My column from Saturday: Charter Oak’s rout of Corona Santiago is something the entire 626 can be proud of …

As the teams made their way to the locker rooms at halftime of Charter Oak’s 63-21 rout of Corona Santiago on Friday night, an excited Chargers player could be heard yelling, “They want no piece of Valley football.”

That statement should resonate with you, if you call yourself a San Gabriel Valley football fan.

There is no better stage than the playoffs for teams to represent their areas to the fullest. On Friday at Charter Oak, the Chargers represented the Valley to near perfection.

Charter Oak, the only team with a 626 area code in the Inland Division’s postseason field of 16, sent a resounding statement that although the Valley may be smaller and much different demographically than areas to the east, it still can play the game of football pretty darn well on occasion.

“Frankly, their guys during warmups said all they were going to do was intimidate us,” Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar said. “You can’t intimidate me while you’re standing around exercising. Our kids are trying to believe in themselves and make believers out of everybody else.

“You can only put 11 people on the field. We’re just trying to get some respect, I guess.”

Corona Santiago certainly was intimidating during warmups. It had what looked like double the roster size of Charter Oak and considerably more size along the offensive line. But once the ball was kicked off, the only team doing the intimidating was the Chargers.

Less than two minutes into the game, Charter Oak’s all-everything quarterback Travis Santiago hooked up with receiver Aaren Vaughns for a 61-yard touchdown pass. Santiago later found receiver Bryce Bobo three times for touchdowns.

Safety Jonathan Thropay returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown. Kurt Scoby ran so hard over Santiago defenders in the second half the popping sound made the crowd ooh and ahh.

How’s that for intimidation?

What happened on Friday at Charter Oak was a crescendo moment. A program that enrollment-wise doesn’t belong in the Inland Division wanted to send a message with its first Inland Division playoff win.

The message was sent loud and clear. The Chargers led by nearly 50 points at one point and that was before the fourth quarter.

Once the fourth quarter started, the running clock rule for blowouts of 35 or more points was implemented. Who’d have thunk it?

“It is kind of special because we’re the same Royal Oak/Charter Oak guys standing around playing football and just playing the with guys who show up at practice,” Farrar said. “This doesn’t happen overnight. This is a lot of weight room (work), exercising and training. It started two weeks after the season was over last year.”

Farrar has won five CIF championships, but even he admitted Friday’s win holds a special place. The little program he has built into an area powerhouse was given a tall task by the CIF two years ago after it was taken out of the Southeast Division and placed in the Inland.

Corona Santiago had the right idea before Friday’s game. Intimidate the smaller school. Let them know the 909 (or 951) had come to town and it’s a much different animal when your school attendance is pushing 4,000 kids. Intimidation truly was Corona Santiago’s only card to play.

The only problem was Charter Oak wasn’t buying it. Not after Farrar, his coaching staff and their players already had gone through the nightmare last year.

Now, Charter Oak is one of the final eight teams remaining in the division. They Chargers still are the smallest and the biggest underdogs. No matter what happens next week against Upland, Charter Oak has proven its point. It did so over and over again this season, starting with a 4-1 nonleague record, 5-0 Sierra League mark and now one of the most lopsided wins anywhere in the Southland in the playoffs.

They won’t hang a banner at Charter Oak for Friday’s win and Farrar won’t add more hardware to his sizable collection. But everyone who was in attendance when the Chargers broke through for their first Inland Division playoff win will go home with the memory that at least for one night an Inland team wanted no piece of Valley football.

Follow me on Twitter @ChemicalAT

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  • CO Bro

    Great win for the Chargers, I loved how Santiago was trying to intimidate Co during warm ups, guess that didn’t work out like they thought it would. I can’t wait for next weeks match up. It seems to me like alot of IE players get pretty chippy when they are getting a beat down. I saw it last night from several Santiago players and I saw it last week with several chino hills players, maybe its just because they are young me who can’t yet control themselves. I’m telling you now, there is no way upland will run away with this game. CO has the fire power to play with anyone. Travis and his receivers are lighting it up and how the hell do you stop Scoby? They game will come down to defense, CO has been getting better each game and if they can keep the offense in the game then we have a great chance at knocking off one of the top 5 teams in the state.

    Aram, you were down on the field last night. Can you tell us why that CO kickoff that CLEARLY hit the Santiago player before going out of bounds at the one yard line, was spotted at the 40?

