When it comes to Hart and St. Bonaventure, four is the magic number.
This will be the fourth year in a row the two teams meet, and for the Indians, the game against the Seraphs is always the fourth one on the schedule.
It will also be the fourth career varsity start for Hart’s junior quarterback Zach Johnson, who has impressed in his short stint so far. Johnson has 636 yards on 54-of-87 passing, logging eight touchdowns to two interceptions. He’s also scored once on the ground to go along with 78 rushing yards.
The first three contests have all been close with St. Bonaventure (3-1) winning the first two contests, 42-38 in 2015 and 38-32 two years ago.
Hart (2-1) won the game last season 44-34.
“They’ve been a good program,” Hart head coach Mike Herrington said. “It’s just a good matchup for both teams.”
Last season, St. Bonaventure started junior quarterback Kai Puailoa Rojas, a dual-threat option who threw for 1771 yards and 14 touchdowns, adding 834 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the year.
This season the Seraphs have opted to use junior Gavin Beerup, as Rojas has taken on more of a defensive role.
Rojas has thrown only seven passes so far this season, but Herrington believes St. Bonaventure might utilize him more under center this week.
“He’s an accurate passer,” Herrington said of Beerup. “But he’s less mobile than [Rojas] who is a much better athlete back there. In fact, I think they might be playing that kid a little bit at quarterback this week. We’re assuming that.”
St. Bonaventure also has a talented sophomore running back in Justin Cantu, who has carried the ball 62 times for 337 yards and two touchdowns so far this season.
As long as the Indians stay in the right positions and execute their defensive game plan, Herrington believes they can come out with the win.
“We have to play a good, disciplined defense. We have to be in the right positions and our guys have to execute the techniques right,” he said. “Ultimately we’ll be in the right spots at the right time to make tackles.”
The game kicks off tonight at 7:30 p.m. at College of the Canyons.