“We are 6-0 at home, so we feel like we play better here. I can only guess it’s going to be a packed house on Friday, and if it is, that’s one of few places I think the odds are in our favor.” — Chino Hills coach Derek Bub on facing undefeated powerhouse Corona Centennial on Friday.
Above: Can anyone stop this guy? Corona Centennial QB Michael Eubank.
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
When it comes to star power, Corona Centennial High School’s football team has everybody in the Inland Division over a barrel, but Chino Hills coach Derek Bub is hoping his standout can share the stage well enough in Friday’s semifinals to pull off what would be a monumental upset. For Centennial, the big attraction is quarterback Michael Eubank, who at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds has become a college recruiter’s dream. Eubank has thrown for 2,327 yards and rushed for 972. He also owns a 20-to-2 touchdowns- to-interceptions ratio. (To continue, click thread).
Chino Hills, however, isn’t lacking in the big-time-player department thanks to all-purpose threat Ifo-Ekpre Olomu, who recently committed to Oregon.
“I think we have our own kids who pose them somewhat of a challenge,” Bub said.
“Anytime you put a kid like Ifo on the field, he is capable of changing the game with one play, but Nate Harris has come into his own for us at tailback. And (nose guard) Auston Johnson has been great.
“There’s a reason we’re in the semis, and I think those kids have gotten us here. When we bring out kids like that, we figure we’re going to at least have a good showing.”
Nobody has come close to Centennial, as evidenced by their 13-0 record. It’s been a different story for Chino Hills. The Huskies are 10-2, with losses this season to Corona Santiago and Claremont, but since the Claremont loss Chino Hills has rattled off six straight wins.
“These kids have just battled,” Bub said of his team. “People really thought after the loss to Claremont that we didn’t have a chance. Obviously, we needed help and it worked out, but it worked out because these kids continued to battle.”
Bub is hoping that playing at home Friday will give the Huskies one of the few advantages they’ll have on paper. The school is expecting a packed house, and if most of those fans are rooting for the home team, Bub feels that could be a major help.
“We are 6-0 at home, so we feel like we play better here,” Bub said. “I can only guess it’s going to be a packed house on Friday, and if it is, that’s one of few places I think the odds are in our favor.”
As usual, Chino Hills will rely on its defense to carry the day. The Huskies are allowing just more than 17 points per game for the season, but haven’t seen anything like the Centennial offense, which is putting up 55 points per game.
“We’ve put our game plan in,” Bub said. “We can’t control what Centennial comes out with. We can control what we do. Our guys need to stay composed.
“Offensively, we feel like we can take care of the ball a little bit. We just need to control what Chino Hills does and let everything else handle itself.”