Overview … The game of the year (for now) in the Sierra League couldn’t be more juicy from a fan’s perspective. The speed and tenacity of the Charter Oak defense against the precision and capability of the Chino Hills offense. The Chargers are 4-1 after a solid nonleague schedule. Chino Hills is 3-1-1 after a daunting nonleague schedule. The winner of this game won’t have the league title sewed up, but they will have punched their ticket to the Inland Division playoffs barring a complete collapse.
Chino Hills will win if … QB Matt Simko gets time to pick apart the Chargers secondary. It’s just that simple. Simko has the rifle arm, decision making and receiving corps to make the Chargers defensive backs look stupid. He won’t get that chance if Alex Hernandez, Andrew Hauser and Matt Cisneros with baring down on him. That puts the onus on the Huskies’ offensive line, which is usually up to the task.
Charter Oak will win if … It can use Aaren Vaughns and the run game as another form of defense. Long, sustained drives would keep Simko and the Huskies offense off the field. If the Chargers are having to play from behind all night, that could spell disaster. So time-consuming drives will be paramount to CO’s chances.
What will happen … Instead of seeing a team that wasn’t ready for primetime against Bishop Amat, fans should have seen a team that’s going to be awfully scary once they put it all together. The Amat experience has paid off for CO (getting Hauser eligible also helps). Expect the CO offense to be much better than the last time everyone in the Valley was paying attention. The Chargers have held every opponent to its season-low in scoring this season. Doing that against Chino Hills will be a ridiculously tough task, but not impossible. Simko and the Huskies pass attack will make their share of big plays, but the cumulative effect of Charter Oak landing the bigger punches all night will wear on the Huskies and that will show in the fourth quarter … Charter Oak 27, Chino Hills 24.