“He’s one of the best defensive linemen we’ve seen since Shaun Cody. He’s the man.” Charter Oak coach Lou Farrar on Chino Hills nose guard Auston Johnson.
By Aram Tolegian, staff wrtier
The good news for the Charter Oak and Chino Hills high school football teams is that the loser of Friday’s showdown will still probably make the CIF Southern Section Inland Division playoffs. The bad news is who that team will likely play in the first round. If everything goes according plan, the Sierra League’s third-place team will likely get a road date with a league champion from one of the division’s first-place teams. That might mean a trip to play Centennial of Corona, which is considered to be one of the better teams in the entire Southland.
“We always think about the ramification that every game has,” Chargers coach Lou Farrar said. “Right now, we’re just trying to play hard so we can keep playing. As to who or where, that doesn’t really matter right now. We just want to make sure we keep playing.”
Charter Oak’s win over Damien last week pretty much ensures the Chargers will keep playing once the postseason starts. Damien would need a win over Claremont and a Charter Oak loss to Chino Hills to get back in the race.
With both Charter Oak and Chino Hills having lost to first-place Claremont, Friday’s game will likely be for second place. Both teams are expected to should win their Week 10 matchup
For Charter Oak, finishing second in the Sierra with such a young team would be a major accomplishment. To pull it off, though, the Chargers have to get past a Chino Hills team that’s bounced back from its loss to Claremont with two blowout wins.
“They have a lot of very good athletes,” Farrar said of Chino Hills. “They remind me of us last year when we had four or five Division 1 kids running around at one time. I just see a lot very, very good football players on their team.”
One player who stood out to Farrar is Huskies nose guard Auston Johnson, a senior who has 47 tackles, 12 sacks and four caused fumbles.
“He’s one of the best defensive linemen we’ve seen since Shaun Cody,” Farrar said. “He’s the man.”
There will be other intriguing matchups on the field on Friday, like Charter Oak’s trio of receivers against Chino Hills’ talented secondary.
Specifically, the chance to see Chargers receiver Dennis Rufus go up against Huskies defensive back Ifo-Ekpre Olomu should be worth the price of admission for fans.
“We played them back in summer, so everybody knows everybody,” Farrar said.
“It’s nice to see good kids play against good kids, but it also comes down to the team stuff — offensive line, defensive line and special teams.
That’s what usually determines who gets the win.”