Valencia's Mykael Wright (2) stiff-arms a Calabasas defender as he runs for extra yardage in the first quarter at Calabasas High School. Dan Watson/ for The Signal

Rivals Valencia and Hart meet for Foothill League opener

Last season, Valencia running back Moises Haynes scored against every team the Vikings played except for one.

That one school is the Vikes’ Foothill League opener opponent: Hart.

“I kind of have like something to prove,” Haynes said. “They have a great defense and I know they’re going to find ways to stop me. They’re going to find ways to stop Jayvaun (Wilson).”

Hart quarterback JT Shrout (16) jukes Ventura player Kaine Miranda (11) during a football game at Canyon High School on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

The Indians defense is clicking at the right time after shutting out Ventura 26-0 last Friday. The defense has also forced four safeties in the past five games, but this week’s focus remains on limiting Haynes and the ground game.

MORE: Valencia football falls by two points to Calabasas

“We’ve got to just stay low, play aggressive and tackle well,” said Nathan Bradder, who plays both center and defensive tackle for Hart. “We’ve got to wrap up around Moises and Jayvaun and all them. Just playing aggressive basically and playing smart.”

Offensively, Bradder is focused on protecting quarterback JT Shrout against a tough Valencia defense.

Ben Seymour, a defensive end who had nine sacks last season and already has 2.5 in two games this year, will be at the front of the charge when it comes to shutting down Hart’s passing.

“Just stay relentless,” Seymour said. “Just keep going and going and going. Even through like, I might be close sometimes, I still have to keep going to make sure I get the sack. Pressures are important too, just keeping him think about me in his head, that’ll slow him down.”

The last occasion Hart beat Valencia was in 2013 in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship game. The Indians took the title by seven points.

MORE: Defense drives Hart football win over Ventura

Although victory has eluded the Indians since that battle, they always have a few tricks up their sleeve for the Vikings.

“They will have something that’s different scheme-wise or move personnel around or something and I think it’s just the quality of coaching that’s over there,” said Vikings coach Larry Muir. “They’re always really, really well prepared.”

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