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Cypress vs. Downey features Aidan vs. Aidan in battle of quarterbacks


In another life, another time, Cypress quarterback Aidan Houston’s favorite receiver was Aidan Chiles, the Aidan-to-Aidan connection running wild across Pop Warner fields.

“I liked him,” Houston said, smiling.

He might like him a little less between the lines on Friday night, when Cypress takes on Downey in the Southern Section Division 4 championship game. Houston will captain the unbeaten Centurions against none other than former favorite target Chiles, who’s now starring behind center for the Vikings.

“Man, I’m just thinking,” Chiles said Monday, “it should be a fun one.”

Both began their high school football careers at Los Alamitos, where freshman Houston and sophomore Chiles backed up Malachi Nelson in 2020. Seeking freer pastures, Chiles transferred to Downey after that season while Houston left midway through 2021 for Cypress.

Given the reins to their own programs, they’ve flourished. After a broken wrist ended a promising junior season early, Chiles has become one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the state, throwing for 33 touchdowns and running for nine more in his senior season. He committed to the first college, Oregon State, to offer him a scholarship, steadfast in that choice as more offers flew his way during a banner senior year.

“To be honest,” Chiles said, when asked to reflect on the injury, “I wouldn’t change anything.”

Houston, meanwhile, is a gamebreaker in his own right, a dual-threat capable of multiple touchdowns through the air or on the ground on any given night. He has passed for 2,942 yards and 28 touchdowns and rushed for 1,106 yards 19 touchdowns as a junior. So the fireworks are coming Friday night.

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Get ready for Pop Warner teammate against Pop Warner teammate. Former Los Alamitos quarterback against former Los Alamitos quarterback. Dual threat vs. dual threat. And, of course, Aidan vs. Aidan.

“Kind of funny,” Downey coach Jack Williams said.

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