UNBELIEVABLE DRAMA: Bishop Amat misses game-winning PAT with seconds left in thrilling 48-48 tie with Chino Hills as each team scored in the final minute; Damien and West Covina hammered in big tests

Tom Kiss’ video highlights and interviews of Amat-Chino Hills up tomorrow morning.

Loyola routs West Covina
West Covina’s much-anticipated rematch with Loyola went from bad to worse.
With another year to prove it could handle the big boys in Division 1 football, back-to-back CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division champion West Covina could not avoid another big injury to a star player, nor could it do anything to slow bigger-and-better Loyola.
Bulldogs senior quarterback Jonathan Najera was hoping to start after sitting out last week’s win over Covina the Bulldogs eventually forfeited for using an ineligible player, but Najera remained in street clothes with a preseason injury to his knee that is worse than Bulldogs’ coaches originally thought.
Not that it really mattered. Loyola pounded West Covina just like it did a year ago and left Thyberg Field with an easy 38-14 victory over the Southeast Division’s second-ranked Bulldogs, who are 0-2 after last week’s forfeit.

Chino Hills, Bishop Amat 48-48 thriller
As improbable as it was that Bishop Amat drove 80 yards in the game’s final 44 seconds, it was equally improbable it would miss an extra point to claim a one-point victory over Chino Hills. Both happened.
The nonleague game between two Inland Empire powers ended in a 48-48 tie as both coaches elected prior to the game not to play overtime in the event of a tie.

Bishop Amat-Chino Hills photo gallery
Loyola-West Covina photo gallery
San Dimas-Azusa photo gallery

Visit the SGV Preps page for recaps and stories of tonight’s games.

Friday’s results
San Dimas 50, Azusa 7 — Just like last year, the Saints proved they’re too good for the four-time Montview League champions, winning easily in their first home game in over a year on their new turf.
Bishop Amat 48, Chino Hills 48 – In one of the best games in Valley history, Chino Hills rallied to go up 48-42 with just under a minute left after missing the PAT. But the Lancers came back, scoring in the final seconds to tie it, but its game-winning PAT was missed too, ending in a tie game. Now you know why these are the top two-ranked teams in the area.
Charter Oak 35, Roosevelt 0 — Wonderful start for the Chargers. You knew they had a great defense, but nice to see the offense clicking too.
Glendora 14, Claremont 0 — Sometimes we forget how good the Tartans can be. After all, they do play in one of the toughest leagues around.
Diamond Ranch 56, El Rancho 34 — Time to start taking the Panthers serious again. Maybe West Covina isn’t just a walk in the park in the Hacienda.
Arroyo 21, Temple City 0 — Huge bounceback win after last week’s debacle at Los Altos.
Los Altos 48, Salesian 34 — Thanks Conqs, tired of hearing about Salesian and all their D-1 athletes.
Orange Lutheran 31, Damien 14 — Let’s face it, not a good way for the Spartans to start. Losing is alright, but they needed to give a better account of itself.
Ayala 16, Monrovia 15 — Ayala is showing its the real deal, knocking out Pasadena’s No. 1 team. Again, the Wildcats have much more to prove outside the Mid-Valley.
Mountain View 28, Bassett 21 — Make that two in a row for the Vikings, even though it was a struggle against the Olympians.
Norwalk 52, Diamond Bar 38 — That’s two straight weeks the Brahmas gave up a lot of points. They need to do something about that D.
Ontario Christian 45, El Monte 24 — Well, there goes my feel-good story of the year. I really thought the Lions could go unbeaten until the playoffs.
Rowland 15, Wilson 13 — Nice 2-0 start for the Raiders, who beat a Wilson team coming off a big win last week.
South El Monte 19, Nogales 6 Eagles could be a Mission Valley contender after all, and that’s two close losses for the Nobles.
La Costa Canyon 42, Baldwin Park 0 — I don’t know what kind of football they play down South, but after all the points the Braves put up last week, they got shutdown.
Workman 28, Keppel 8 – The Lobos figured to get in the win column with a match-up against the Aztecs.
South Hills 14, Bonita 0 — For a team that couldn’t stop anyone last year, a shutout is a huge improvement for the Huskies.
Troy 34, Walnut 0 — A week after the Mustangs looked great, they get blown out against a tough Orange County squad.

