Okay, so that’s not how South Hills coach Albert Rodriguez descibed his teams’ chances against red-hot Charter Oak, the Inland Division’s fourth-ranked team. But let’s be honest, though both teams are 5-1 and 1-0, it doesn’t feel like that type of match-up. Rodriguez explains his thoughts to Aram..
By Aram Tolegian, SGVN
Both teams are 5-1, but who out there is really giving the South Hills High School football a chance against Charter Oak on Friday night?
“I get the feeling that people are kind of wondering if we should show up, huh?” first-year Huskies head coach Albert Rodriguez said Tuesday.
That pretty much sums up the court of public opinion on the game. The Huskies are in the midst of a remarkable turnaround season under Rodriguez, but Friday’s game at Charter Oak against the Chargers is where most area pundits draw the line.
It partly has to do with South Hills’ ugly, but effective, style of football. There’s nothing flashy about the Huskies. They pound quarterback Adam Goss behind a huge offensive line and hope to kill the clock while eating up chunks of real estate.
Meanwhile, Charter Oak has plenty of flash. Receiver Bryce Bobo, at 6-foot-4, cannot be covered by most high school defensive backs. Running back Aaren Vaughns is as electric a playmaker as there is in the area.
The Chargers’ defense has held every opponent to its season low in points this season.
“By watching them on tape, they’re a helluva football team,” Rodriguez said. “Defense is the first thing that really stands out to me when watching their tape. They really fly around. I know Roger Lehigh runs the defense over there and I’ve got a lot of respect for Roger.
“It seems like they’re starting to get things offensively as well, too. They definitely turned a lot of heads with that Chino Hills game last week.”
Don’t expect the Huskies to change their style for the Chargers. Their methodical way was good enough to upset Monrovia a few weeks ago when most people thought the Wildcats were too athletic for South Hills to handle.
“There’s really no secret to what we do,” Rodriguez said. “We run the football and get first downs. The more important thing is as we’re moving the chains and running the clock, we’ve got to come up with touchdowns.
When they do get the ball, we have to limit their big plays. They do have big-play opportunity guys. It’s easier said than done, but going in, that’s the plan.”
The Huskies have been doubted just about every step of the way this season, but they’ve actually turned that into motivation. Whether that’s enough on Friday against a team like Charter Oak remains to be seen.
“We’ve had kids who have left our place to go over there,” Rodriguez said. “The frustrating thing is that a lot of their top-notch players the last couple years have been South Hills guys and in our program, so we have a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, without a doubt.
“But we don’t want to make it too much bigger than what it is. Without a doubt, these kids are looking forward to playing Charter Oak. But you don’t want to go out there so excited that you come out tight.”