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Chammas, Rivera meet challenge for Brea Olinda
SANTA ANA – When a team’s 1,000-yard rusher and his backup are in street clothes on the sideline for a playoff game, it usually spells doom.
But that wasn’t the case for Brea Olinda on Friday night, as the Wildcats called on Andrew Chammas and Noah Rivera to fill the void and they did more than expected. The duo combined for 276 rushing yards and scored six touchdowns to lead the Wildcats to a 49-28 victory over Godinez in a CIF-Southern Section Southern Division second-round game at Segerstrom High.
“We’ve got some kids that really care,” Brea Olinda coach Robb Perrance said. “We’ve always talked about the next man up and these guys stepped right in and did a great job.”
The fourth-seeded Wildcats (7-5) advanced to the semifinals next weekend at top seed Garden Grove, a rematch of last season’s Southern Division semifinal won by the Argonauts.
Brea Olinda was forced to go with Chammas and Rivera in the backfield because Michael Martinson, who rushed for 1,001 yards during the regular season, limped off the field in the first quarter of last week’s win against Anaheim. They were also without backup Nick McCann, who suffered a season-ending dislocated elbow in the same game.
Chammas, who started at safety all season and played some receiver, never expected he’d be called upon to start a playoff game at running back. After all, he had just 3 rushing yards this season coming into the game.
“When Martinson went down last week, Coach told me I had to step up,” Chammas said. “I don’t really play offense, but I just thought I could do it. I believed in my coaches and the game plan.”
Chammas was the biggest factor in the first half, gaining 100 of his 139 rushing yards and scoring all three of his touchdowns as Brea Olinda erased an early 7-0 deficit and took a 28-14 lead into the half.
The Grizzlies (7-5) committed three of their five turnovers in the opening half, including two that the Wildcats quickly followed with touchdowns.
Rivera rushed for 90 of his 137 yards in the second half.