Scoreboard updates: For quarter updates and final scores of tonight’s games, you won’t find them quicker than clicking on our scoreboard link. All scores should be posted by 11 p.m.

BISHOP AMAT AT CHINO HILLS

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Thursday Night Final: Gladstone roughs up Northview, 19-10; Covina wears down La Puente and Rosemead shutout against Irvine

Keith Birmingham’s Gladstone-Northview photo gallery

Keith Birmingham’s La Puente-Covina photo gallery.

Tonight’s results
Gladstone 19, Northview 10 — The Gladiators defense was in attack mode all night and quarterback Kevin Amezquita was huge, throwing for 160 yards, two touchdowns and rushing for a 12-yard clincher late.
Covina 41, La Puente 16 — The Warriors hung early, but the Colts wore them down in the second half to go to 2-0 after earning a forfeit win over West Covina.
Irvine 20, Rosemead 0 — The Panthers couldn’t get anything going, but it’s not a surprise, we told you they play big boy football out there.

Gladstone’s defense is the difference in victory

Gladstone-Northview game story: It had been a longtime since Gladstone High School football coach Albert Sanchez celebrated a victory over a Valle Vista League team, and it wasn’t just anyone, it was much-improved Northview.
The Gladiators didn’t let the Vikings breathe for four quarters, containing Vikings do-it-all running back Javon Taylor to pull out a 19-10 victory in their season opener.

Covina-La Puente game story: Although Covina High School came into its nonleague matchup against La Puente sporting an undefeated record, the Colts felt they had a lot to prove on the field. Because of an ineligible player, West Covina was forced to forfeit its 34-0 victory over Covina last week. On Thursday night, the Colts bounced back with a convincing win of their own, beating the Warriors, 41-16, with 20 consecutive fourth-quarter points.

Rosemead-Irvine game story: Rosemead ventured deep into Orange County with a new offense and a new head coach, but was unable to overcome mistakes and poor field position, falling to the Irvine Vaqueros, 20-0, on Thursday night.

Gladstone QB Kevin Amezquita and coach Albert Sanchez talk about Gladiators win

Tyler Drohan’s highlights and interviews of Covina’s win over La Puente

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Football Notebook: Mountain View earns most surprising win of the weekend; San Dimas ready for Azusa

Feelings of surprise and excitement have been permeating the Mountain View High School campus in the days following the football team’s stunning upset of Alhambra in last Friday’s season opener for both teams.
The Vikings, led by new head coach Victor Ambruso, proved their strong summer was no fluke in posting a 10-6 win over an Alhambra team that had a good group of players back from last year’s team that won nine games.

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PrepXtra Rewind: Amat’s Dionza Blue, Darren Andrews and Sal Velasquez. Plus, Monrovia’s Brett Walsh and George Frazier V …

Highlights
Opening remarks: Discussion on West Covina’s forfeit, why coaches aren’t updating MaxPreps and Damein’s Josh Savage unavailable for Friday’s game vs. Orange Lutheran
14:00 mark: Monrovia’s Brett Walsh and George Frazier.
40:00 mark: Bishop Amat’s Dionza Blue, Dareen Andrews and Sal Velasquez
1:05 mark: Aram, Fred and Reginald Miller’s closing thoughts.


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Ayala is Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood; Bulldogs ready for mega showdown with Monrovia

By Aram Tolegian

Jordan Robinson is flying under the radar … for now.

The Ayala High School running back/defensive back is well known to coaches in the Sierra League as one of the most dangerous players their teams will face this season.

But outside of that coaching circle, not many other coaches or fans have heard his name as often as they should. That could start changing in a big way on Friday when Robinson and the Bulldogs host two-time defending CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division champion Monrovia. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

“We’ve been watching film all week,” Robinson said of Monrovia. “They have athletes, but they’re not unbeatable. I want to just go out there and show our team can compete with these guys.

