As players from the Bishop Amat High School football team made their way from the locker room to the field before Friday’s showdown against Charter Oak, there were several chants warning anyone within earshot that the Lancers were about to show the Valley and the waiting Chargers all about PAC-5 football.
A couple of hours later, their point had been made loud and clear. The final score read 30-14 in favor of Amat, but who knows if it could have been more or less given the terrible officiating.
Even after getting through the clutter of yellow flags, there was no doubt which team was better. Amat went on a 30-0 run in the first half after falling behind 7-0 after Charter Oak’s first offensive play.
It was the kind of performance Amat fans, players and coaches expect when facing inferior Valley programs. It’s the kind of performance they’ve gotten for the past 10 years any time a Valley team steps on the field with them.
But here’s what most Amat fans didn’t know going into Friday’s game. Or maybe they did, but didn’t care to admit it. Their program and this team needed that win in a big, bad way.
You see, each time another local program wins a CIF championship (Charter Oak has won four since Amat’s last), a little bit of doubt seeps into the minds of every Valley football fan about who’s king in these parts.
Every time Amat goes out in the first round of the playoffs or doesn’t qualify at all, the postseason accomplishments of other programs in the area get magnified.
Outside of going on a postseason run in its own division, the only thing Amat can do to quell that is take any local program that dares sign up for a game out to the woodshed.
That’s what happened on Friday night. Charter Oak has won 13 playoff games and two CIF championships since 2005. During that same period, Amat has just postseason win.
But where would you rather play if you’re a 13-year-old kid in the eighth grade waking up this morning reading about the game?
The underlying point is even when Amat is mediocre in its own division, it’s still considerably and consistently better than anyone else in this area code. That’s a lesson some of us (right here) need to be reminded of from time to time.
There was plenty on the line for the Lancers on Friday night, and they proved plenty by going out and living up to the expectations and extending their streak of dominance over the area.
And now that everyone here has been put back in place, it’s time for the Lancers to do the same in their own neck of the woods. This just might be the team to do it, but we won’t know until November.
The win over Servite gave hope that this might be the season. The wins over Charter Oak and La Mirada figure to look better and better as each week passes.
Amat once again has shown it is the class of the Valley. Now it’s time to show the rest of the Southland just what exactly that means.
If you’ve got details, pass them along as I was not able to make it out there. I’ve heard from plenty of people that both of these classes are going to be special once they’re at the varsity level, Amat especially. This could be the last year or two for a while before any local can think of handling the Lancers.
Both teams were undefeated entering the game. Interestingly, the younger brother of Chargers stud running back/receiver/defensive back Aaren Vaughns is one of the stars on Amat’s frosh team. Their older brother Geoff played at South Hills. The family is making its tour of the SGV powers.
No. 1 Bishop Amat (2-0-1) at No. 2 Charter Oak (2-0)
Why Bishop Amat will win … Tradition and mystique, of course! OK, just kidding. As nice as those two factors are, there’s plenty more to the 2012 Lancers than that. The fact is that Amat is the more reliable offense if we’re going off of what we’ve seen so far. QB Koa Haynes has been excellent, running back Dionza Blue might be the best player in the Valley and receiver/defensive back Darren Andrews is a big-play machine. The Lancers have proven they can get their playmakers going against top-flight competition. If the run isn’t working, Haynes can make a big pass. If the pass isn’t working, Blue can be unstoppable on the ground. Amat’s defense has given up some points, but the level of competition has to be considered. This stop unit can fly and loves to hit. And yet despite that, if Amat wins on Friday it will be because either Haynes, Blue or Andrew make one or two more big plays than Charter Oak.
Why Charter Oak will win … Defense, defense, defense. The Chargers have allowed just 14 points this season and some people think they shouldn’t have allowed any. Charter Oak’s defense combines good size with excellent speed. The big question is whether the Chargers’ coaching staff will try to win it with the defense or let the defense be what bails the offense out all night. It may not be a good idea for the offense to be too cute or aggressive against Amat. If Charter Oak uses its defense to wait out Amat and set up the offense with a couple of good situations, then the Chargers stand a good chance to knock off No. 1. The defense will have to force at least two mistakes by the Lancers, which isn’t easy to do.
