one more bang, as quarterback, David Baldwin, connected with receiver, Kyle Jones, for a 34-yard touchdown. Closing out the half, the score was 48 to 3, and most everybody knew exactly who the winner was going to be.

    It wasn’t until late in the third quarter, when the Highlanders found the endzone again. With a little over a minute to go in the third, the Highlanders marched up the field and handed it off to Tyevin Ford, for a two-yard rushing touchdown. After this scoring play, the next one didn’t occur until halfway through the final quarter of play, when running back, Kyle Floyd, ran it in from 22 yards out, for what seemed like the millionth touchdown of the night for the Highlanders. After this scoring play, the score was 62 to 3, and it would stay that way for the remainder of the game.

    Similar to last week against La Habra, Highlanders’ quarterback, David Baldwin, had another noticeably good performance against the Wolfpack defense. Baldwin was 12 for 14 on pass attempts, for 276 yards, a whopping 6 touchdowns, and a .857 completion rate. The junior quarterback has shown noticeable improvement thus far this season.

    Among the many noticeable performances of the night, Marcus Brown turned in the most rushing yards for the Highlanders. After three carries, the senior had run for 61 yards.

    When asked of the game, Upland receiver, Bryce Parker said, “Claremont was a week where we could focus on getting better. Everybody on the team had a better bond after the game.” Highlanders’ senior, Kyle Jones, also added in, “It was good to get everybody on the team in. It was a good experience for the team. It was great to see everyone who doesn’t have a chance to play to play in the game.”

    The Highlanders will now move on to face Redlands East Valley this Friday night, for their first away game of the season. Last season, the Highlanders were able to defeat Redlands, but the game was not in any means a blowout. The Highlanders have started off full of momentum and will greatly help as we get closer to the start of league.

    

 

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8/30/17

By: Nailea Castillo, The Plaid Editor-In-Chief

Photography By: Donia Farraj, The Plaid Photo Editor

     On Friday, August 25, at 6 am, the senior class of 2018 gathered at the field to watch the sunrise together and embrace the beginning of the end. Students gathered at the field across from the K building to participate in raffles and enjoy food and music. Those who attended were given one raffle ticket, another if they wore their senior class shirt and a third, if they dressed in all red or wore face paint.

     Senior, Hannah Ponce, dressed in the senior class’ baseball tee, said that she arrived very early in the morning to participate in the event, “about 5:50 am” she said. “I went with the rest of the cheer girls and my friends Dennise and Amy.”

Sleepy seniors were greeted by ASB with donuts, juices and waters, as they set down their chairs and blankets on the grass.They enjoyed music and the company of their peers as they took photos and waited for the sun to rise. And as it did, senior class president, Danika Hochberger, gave a moving speech to kick off the senior year. She stated in her speech that, “... we have 286 days left as highlanders. Make them count.”

     In the end, it was a bittersweet moment for the senior class, and one of many heartfelt  occasions that will take place throughout the duration of these students’ last year in high school. Here’s to an eventful year!

 

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8/30/17

Written by: Anthony Lopez, The Plaid Sports Editor

Photography by: Kesler Graves, The Plaid Staff Photographer

    Before Friday night, there were questions in the air surrounding the Upland Highlanders. Who would arise to team leader roles as last year’s seniors departed? How would the Scots fair in Division 2? After Friday night’s match between the Upland Highlanders and the La Habra Highlanders, we received promising answers to those questions. The Scots brought home a 35 to 7 victory in this season’s opening game.

    Maybe it was the brand new field or the overwhelming amount of excitement from the crowd on Friday night, but whatever the case, the “real Highlanders” looked, played, and executed well in the season opening game. To put Upland’s performance in an analogy, it was like watching an engine fire off on all eight cylinders. Among the night’s best performers for Upland were quarterback, David Baldwin; receiver, Taj Davis, with 137 receiving yards; and Upland’s latest phenom, linebacker, Justin Flowe, who had five solo tackles, one sack, and a total of nine tackles.