“They’re ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in your poll and if we go out there and beat them then we’re definitely making a statement that we can compete.”

Even with Monrovia coming to town, the spotlight will also be shining on the Bulldogs, who have gotten plenty of hype this offseason and are ranked No. 8 in the Tribune’s latest area rankings. Monrovia is the No. 1 team in the Pasadena Star-News rankings.

For Monrovia, the expectations are nothing new. But for Ayala, so many expecting such big things is a change from the norm.

“I think it’s right,” Robinson said of the rankings. “We have a nice team. We have athletes. We just didn’t put it together as well as we should have last year. This year, we’re a year older and we’ve been through it. I’m pretty sure we can turn it around.”

Ahh, last year. That’s probably the reason why Robinson isn’t yet on the radar of college recruiters like he should be. There’s no doubt he’s one of the best athletes around, but Ayala’s struggles in the won-loss column may be why so many folks just don’t know it.

Robinson is bent on using his senior season to make up for that. He started last week by rushing for 207 yards and three touchdowns in a 46-17 win over Diamond Bar. For Robinson, it was just a continuation of 2011, in which he ran for over 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns.

But now, stats are just as important as wins, because the more Ayala puts itself on the map, the more eyes will be opened to Robinson’s talents.

Beating Monrovia would be a great way to super charge the process.

When Robinson is on offense, he’ll be trying to plow through a Monrovia defense led by the linebacker duo of Colorado-bound George Frazier V and Northwestern-bound Brett Walsh.

When Robinson is playing corner back on defense, he will be trying to cover either Mason Bryant or Anthony Craft, both of whom already have multiple Division I college offers.

“Honestly, I can’t tell you why I don’t have any offers yet,” Robinson said. “I’m not a college coach, so I don’t know exactly why.”

Robinson and his senior classmates went undefeated as freshmen in 2009.

Their success hasn’t translated to the varsity level yet. As sophomores, only a handful of that class was pulled up to varsity, including Robinson, who broke his leg after four games. The team won just four games and was blanked in the Sierra League.

Last year, the Bulldogs won just three games, but at least one of them came in league. This is the ballyhooed class’ final attempt to deliver under the lights on all the promise they showed four years ago.

“It definitely motivates us,” Robinson said. “We’re all together now again and we’re clicking. It can only get better from here.”

“We definitley can compete with the Sierra League. It’s a tough league, but we have the athletes and the skill players to do it. It’s just about putting it all together.”

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Breaking News: West Covina has forfeited victory to Covina after discovering an ineligible player

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN

Two-time defending CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division champion West Covina has forfeited Friday’s season-opening 34-0 victory over Covina after discovering one of its football players did not have a valid change of address after transferring from Bishop Amat.

West Covina athletic director Brian Murphy did not want to name the junior who played limited minutes in Friday’s victory, but after the discovery was brought to his attention on Monday, Murphy informed Covina that his school would forfeit the game.

“I feel absolutely terrible about it,” Murphy said. “We thought it was a valid change of address when it was turned in to us, but we learned today it was not.

“We should have done a better job, and (head coach) Mike (Maggiore) feels terrible because he doesn’t want the integrity of his program taking a hit.”

West Covina officials explained that it believed it was a valid change of address and turned the paperwork over to CIF-Southern Section officials.

However, it learned Tuesday the change of address was not valid.

School sources explained the player changed residences, but both parents didn’t change residences, which needs to be explained in the transfer paperwork for the
CIF-SS to make a decision.

CIF-SS spokesperson Thom Simmons said he could not comment on the the forfeit until it is officially filed with the section office.

The section passed a new 30-day sit-out period for transfers that would basically allow any transfer in the fall season to be eligible to compete with its new team on Oct. 1.

However, if the section learns a player falsified his or her paperwork when applying for a valid change of address, it could suspend the player for a much longer period of time.