What will happen … Charter Oak will come out and try for one or two big plays, which Amat will defend perfectly. From there, the game will settle into a grinder with the Chargers defense not letting Blue or Andrews get loose for quick, momentum-changing scores. Don’t expect many points in the first half. In the second half, the Chargers ground game will start to have success and one big play by QB Kory Brown will put CO on the brink of the win. Amat will answer, but Chargers kicker Jack Schneider will get the last laugh by hitting a field goal to put his team ahead. CO’s defense does the rest. … Charter Oak 17, Amat 14.
THAT’S MINE, NOW SHOW ME YOURS. PLEASE DO MORE THAN OFFER A SCORE. TELL ME WHY EITHER CHARTER OAK OR AMAT WIN.
San Dimas is hoping to swarm Monrovia in another Mid-Valley epic coming Friday.
1. Bishop Amat (2-0-1) — Nonleague schedule should pay dividends in Oct. and Nov.
2. Charter Oak (2-0) — Defense has lived up to the hype and offense is coming around.
3. Chino Hills (1-1-1) — Hard to drop Huskies after they gave Tesoro decent battle.
4. La Mirada (2-1) — Gave Amat a good battle. Southeast favorites for sure.
5. Ayala (3-0) — Bulldogs took act to
Arizona Nevada and came back a winner.
6. St. Francis (2-0) — Never easy (or fun) to play at Righetti, but Knights still unbeaten.
7. West Covina (2-1) — Most games will be grinders until QB Najera is back from injury.
8. La Serna (3-0) — Program just keeps winning.
9. Damien (1-1) — Boykins goes off in the desert as Sparty gets in win column.
10. San Dimas (3-0) — It can be a beautiful thing when the Wing-Z gets rolling.
11. Los Altos (3-0) — How serious (or not) do you want to take Conqs in Hacienda?
12. St. Paul (1-2) — Got much-needed win over La Habra. Two weeks to wait for Amat.
13. South Hills (2-1) — Not sure offense can be so one-dimensional in rugged Sierra.
14. Monrovia (1-1) — Can start earning back some street cred by beating San Dimas.
15. La Habra (1-2) — Little Stevie R. said it best; La Habra is void of playmakers.
16. Whittier (2-0) — Ancich did what to Whittier Christian?
17. San Marino (2-0) — Talented senior class living up the expectations so far.
18. Rio Hondo Prep (2-1) — Beat solid Parker (San Diego) team to get back on track.
19. La Salle (3-0) — Joke was supposed to be over last week. Haters guessed wrong.
20. Glendora (2-0) — Building confidence while bracing for difficult Baseline ahead.
21. Rowland (3-0) — Could The Fightin’ Snyders be back in the postseason?
22. Diamond Ranch (2-1) — Got some starch taken out by Elsinore loss.
23. California (2-0) — Quality win over Troy. Del Rio should be fierce battle this season.
24. Gladstone (2-0) — Montview had better start taking Gladiators very seriously.
25. El Monte (2-1) — B-Mart vs. Gladstone defense should be quite interesting.
West Covina High School defensive end Justin Hornsby underwent two hours of surgery on Saturday to treat a broken tibia and fibula in his left leg after suffering the major injury in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 21-7 win over South Hills.
Hornsby had to be taken off the field on a stretcher and treated on site by paramedics before being transported to the hospital.
“He will be fine and fully recovered with time and rehab,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said via text message on Saturday. “Surgery was textbook. He is in good spirits.
“What bothers me is the kid has had crappy luck and a really unfortunate two years. This was just a freak thing that happened. He planted his foot and his body got twisted.”
Hornsby transferred to West Covina from Rancho Verde prior to last season but was ruled ineligible by CIF because he lived in South Hills’ school district. After sitting out the season, Hornsby figured to be one of the top defensive players in the Valley.
“He is a good play, but an outstanding young man that is a leader on our team and on our campus,” Maggiore said. “He is really well-liked, bright and personable.”
Freddie reminding me that Temple City is the last SGV football program to win three straight CIF titles hit like a hammer this morning. Because my alma mater has fallen on HARD TIMES in recent years.
The Rams haven’t even scored this season. Two games in and NO POINTS!!! So, it’s time to bring in Dale Ziola. He can leave Los Altos for a little while, maybe coach both schools, and turn things around.
Sorry Conquerors, you’re back on your feet. It’s time for Temple City to get the same treatment. After all, TC is one of the Top 5 SGV football programs of all time!
Thank you. Now carry on with the rest of your day.