  • D-Mo

    Nice win for CO. Keep it rolling. You guys played with heart and class – something your opponent failed to bring to Charger Stadium. Have a great week of practice, and follow the “Thanksgiving rules”.
    Azusa, this is your season. Stay focused. Great job Joe and staff. San Dimas will have their hands full next week. Good luck Aztecs!
    BA, sorry to see you guys make the early exit. There are many of us CO faithful that have been pulling for the Lancers all season. Come join us at Upland next week. We can use all the SGV mojo possible.
    WesCo, you guys are on your way!

  • CO Bro,

    The best I can tell you is that the refs made a mistake. In the end, it didn’t come anywhere close to costing CO, so that’s nice. I mean, at this point in the season you’re hoping the level of refereeing is top-notch, but those guys are human, too.

    More concerning to me than anything was the cheap shots by Santiago. You sometimes expect to see that when a team gets frustrated because they know their season is over. But there was one play in the first half when the outcome was still in question and they speared Scoby. The refs called it, but that was total garbage on Santiago’s part.


    Great to meet you last night! Congrats on the W.

  • CO Bro

    AB, why do even need to bring Amat up on this thread? CO won a huge game last night, can’t you just be happy for that? This has nothing to do with ANY OTHER TEAM then the Chargers. You are just going to open the gates for the haters to take shots at CO. Just sit back, take another hit off whatever you have smoking and enjoy the ride!

  • Amat Bully,

    Fred doesn’t hate CO and I think you’ve made your point on Amat. No need to keep flaming their fans, especially after a season-ending loss.

    I think Fred is like a lot of other people in that he needs a lot of convincing that any team in the Valley IS better than Amat. I’m like a lot of other people in that I need a lot of convincing that Amat IS the legit No. 1 in the area. Doesn’t make anybody right or wrong. It’s a nice balance, actually. Doesn’t mean Fred hates CO or I hate Amat. Quite the opposite, actually. We like and respect both programs and hope for nothing but the best from each.

    I talked to several CO fans last night, including D-Mo, and they all said they were rooting for Amat to do well. Was I shocked by that? A tad, but for the most part you’ll find that the true SGV football purists root for everyone else in the SGV to do well (unless they’re playing each other).

  • FredJ

    In case you’re wondering, I deleted Bully’s comment, I can handle the criticism, the critiquing, but when I ask him to curb his personal shots at me, at schools, and explain he’s doing Charter Oak a disservice with what he’s writing, enough is enough.

  • Amat Bully

    Aram i know thats yo boy but read what he says about CO every week its never positive and if it is it has a twist at the end. Just last week CO was preparing for Santiago but he goes on to say CO wont make it past Upland wasnt the game in front of CO was against Upland. i didnt see him predict the following weeks game all year long now why all of a sudden CO is doing AWESOME he throws that out there. Just check out what he wrote last night

    ” Now you really have to wonder, can they beat Upland. If they do, I say it’s Charter Oak’s finest hour”.

    Now i might be reading too much into this but is he trying to keep up the argument that all Amat fans say when they quote CO hasnt beat anyone…..but im thinking CO finest is when they won back to back championship

  • Amat Bully

    Man knock it off i dont take shots at no school that doesnt take shots at CO. everyone on the blog take shots at each other school why am i the only one you delete? And i only call you out on your hating toward CO. i just take what you say and try to understand it and to me YOUR A HATER and like i told all the other CO fans i dont care how they feel i stand by CO and CO only you continue to take shots at CO and no one calls you out on it but me.

  • I’ve also said that I don’t think CO is beating Upland. It’s only natural for everybody to look at the brackets and talk about potential matchups.

    I call it like I see it. I don’t care who it pisses off. And guess what, I’m no prophet. I’ve been wrong many times. Teams don’t turn in their gear because Fred or Aram predict they’ll lose.

    Right, Azusa? Hahahahahahah. Congrats to the Fightin’ Joe Scherfs, by the way!

  • Turnabout is Fair Play

    All Bully does is slam teams – at least good teams that threaten his superiority claims, like Chino Hills, Amat, and West Covina. Then when someone questions his team he goes ballistic. Of COURSE people are picking against CO. Thats how it is when you play against the top programs, which until now you know nothing about.

  • perspective

    Congratulations to Charter Oak on their 1st win over a real Inland Team (even though Santiago hasn’t got out of the 1st round since 2007)



    Thanks for pointing that out! At least we did what we had to do and we beat this team the way no team has beat them this year including Corona Centennial, JW North and Vista Murrieta.