It is not known whether that will apply in this case or whether the player will simply have to sit out until Oct. 1.

“When we have more information, we’ll share it with you.” Simmons said.

West Covina (0-1) is preparing to host Pac-5 power Loyola on Friday at 7 p.m., in hopes of avenging the only loss on its schedule a year ago.

Obviously, it was a tough pill for Maggiore to swallow, especially on his birthday, Tuesday.

“It’s upsetting, it hasn’t been a good day,” Maggiore said. “Practice has been therapeutic, but what bothers me is I don’t want people in the community to think we’re doing the wrong thing. Character and integrity is more important to me than anything else. It’s an embarrassing thing, but we’ll move past it.”

Maggiore added his third title to his resume last year and the success has resulted in transfers wanting to join the Bulldogs program.

“That’s a result of our success and the stability of our coaching staff,” Maggiore said. “What happened today is a big deal to me. We’ve worked hard to do the right thing. We’re not a school out there recruiting kids or doing illegal things to get them in our school.”

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Say goodbye to our blog as you know it, new blogs at the SGVN will debut (next week)

Breaking News from our Denver Office: (Wednesday’s) blog move to WordPress is on hold. It’s likely that it won’t happen until after Labor Day.

Okay, so we’re spared for another week. In any case, here’s what I wrote and what to expect.

What’s important for you to know: The blogs will be out of service for at least 48 hours when the transition of moving our blogs from Moveable Type to Word Press begins sometime over the next week. All the blogs at our eight properties are changing to Word Press including Inside the Huddle and our UCLA and USC blogs with Scott Wolff and Jon Gold. It’s a new blog era and after more than a year of telling us it’s coming, it’s finally here.

The URL: The URL will be same, so once the blog goes dark, you’ll still see the blog, but you won’t be able to post a comment until the new blog magically appears and is up and running sometime on Friday (hopefully). I’ll send out a tweet when that happens.

Archives: You’ll be happy to know we’re not starting a completely new blog in the sense the archives will be switched over to the new blogs. I know a lot of you like to scroll through the blog history, so you’ll be happy to know we saved it.

Commenting: You can still comment anonymously and there are many other ways to comment such as through Facebook, Twitter and other ways. You can also interact with other commenters much easier through WordPress.

About WordPress: I have no idea how the new blog looks or how it’s designed. I’ve looked at other WordPress blogs, but they’re built so differently we’re going to have to wait and see what they give us.

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Is South Hills better than expected after its 33-28 comeback victory over Colony?

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
Just how good is South Hills?

One of the biggest surprises opening weekend was South Hills’ 33-28 comeback victory over Colony, a team that was 11-2 last season and features all-purpose threat Samajie Grant, who verbally committed to the University of Arizona with offers from UCLA and Utah on the table.

Although Grant scored three touchdowns, which included a punt and kickoff return, the Huskies showed a lot of poise rallying from a 21-6 halftime deficit — scoring 27 unanswered points to pull out the victory.

The Huskies are replacing one of the best offensive trio’s in the Valley in quarterback Vincent Hernandez, running back Jamel Hart, receiver Jordan Canada, and it was coach Albert Rodriguez’s first-game replacing Steve Bogan, who won four CIF titles with the Huskies.

Not a bad opener, especially for a group that looked so-so a week earlier in a scrimmage against Covina.

“A scrimmage is a scrimmage, we kept it pretty vanilla,” Rodriguez said. “Getting a win over a team like Colony is great for us, they have a lot of athletes and we knew it would be a challenge.

“I’m not surprised we won the game, we’ve been working our tails and we’re in good shape. I thought that was one of the differences, we wore them down in the second half.”

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Football Notebook: Chino Hills impressed with Amat; Najera to start for West Covina; Bonita hopes to rebound; Savage out for Damien


Above: Check out what commenters are saying about Josh Savage’s suspension for Friday’s game against Orange Lutheran on Aram’s In the Huddle Blog

By Aram Tolegian, SGVN

You can count Chino Hills High School football coach Derek Bub among the many who were impressed by Bishop Amat’s win over Servite Friday.

