There is still only one big dog in Chino Hills.
A resurgent Ayala team didn’t go quietly, but Chino Hills pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 49-34 victory over the Bulldogs on Friday night at Chino Hills High School.
The Huskies (4-2-1, 1-1) bounced back from a 28-point loss last week to Covina Charter Oak in what was billed as the Sierra League championship game.
Coming off its most significant league victory in three years, Ayala (5-2, 1-1) couldn’t muster its first win over Chino Hills since 2008.
After the Huskies’ offense was held to 13 points last week, the Chino Hills tandem of quarterback Matt Simko and running back Louis Napoles combined for 385 yards against Ayala.
Thomas R. Cordova/Staff Photographer
Simko was 18 for 32 passing with 224 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were long strikes to Boise State-bound receiver Jack Austin.
Napoles rushed for 161 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Huskies, who surged to a 34-14 halftime lead.
In keeping with the nature of this rivalry, Ayala didn’t go quietly.
Ayala refused to go quietly, closing the gap to 35-21 by opening the second half with a touchdown drive and following it with another keyed by Dane Cruikshank’s 51-yard reception down to the 1-yard line.
A 21-point Chino Hills halftime lead was suddenly down to 35-27 when Ayala’s extra-point attempt bounced off the upright back into the end zone.
Ayala quarterback Brian Meyette finished 18 of 37 passing for 271 yards with two touchdowns but the junior threw two of his three interceptions in the fourth quarter.
After a 43-yard touchdown reception by Austin, who finished with five catches for 115 yards, gave Chino Hills a 42-27 lead with 11:05 to play, Meyette was picked off the next two Ayala possessions after which the Huskies’ lead reached 49-27.
Jordan Robinson was Meyette’s favorite receiver with seven receptions for 110 yards, but the do-it-all senior was limited to 46 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries.
Cruikshank had six catches for 97 yards and scored one touchdown via the air and one on the ground, but Chino Hills simply had too much firepower in the end.
The Huskies surged to a 14-0 lead out of the gate, sandwiching an Ayala three-and-out with a 13-play opening drive and a 48-yard drive, both of which ended in touchdowns.
Ayala cut its deficit in half after converting a fourth-and-1 on a drive R.J. Cardenas finished by taking a swing pass 13 yards for a touchdown with 10:32 remaining in the second quarter.
Chino Hills promptly responded with a five-play touchdown drive for a 21-7 lead less than a minute and a half after Ayala got on the board.
Lurking Huskies linebacker Trent Goens then intercepted Meyette and returned it to the Ayala 26-yard line to set up Napoles’ 4-yard touchdown run that swelled the Chino Hills lead to 27-7 following an errant extra point attempt.
Ayala responded with a methodical nine-play touchdown drive that briefly cut the deficit to 27-14 before Chino Hills went 66 yards in just 1:30 to take a 35-14 lead 10 seconds before the half.