    Before people could even take their seats, the home team was already scoring. On the very first offensive play of the game, Baldwin connected with Davis, for an 80-yard touchdown, right alongside the Upland sidelines. Sophomore kicker, Archie Green came out on the field to kick the PAT and put the “Scots” up, seven to zero, just fifteen seconds into the game. With La Habra’s offense onto the field now, all eyes would be on Upland’s linebacker core, thanks in part to the recent ranking of #1 in the Class of 2020 for Justin Flowe, who already has nine full-ride offers from colleges across the country. The defensive star did not disappoint, as he and defensive back, Corey Thomas sacked the La Habra quarterback just a few plays into La Habra’s first drive. After a few minor penalties from both teams seemingly knocking the rust off, Upland regained possession of the ball, late in the first and scored once more by virtue of a three-yard touchdown, run by Cameron Davis, which complemented a touchdown-worthy-drive up the field, by the Scots offense. After the PAT went inches to the left and hit the goal post, the score at the end of the first quarter was 13 to nothing, with the home team riding high and looking good.

    The momentum kept rolling, as Upland’s offense made more quick work of the La Habra defense early in the second. An 18-yard touchdown, run by Cameron Davis, paired with a successful two-point conversion attempt by Kyle Jones, put the home team up 21 to zip, with a little over eleven minutes remaining in the second. The second quarter dragged on with a bit of a defensive battle between the two teams. Both sides were showing off decent defense for the majority of the second quarter. However, one of the more noticeable defensive highlights of the night came with about two minutes left before the half, when defensive back, Corey Thomas earned a solo sack in the backfield, on La Habra quarterback, Ryan Zanelli. The sack and few more defensive stops later, the Scots offense came back onto the field, with little time remaining before halftime. One of the more memorable offensive highlights happened during this drive with about a minute left before the half, when quarterback, David Baldwin was met with immense pressure from the blitzing La Habra defense. Baldwin managed to maneuver and scramble away enough from the defense to be able to connect with an open receiver and save Upland’s drive. With three seconds left before halftime, Baldwin found an open Bryce Parker, for a touchdown pass. A successful PAT by kicker, Archie Green cemented Upland’s lead by 28 points, as the teams headed into the locker rooms.

    After another strong halftime performance by the Upland regiment and color guard, it was time for the players to come back out to the field and for the fans to come back from the snack bars and into the stands. The majority of the third quarter was tame in football terms, except for what could have been a 100-yard, endzone-to-endzone, fumble-recovery-touchdown by Upland defensive back, Caleb Roberson, who also forced the fumble in the first place. However, there were two penalties on the play on both teams, which ultimately called the touchdown back. Although it didn’t count, the play got the home crowd up on their feet and reenergized. The Upland offense would score for the fifth and final time of the night, with two minutes left to go in the third, by virtue of another touchdown and successful PAT. At the end of the third quarter, the Scots were up 35 to squat and La Habra was going to need a miracle, to keep their chances alive.

    Although La Habra finally managed to score, with eight minutes remaining in the fourth and the final quarter of the game, that was all the visiting team had and the Upland Highlanders proved victorious in this rare battle between the Highlanders and the Highlanders. The final score at the end of the night was 35 to zero, and Upland has now opened the season with a win that places them with a 17th-place ranking, in the state of California. When asked how the game went, Upland Coach Kim replied, “We won. We got a lot of improvements to make. It was a good team effort.” Assistant coach, Darryl Thomas also stated, “There’s always improvements. We can always get better. We need to get better. Our offensive line did an extremely good job, driving the ball down the field. Defense did well the whole night too.”

    Arguably one of his best performances to date as Varsity quarterback for the Scots, David Baldwin completed 20 passes out of his 26 attempts, for 322 yards and two touchdowns. By virtue of being 20 for 26, Baldwin’s completion rate was .769 and his overall quarterback rating was 143.4. Adding to his impressive stats from Friday night, Baldwin also never thrown an interception. Overall, the numbers put up by Baldwin on Friday night were respectable and earned recognition by Coach Thomas who also said, “David [Baldwin] looked much more poised tonight.” Certainly, the quarterback’s noticeable improvement from last season, helped ensure the Scots walked away with the win.

    The Highlanders will now prepare for battle against the Claremont Wolfpack, a team the Highlanders defeated 42 to 3 last season. The second game of the season will be this upcoming Friday night, at home, with kickoff at 7:00p.m.

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Breaking News!

The Plaid News Staff is always looking for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders who would still like to join the staff. If interested, please see your counselor or Mrs. Little in room F157.