Offensive pass interference.
It’s the penalty that’s lingered in the minds of Hart High players since last year’s game against St. Bonaventure of Ventura (3-1).
Victory was within Hart’s grasp, but the call nullified a touchdown that would have given it the lead. The Indians fell 42-38
“It wasn’t just the last play of the game with that pass interference call,” said Hart quarterback Nick Moore. “We missed a lot of other opportunities to score. With that, I think coming off these three wins, playing pretty good, we have a lot of confidence going into this game.”
The Seraphs enter the game as a Division 2 heavyweight, ranked fourth in their division
“On your preseason schedule you want a couple real good teams and you want a couple teams you can beat,” said Hart coach Mike Herrington, whose team is 3-0. “St. Bonaventure, that’s the team we know is going to be the toughest in our preleague schedule,”
Seraph quarterback Mason Quandt threw for 305 yards in the team’s win last week against La Quinta.
On the ground, running back Chuck Wick ran for 142 yards last week, which included a 62-yard touchdown rush
“We’re planning on doing what we usually do, and that’s play hard,” said Indians safety AJ Stanley. “We have a strong defense. We’re a pretty tight unit out there.
“I think that if we come out with the right mindset that we can stop whoever is against us. It doesn’t matter if it’s Chuck Wick or someone we’ve never heard of. It doesn’t matter.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at College of the Canyons.
Canyon (3-1) at Simi Valley (2-2), 7 p.m. tonight
Although this week’s game probably won’t be as dramatic as last week’s one-point win against Highland, the Cowboys plan to use momentum to their advantage.
“I think even though it was a tough game, finishing the way the score was, it was important for us,” said Canyon coach Rich Gutierrez. “It’s big momentum. I’m happy with the boys.”
Canyon is also focused on keeping the finer points of their game pristine and avoiding unnecessary penalties.
“We’re trying to get started from where we left off last week,” Gutierrez said. “Highland executed their game plan very well and they caught us off guard. So it kind of exposed some of the things we need to do. Definitely (we need to work on) execution.”
Simi Valley’s Luc Moore leads the team with 243 rushing yards, and quarterback Cole Hauptman has passed for 602 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions this season.
On the Cowboys side, Gutierrez said that quarterback Miles Fallin (60-of-104, 816 yards on the season), receiver Jivanni McKoy (15 receptions for 142 yards) and linebacker Cole Manclow (15 tackles, two sacks) are each coming off of solid practices this week.
“These kids, they’re hungry,” Gutierrez said. “It’s always about the other schools and that’s OK. We didn’t do well last year, so it’s okay. So with this team, it created a hunger and that hunger showed last week.”
Golden Valley High (4-0) at Rio Mesa of Oxnard (1-3), 7 p.m. tonight
Golden Valley had never won four games in a season before 2015. They ended up 6-4.
This year the Grizzlies are one win from going 5-0 in preleague play and from sending the buzz surrounding the program to another level — if that’s possible.
“The whole vibe on campus is bigger than ever,” Golden Valley coach Dan Kelley said earlier this week. “The turnout at home games is unbelievable. It’s awesome.”
The Grizzlies will be on the road this week, taking on a Rio Mesa team that won’t roll over.
The Spartans are 1-3, but they only lost to Camarillo by 11 and they beat Simi Valley 37-0.
For context, Saugus beat Camarillo by three. And Simi Valley beat West Ranch, 28-26.
“They’re a good football team,” Kelley said of Rio Mesa. “They’ve played some tough competition.”
Kelley said Rio Mesa relies on a tough defense and a talented quarterback.
Junior quarterback Austin Maciel is completing 48 percent of his passes for 651 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
He ran for 55 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 49-14 loss to Olympian High of Chula Vista.
“We’re going to have to play a really good game to accomplish that 5-0 mark,” Kelley said.
Saugus High (4-0) at Agoura High (0-4), 7 p.m. tonight
The Centurions’ preleague slate this season has been nothing like last year.
In 2015, Saugus started with a bang and then combusted in three straight losses. They entered Foothill League play at 2-3.
This time around, the Centurions have clearly thrown their hat into the ring for league-title contention, going 4-0 and closing in on win number five.
That fifth and final preleague game may be the most important, though, as tight end/linebacker Daniel Gilmartin thinks it could set the tone for league.
“It means everything,” Gilmartin said of finishing preleague play 5-0. “I think if we do that, it will kind of put us into the mindset that we won’t expect anything less (than that in league).”
Agoura’s lone encounter with the Foothill League this season didn’t go well. Golden Valley beat the Chargers, 45-10, last week at Canyon High.
But the Chargers’ 0-4 record isn’t necessarily that telling. They’ve played three tough Southern Section teams in Calabasas, Newbury Park and Golden Valley.
Their other loss was by three points to El Camino Real of Woodland Hills, a City Section team.
Trinity (2-1) at Southlands Christian (1-2), 7 p.m. tonight
After a rocky season opener, it seems like Trinity is finally beginning to fulfill its potential.
Most recently, the Knights overcame an 18-point deficit to take down St. Bernard High of Playa del Rey last Friday.
Tyler Lee, who has been switched from quarterback to tight end, then back to quarterback, provided both an offensive and defensive presence for Trinity. Lee completed 12-for-27 passes for 117 yards and one touchdown, had 66 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns and returned an interception for a touchdown on defense.
Southlands had its first win of the season, 38-36, last week against Riverside Prep, and only managed to score six points collectively in the two games prior.
Valencia (2-1) vs. Bakersfield High (3-1), at Centennial High of Bakersfield, 7 p.m. tonight
The Vikings simply don’t like to make things easy on themselves in preleague play. It’s Chaminade of West Hills one week, Newbury Park the next.
This week it’s a Bakersfield squad that lost to Chaminade by eight points last week.
That may or may not mean anything for Valencia, which lost to Chaminade 42-15 on Sept. 9.
The Vikings did, after all, lead the Eagles 15-14 at halftime of that game.
Bakersfield led the Eagles 20-14 in the third quarter, but 14 unanswered points by Chaminade in the fourth made the difference.
The Drillers are led by senior quarterback Josh Maran, who threw for 161 yards and ran for another 69 against Chaminade.
He’s completing 62 percent of his passes on the year.
Friday was a big night for Valencia’s signal caller, too. Senior Aaron Thomas threw for 296 yards in the 56-35 win over Newbury Park.
Vikings running back Moises Haynes ran for 256 yards and three touchdowns.
Oxnard (2-2) vs. West Ranch (2-2), at Valencia High, 7 p.m. tonight
Running back Jake Rice is turning into a crucial offensive weapon for the Wildcats.
In last week’s win over Thousand Oaks, he accumulated 167 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Wyatt Eget saw limited action for West Ranch in that game. Junior Jake Killingsworth started the game, then was taken out in exchange for Eget.
Coach Chris Varner said that Killingsworth is a “more proficient” runner, and also that there is no clear picture of who will get the starting nod tonight.
“We always have ideas, but we have to see what (Oxnard) is giving us,” he said.
This is Oxnard’s second encounter with the Foothill League this season, as they faced Canyon two weeks ago. Despite a 21-point comeback, the Yellowjackets fell 28-21.
Oxnard has shown a strong passing game, which is co-headlined by quarterback Alex Duran, who completed 15-of-26 passes for 126 yards against Canyon, and receiver Adrian Vasquez, who caught six passes for 61 yards in the Canyon game.