Leading by 23 points at halftime, it felt certain the Chino Hills High football team was headed towards an easy victory over a tough opponent.
And after Damien rallied with 29 unanswered points, the Huskies put together a 75-yard touchdown drive and the defense survived two Damien incomplete passes in and near the endzone in the final seconds to take a 37-36 win Thursday night, securing a 5-5 overall record and heavily increasing their chances to earn a spot in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.
“This group is very resilient and they fight hard,” Chino Hills High first-year coach Mykeal Terry said of his team. “They don’t quit. I don’t care if we win by one or by 50, a win is a win.”
The Huskies jumped out to a 16-0 lead on a safety and touchdown runs by running back Hunter Corbin and quarterback Bobby Johnson.
After a Damien touchdown, Huskies’ linebacker Keitrick Charles scooped up a Damien fumble and ran 78 yards for a touchdown. Corbin added a 50-yard touchdown run to give the Huskies a 30-7 halftime lead.
Damien’s Dylan Gutierrez had a pair of touchdown runs, Ayden Gutierrez ran it in from 17-yards out and Jaiden Moss had a 3-yard run that gave the Spartans (3-6, 0-3) a 36-30 lead.
The Huskies retook the lead with 2:28 left on the clock on Johnson’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Brooks.
On their final drive, Damien got the ball into Huskies territory, but fell short.
Brackets for the CIF-Southern Section playoffs will be announced at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31 at cifss.org.