Prep Impressions: Sept. 26, 2008
I covered the Chino Hills-San Gorgonio varsity football game Friday night for the Riverside Press-Enterprise and came away thinking about how much worse the score could have been had Huskies head coach Derek Bub NOT put in his second-team offense and defense to begin the fourth quarter.
As it was, Chino Hills won 42-20. But San Gorgonio scored its final 13 points in the fourth, when every Huskies starter was laughing and joking on the sideline, comfortable in victory.
Chino Hills senior tailback A.J. Johnson ran for more than 150 yards and two scores. As quick as he is strong, Johnson (5-11, 205 lbs) was able to get outside the tackles and turn the corner almost every time he tried. He probably would have scored another two touchdowns had trailing defenders not been able to come up with shoe-string tackles at the last second. One more thing — he’s got a great, big smile and was very personable. Probably a coach’s dream.
Huskies QB Ryan Verdugo (6-0, 170 lbs) looked competant in the pocket but he only attempted 13 passes, completing nine. Verdugo, a junior, needs to hope and pray he can add a couple of inches AND 15 pounds if he hopes to stand under center for some team after next season.
The best football body on field belonged to Chino Hills’ Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Lean and strong, Ekpre-Olomu (5-11, 199 lbs) was given the ball out of mostly Wingback sets and excelled at turning sweeps into big yardage. He had almost 50 yards on only five carries.
San Gorgonio’s senior QB T.J. Smith was his team’s most exciting player, passing for more than 200 yards and rushing for almost 80 more. Electric when running the ball, Smith (5-11, 175 lbs) executed the option well as his team was forced into a Shotgun offense down five scores in the fourth quarter. He’s far from a polished quarterback, though, and will likely get moved to receiver or defensive back if and when he plays somewhere next year.