Marquee matchup: Bishop Amat at Chino Hills

In their first ever meeting, these two programs with perennial expectations certainly carry some into tonight. Chino Hills is coming off a season-opening blowout of Riverside Arlington in which its new quarterback tossed five touchdown passes. But the Huskies’ victory pales in comparison with Bishop Amat handing state power Anaheim Servite a 17-point loss last week, the Lancers’ most significant win in recent memory.

Smooth transition for Simko: Both teams’ quarterbacks, neither of which had been a full-time starter before, didn’t look the slightest bit intimidated in their debuts.

All Chino Hills’ Matt Simko did was throw for 254 yards and five touchdowns with one interception in his first game under center for the Huskies. The senior, who transferred from Colony during the summer, came with some credentials after being named the Mt. Baldy League offensive MVP last season and taking the Titans to the CIF-SS Central Division semifinals.

Simko, however, was in a quarterback rotation last season due to the presence of Bryan Harper, now a freshman at Arizona. It will be very interesting to see what kind of numbers the strong-armed senior can compile as the focal point of the offense. His talented stable of receivers at Chino Hills, led by the Boise State-bound Jack Austin, won’t hurt.

Serving up Servite: To his credit, the first career start for Bishop Amat quarterback Koa Haynes was distinctly different. The junior replacing Rio Ruiz, the Houston Astros’ fourth-round pick in June who has since signed with the organization, was facing one of the top programs in Southern California last week.

No matter, Haynes led the Lancers to one of their biggest wins in recent memory by completing 14 of 21 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns in addition to rushing for another score in the 40-23 win over Servite.

“We knew what our quarterback could do,” Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty said following the game. “We all knew a little more than all of you (media). We’ve been with him and watched his progress, but you can’t talk about it until you see it and tonight he showed he’s got some potential and he’s going to be good for us the next couple years.”

Future implications: Chino Hills’ schedule doesn’t get much easier the rest of the way. Its remaining nonleague slate includes Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro, which reached the CIF-SS Pac-5 semifinals last season. Next is defending Southeast Division champion West Covina followed by a Temecula Great Oak team that handed Chino Hills’ Sierra League foe Claremont a 38-14 loss last week.

Chino Hills is capable of beating any of them, but a win over Bishop Amat would get the snow ball rolling in a big way.

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