Centaurs Overwhelm Chino Hills

The Chino Hills high school football team, known as the Huskies, had seen some good quarterbacks and good passing attacks. But it had not seen anything quite like what rolled in on Friday Night. In a playoff game in the city of Chino Hills, located in the county of San Bernardino, the Chino Hills football team greeted the visiting Culver City Centaurs in the second round of the Division 5 playoffs.

Behind the passing of quarterback Zevi Eckhaus and his talented group of receivers, the Centaurs overwhelmed Chino Hills 62-35. Eckhaus completed 29 of 47 passes for 564 yards and five touchdowns, all to different receivers. He also rushed for one touchdown. Chino Hills had gone up against highly ranked Rancho Cucamonga and CJ Stroud, the No. 3 rated pro-style quarterback in the country. Stroud threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-14 win over Chino Hills.

Eckhaus nearly doubled the yardage numbers of Stroud vs. Chino Hills. But the final score does not reflect how close this game was. Chino Hills jumped to a 21-7 second quarter lead on a 94-yard kickoff return by Damin Sanford and behind the hard-nosed running of Rayce Thorton, who rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns. But the explosive Culver City offense scored three touchdowns in the final 4:39 of the first half, taking the lead for good just seconds before halftime.

The game was still close in the 3rd quarter, with the Centaurs leading 35-28 and punting from their own 15-yard line. The Centaurs got a break when the Huskies were called for a roughing the kicker call on punter Matthew Lopez. With another opportunity, the Centaurs took the ball and drove down for a touchdown, to take a 41-28 lead with 1:18 left in the 3rd quarter. From there, the Centaurs offense just took off, scoring three more times to take a 62-28 lead.

With the victory, the Centaurs will advance to the semifinals of the Division 5 playoffs to meet the St. Paul Swordsmen of Santa Fe Springs. The game is set for Friday, November 22nd at 7:00 PM at Jerry Chabola Stadium in Culver City. The Centaurs are the No.1 ranked team in Division 5 and St. Paul is the No.2 ranked team in Division 5. St. Paul has a run-heavy offense, led by running back Trenell Ridgley, who has rushed for over 1,000 yards this season.

Ridgley rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns in the St. Paul win over Yorba Linda this past Friday. The two offensive styles of the schools are very different. St. Paul runs the ball 71% of the time on offense. The Centaurs throw the ball 63% of the time on offense. It will be important that the Centaurs do not fall behind in this game buy multiple touchdowns, like the Chino Hills game. St. Paul wants to run the ball and running teams want to control the clock, control the line of scrimmage and limit possessions of their opponent. This will be a tough opponent for the unbeaten Centaurs.

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