By Fred J. Robledo
Get ready for Charter Oak-Diamond Ranch II
The Chargers fulfilled their end of the bargain on Saturday, beating visiting California 38-10 in the CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division semifinal to set up a rematch in the Southeast championship on Friday against Miramonte League rival Diamond Ranch, a 31-27 upset winner over South Hills on Friday.
Chargers back Adam Muema battled food poisoning and had an upset stomach, but he took it out on the visiting Condors (9-3-1), rushing for 134 yards and four touchdowns as the top-ranked Chargers (12-1) moved a step closer to their first back-to-back championship in school history, and coach Lou Farrar’s fifth title at the school.
“If that’s what Adam does with an upset stomach, imagine what he can do when he’s healthy,” Farrar said.
Travis Santiago threw for 149 yards and a touchdown as the Chargers erased an early 10-7 deficit in the second half. After beating the Panthers in the championship last year, Farrar knows he’s going to get an inspired Panthers team that has never beaten the Chargers in the short history of their school and rivalry.
“This is the way I thought it was going to happen all along,” Farrar said. “Call me a gypsy or whatever, I kind of felt it was going to be this way. They’re the best football team in the division. They’re hot right now and did a number on South Hills. We know we’re going to have our work cut out, but it’s great to be playing for another championship. We’ll show up and see if we can get this done.”
California’s dynamic back Terris Jones rushed for 167 yards, but he was all they had as Condors quarterback Adam Contreas completed just 2-of-12 for ten yards.
“There were more weapons on their side than our side,” Cal coach Jim Arnold said. “They were everything we expected them to be. They will be a tough team to beat next week.”
The Condors took a 10-7 lead on Jones’ 19-yard touchdown with 9:36 left in the third quarter. But the Chargers came right back three plays later. Santiago found Dennis Rufus all alone over the middle, and Rufus took it the rest of the way, going 77-yards for the touchdown and a 14-10 lead with 9:36 to go in the third.
After a Robert Poage 20-yard field goal, Rufus came up with a big interception at the Condors’ 34, and on the next play, Muema scored his second touchdown, racing up the left side for a 34-yard score and a commanding 24-10 lead with 1:21 to go in the third.
After briefly taking a break, Muema returned and put the game away for good, scoring from 20-yards and a 31-10 lead with 9:16 left. He later scored his fourth touchdown with 3:48 to go on a seven-yard run.
After a scoreless first quarter, Santiago completed a 27-yard pass to Rufus along the right side to the Condors’ 27. A couple plays later, Muema scored on a spectacular 22-yard run, shaking off at least five tacklers to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead with 8:52 left in the half.
Edison 37, Lakewood 29
Chaparral 43, Corona Centennial 35 (OT)
Mira Costa 51, Palmdale 27
Moorpark 40, Valencia 14
Los Osos 28, Rancho Cucamonga 21
La Habra 35, Cypress 21
Charter Oak 38, California 10
Monrovia 35, Whittier Christian 32
Rio Hondo Prep 20, Salesian 14