The Huskies and Lancers play this week, and Bub maintains he’s not just saying Amat was terrific in order to prop up an opponent.

“I’ll tell you what. Amat didn’t just beat them, they owned that game from the first whistle to the last whistle,” Bub said. “I give Bishop Amat a ton of credit. That’s a game you could easily go into and say `It’s Servite, we just want to play around with these guys and be in the game.’

“But they came out and took it to them for four quarters. They have great speed on defense and their skill position players are better than I’ve seen out of them in a while.”

Chino Hills wasn’t too shabby itself, albeit against a considerably lesser opponent in Arlington. The Huskies won 41-20 but led 34-7 at halftime and Arlington’s first-half score came on a interception return for touchdown.

Other than that, quarterback Matt Simko was as advertised in throwing five touchdown passes in his Huskies debut after transferring from Colony.

The Huskies were without Boise State-bound receiver Jack Austin, who suffered a sprained ankle on a fluke play in practice last week. Austin’s status for Friday remains unclear, according to Bub.

“I have no idea,” Bub said about Austin. “I’m not trying to mess with you, it will be a game-time decision. Obviously, I’m hoping he can go. It’s a pretty ugly sprained ankle.

“We know we have to have Jack Austin. We feel like we’re a better football team with Jack. I was happy with the way we played last week without him, but I think Jack gives you an immediate vertical threat.”

Najera likely back Friday

West Covina quarterback Jon Najera missed his team’s season opener last Friday against Covina with a knee injury, but Bulldogs head coach Mike Maggiore estimated there’s an 80 percent chance the senior will play Friday against Loyola.

Sophomore Antonio “Noodles” Hull got the start against Covina and led West Covina to a 31-0 win. If Najera returns, Hull will shift to running back.

Maggiore also expects center Raul Gomez, the team’s top lineman, to return this week. Gomez missed the Covina game after having stitches removed from his leg.

With Najera and Gomez back, West Covina should fare a lot better this season against the upper-division Cubs. Loyola had little trouble with a banged-up West Covina team in last year’s 35-7 win.

“Last year, they got up on us and we kind of hung our heads a little bit,” Maggiore said. “I just want us to compete. We’ve looked good against Claremont and Covina, but this is another test. This is a huge step up. I’m anxious for it.”

Bonita looks to rebound

Bonita, still reeling from its heartbreaking loss to rival San Dimas, has to get over the blues quickly with a game against South Hills on Friday.

The Bearcats rallied from a 23-0 deficit against San Dimas to eventually lead 36-30 late in the fourth quarter before a costly fumble helped San Dimas eke out a 37-36 win at Citrus College on Thursday in the Smudge Pot game.

“How you respond to defeat is even more important than how you respond to victory,” Bonita coach Adrian Medrano said Monday morning. “That’s what we’re really preaching this week. We have to bounce back up. We’re not going to stay in the tank very long.

“We had one day where we got to lick our wounds and that day is over, so it’s time to get back to work.”

South Hills won its season opener last Friday over Colony and presents an upper-division challenge for the Bearcats. And even though the Huskies have struggled the past two seasons, most of that has come in the difficult Sierra League.

But that actually might be a good thing for Bonita, because another big game against a team with a marquee name, as far as the local area is concerned, could help get the Bearcats back focused and on their best behavior.

“I hope South Hills gets them up,” Medrano said. “Because they’re in a higher league and higher division. Hopefully, our guys want to prove to themselves and to others that they are a force to be reckoned with.”

Savage out for Damien
Damien wide receiver Josh Savage will miss Friday’s season opener against Orange Lutheran due to an undisclosed rules violation, Spartans head coach Greg Gano confirmed late Monday.

Savage projects as one of the top receivers in the area and without him Damien’s chances of upsetting the Lancers took a hit.

Gano said the suspension will be only for one week and Savage will play in Week 2 when the Spartans visit Palm Desert.

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