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Hart gets its final tuneup

Posted: October 1, 2009 9:51 p.m.
Updated: October 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.

There’s no panic on the Hart sideline.

But there is concern.

With only one Hart game left before Foothill League play starts, Indians head football coach Mike Herrington said there were some things his team needed to improve on heading into tonight’s 7 p.m. matchup at Paraclete High School (2-2) in Lancaster.

“We’re coming off a lopsided loss,” Herrington said. “We want to come out and play well all the way around before we start league. On offense,
defense and special teams.”

The Indians are looking to rebound from a 48-21 loss to Westlake Sept. 25 that exposed several weaknesses.

“We had to play our best football to beat (the Warriors), and we didn’t even come close,” Herrington said.

The coach mentioned tackling as one of the biggest issues, something he addressed this week in practice.

Stopping the Spirits’ talented linebacker corps and protecting quarterback C.J. Reyes will also be key areas for the Indians to focus on tonight.

Reyes showed flashes of great play in a 303-yard passing effort against Righetti on Sept. 18, but was held to 174 passing yards last week and spent a good portion of the night scrambling around the pocket.

After the Westlake game, Herrington said he wanted to use senior running back Jake Stephens more, but his team’s deficit made it difficult.

If the Indians can get the ball moving on the ground early, the senior rusher will probably get plenty of touches tonight.

Paraclete head coach Norm Dahlia said he was somewhat disappointed by his team’s 2-2 record going into Friday’s contest, but said the losses were to tough teams in St. Paul and Barstow.

“The schedule I picked kind of wore on us a little bit,” Dahlia said.

Paraclete’s 21-7 loss to St. Paul on Sept. 25 brought a few of the team’s recent problems to a head, according to Dahlia.

After leading 7-6 at the half, the team surrendered 15 unanswered points.

Offensive struggles forced several changes to the lineup.

Senior Eric Bowman is moving from quarterback to tailback in an effort to give his run-heavy offense a more athletic look from under center.

“I wanted to switch things up and put a more athletic quarterback in with my running style of offense,” Dahlia said.

Junior Cameron Carvalho will be making his first varsity start at quarterback for the Spirits, and sophomore Ryan Davis was brought up from junior varsity to play fullback in response to an injury.

Injuries on defense have also hurt Paraclete.

Branden Owen, a senior team captain and returning All-CIF selection, was injured two weeks ago in Paraclete’s game against Barstow.

In his absence, senior Todd Davis has stepped up and made plays all over the field for the Spirits.

Davis, a 6-foot-2-inch, 220-pound two-time All-CIF linebacker/defensive end, is averaging 11 tackles per game in Paraclete’s 4-3 defensive scheme.

“He’s the real deal,” Dahlia said. “He makes plays all over the field for us.”



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