    Here my perspective, next saturday come back on here and let us know how CO beat Upland a team that is only ranked # 3 in the state. I want to see what excuse you come up with.

  • Perspective
    Who is your team playing this week? And you wonder why people don’t like you.

  • perspective

    rgd2626 – Pasadena. How bout yours?

  • perspective

    SGV FOOTBALL – date!

  • the future

    This is a great post Aram…Charter oak does represent the entire 626…mainly because their players are and have been a compilation of players from the whole area. I am not hating, I don’t have issue with kids going where they want to go….The only problem with CO is how long can they keep getting transfers and non covina kids? That’s what’s keeping them Alive…where will they get there next fix? What makes the top inland schools is not little skill guys, it’s the line man. That is why Chino Hills despite losing to CO will always be in the true inland team in that league…CO won’t win that league for the next 3 years when Santiago is gone. Even with Scoby and Bobo, and Vaughns…With Travis gone, Co will be average at best. Damien, and CHills will be fighting for that next year… All of their inland Comp, replenishes their talent year and year out…I don’t think CO can keep up, unless they recruit. This year is CO best shot to win the inland….if they can not get pass the 2nd Round with Santiago, Gilchrest, Scoby, Thropay,vaughns, Bobo, etc…what will make you think they will ever win at that level…Especially those years when the talent may not be so good. Chino Hills even in a down year can get to first round of the playoffs and almost win a game. CO in a down year won’t make it…Just reality…CO doesn’t have the talent pool to compete like this year every year.

    I saw a lot of coaches from two area powers which I will not name, this weekend at the JAA Football Championships checking out the Duarte hawks, who won it all… and the years before that…it was Pasadena…yeah, I see just how the get these kids and keep their programs alive..hahaha……Glad to see the Monrovia and Duarte and Muir High school staffs visably there, Protecting their future…

  • 626

    Great article Aram and vey valid points. It’s great to see CO represent for the 626.

    One question though…in regards to enrollment, cant the same be said for San Dimas and Muir (although SD does play in the Mid Valley)? Those are very small schools that compete well against much larger schools.

  • Numberrs game

    626 – isn’t it also true that Bishop Mat has one of the lowest enrollments in the Pac 5?


    the future,

    Everyone and I mean everyone says that about CO every year. From your post you absolutely do not know anything about our team. CO will absolutely be loaded next year. While your thinking about next year were focused on Upland and the second round!

  • AmatSGV

    It was a Great effort from the Bishop Amat football team this year. I still don’t understand the idiot haters, most of them are miserable and ignorant… you know who you are! Below is the reason why Amat will continue to play in D1 football, no matter what any idiot thinks. Historically, we own the Pac5, the numbers dont lie. This is also the reason we are the dominant team in the SGV, if you want your kid to be the best, then he needs to play against the best (Pac5), period. Amat plays anyone, anytime, anywhere, and we bow to no one! Good luck to CO, WestCo, LA, Arroyo, and Covina. Long shots are San Gabriel and Arcadia.

    Amat record Vs. Your Team:

    Loyola 22-9
    Crespi 10-3
    Alemany 14-3
    Mater Dei 19-15
    St. J B 11-5
    SM 3-4
    Servite 15-16
    CO 2-1
    St. Paul 26-14
    Damien 22-4
    Rancho C 2-0
    LB Poly 6-4
    MV 2-0

  • Valley No Mas

    I’m calling NOMAS for the blog nation. Dude get a life! I’m sick of having to scroll through you’re repetative, stupid, wannabe funny but only to you, bullshiat! Anyone who wants to read football or anything remotely associated with the Thread Title must continuously wade through your obssession with Bishop Amat!!! Get over it!!! Amat will ALWAYS be relevant in the SGV! NOTHING you post will EVER change that! Amat is the team the SGV Valley Haters LOVE to hate BUT all you do is keep them on the board!!! If AMAT is so irrelevant then LET THEM GO!!!! You have got to be an AMAT FAN because everytime they start to fade….YOU COME ON AND BRING THEM BACK!!! It doesn’t matter WHAT NAME YOU GO BY, just STOPPPPPPPP!!!!!!

  • Tough to win at the top

    The great Harry Welch was asked what the secret to winning a Pac 5 championship was. He replied, ” I don’t know. I’ve never won one!”

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