Hart hopes to protect the quarterback in season opener

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The biggest downer from Hart High’s 10-point win over Downey High last season was that the Indians surrendered 10 sacks.

The biggest strength of Downey’s 2017 squad, according to Hart coach Mike Herrington, is a talented and active defensive line.

“That’s the thing we’re worried about a little bit,” said Herrington before tonight’s season opener against the Vikings at College of the Canyons.

MORE: Hart QB JT Shrout’s time has arrived

The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. But Herrington said it was possible the brush fire that broke out near Cougar Stadium on Thursday could impact the air quality enough on Friday night to postpone the game.

“We’ll make some decisions tomorrow,” he said Thursday.

If the game is played, it will be up to an offensive line that returns two starters (headlined by center Nathan Bradder) to protect first-year starting quarterback JT Shrout.

Shrout, a three-star Cal Berkeley commit, has played on varsity in brief stints over the last two seasons while serving as Nick Moore’s backup.

Herrington said Shrout has jelled well with a young group of receivers, but added that the Indians are still figuring out which wideouts work best together.

“They’re doing a good job,” Herrington said. “We’re just trying to find the right combination of receivers for him to throw to. We’ll wait and see who comes up big.”

Downey is coming off a 56-0 loss to Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita.

The Indians have beaten Downey in each of the past two seasons.

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