Coming off a 39-36 loss to St. Bonaventure last week, Hart is ready to rebound against Ventura tonight at 7 p.m. at Ventura High School.
The Indians (2-2) take on a Cougars team that has yet to win this season and was defeated handily in their last game against Camarillo 49-17.
Hart has also beaten Ventura (0-4) the last three seasons, but quarterback Zach Johnson thinks it holds no bearing.
“You can never look at things like that,” Johnson said about Ventura’s winless record. “We have to go out with the same mindset against any team we play. That allows us to not come out lackadaisical and to perform the way we should.”
Johnson is coming off a solid performance last week where he threw for 247 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions on 18-of-26 passing attempts. He also added 45 rushing yards on nine carries.
Despite the strong offensive showing, Johnson believes he and his team can do even better if they don’t turn the ball over.
“Overall when you look at film, we put up 36 points, but there were so many things we could have done better to be more effective,” he said. “In terms of turning the ball over, throwing that interception I threw in the first half, it’s things like that where we have to come around. We have to play well all around the whole game and limit the mistakes.”
After watching film of Ventura all week, Johnson pinpointed the Cougars’ consistent and disciplined defense as the biggest challenge his team will face.
Ventura has 18 tackles for loss, three interceptions, three sacks and two fumble recoveries so far this season.
“I think they’ve got an all-around sound defense. Their guys know what they’re doing and where they’re supposed to be,” Johnson said. “That means you never really get the wide open touchdowns on broken coverages. We have to run the correct routes and be precise on offense.”
Ventura’s offense is led by senior running back Noah Conboy, who has 308 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries.
Johnson is confident his team will come out ready and hopefully head into league play with a victory under their belts.
“I think every game is important, but I think it would be nice for us and for our confidence going into league play to come out with a win,” he said. “That’s going to be important for us and I think we’re going to have a really nice game tomorrow.”