Charter Oak’s offseason-long quarterback battle between junior Kory Brown and senior Ross Barrera may not be totally over, but Brown will start Friday’s road opener against Roosevelt.
Both quarterbacks are expected to see ample playing time.
“It comes down to Kory is going to start and as the game goes on, I decide who stays and who plays,” Charter Oak head coach Lou Farrar said. “I can’t make that decision until I see how we move the ball on our first series.
“I’m not afraid to play either one and say ‘call the plays and here we go.’”
Brown backed up standout Travis Santiago last season. Barrera was a back up at Bishop Amat last year before transferring in the offseason.
Running back is a little less clear. Donavin Washington figures to be the feature back, but since he starts at corner back on defense his carries may need to be spaced. Khari Garcia, another starting defensive back, also figures in the mix at running back.
West Covina quarterback Jon Najera missed his team’s season opener last Friday against Covina with a knee injury, but Bulldogs head coach Mike Maggiore estimates there’s an 80-percent chance the senior will play this Friday against Loyola.
Sophomore Antonio “Noodles” Hull got the start against Covina and led West Covina to a 31-0 win. If Najera returns, Hull will shift to running back. Maggiore also expects center Raul Gomez, the team’s top lineman, to return this week. Gomez missed the Covina game after having stitches removed from his leg.
With Najera and Gomez back, West Covina should fare a lot better this season against the upper-division Cubs. Loyola had little trouble with a banged up West Covina team in last year’s 35-7 win.
“Last year, they got up on us and we kind of hung our heads a little bit,” Maggiore said. “I just want us to compete. We’ve looked good against Claremont and Covina, but this another test. This is a huge step up. I’m anxious for it.”
You can count Chino Hills High School football coach Derek Bub among the many who were impressed by Bishop Amat’s win over Servite last Friday.
The Huskies and Lancers play this week, and Bub maintains he’s not just saying that Amat was terrific in order to prop up an opponent.
“I’ll tell you what, Amat didn’t just beat them, they owned that game from the first whistle to the last whistle,” Bub said. “I give Bishop Amat a ton of credit. That’s a game you could easily go into and say “it’s Servite, we just want to play around with these guys and be in the game.’
“But they came out and took it to them for four quarters. They have great speed on defense and their skill position players are better than I’ve seen out of them in a while.”
Chino Hills wasn’t too shabby itself, albeit against a considerably lesser opponent in Arlington. The Huskies won 41-20, but led 34-7 at halftime and Arlington’s first-half score came on a interception return for touchdown. Other than that, quarterback Matt Simko was as advertised, throwing five touchdown passes in his Huskies debut.
The Huskies were without Boise St.-bound receiver Jack Austin, who suffered a sprained ankle on a fluke play in practice last week. Austin’s status for Friday remains unclear, according to Bub.
“I have no idea,” Bub said about Austin. “I’m not trying to mess with you, it will be a game-time decision. Obviously, I’m hoping he can go. It’s a pretty ugly sprained ankle.
“We know we have to have Jack Austin. We feel like we’re a better football team with Jack. I was happy with the way we played last week without him, but I think Jack gives you an immediate vertical threat.”