Johnson commands Hart offense in 7-on-7 passing tournament

Hart quarterback Zach Johnson prepares for a pass during a passing tournament at Hart High on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Hart football team certainly passed the eye test as they played host for a 7-on-7 passing tournament on Wednesday afternoon.

The Indians looked sharp on offense and defense as they competed against Golden Valley, Saugus and Quartz Hill. Quarterback Zach Johnson, in particular, looked relaxed and confident as he commanded the offense.

Johnson received an offer from the University of California, Berkeley on May 19. Even with the Division 1 offer, he’s still focused on whatever task is in front of him.

“I’ve still gotta come out here and I’ve got to play and I’ve got to throw good balls and put us in a good position to win games or win 7-on-7 and put good passes out there,” he said.

“I think it doesn’t really change the way I see the game or how I see the season. I’m still going to go out, I’m still going to play as hard as I can 100 percent and then try and go get a ring.”

Johnson worked with a receiving corps on Wednesday that was gritty despite lacking some height. The offense is becoming more cerebral in preparation for the upcoming season, especially when it comes to route-running.

Hart quarterback Zach Johnson looks for an open receiver during a passing tournament at Hart High on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We might not have four 6-4 guys out there, but we definitely have guys that know what route to run, where to be in every single play and how to beat defenses and so we’re real smart and we run our routes to the right places with the right timing,” Johnson said.

Drew Munoz was a primary target for Johnson on Wednesday. Last season, Munoz hauled in 28 passes for 523 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ryan Tomaszewski, who earned a starting position last season as a sophomore, was also a favorite target for Johnson in 7-on-7 play.

“Last year, starting as a sophomore, it definitely did a lot for him mentally,” Johnson said. “Just knowing the plays and having that year under his belt going into his junior year is going to be really good for him and he’s been working real hard in the offseason, too, so it’s going to be really nice, the game is going to slow down for him a little bit.”

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As for Johnson, he’s paying close attention to the small details of his game as Hart continues through its summer schedule, which continues with another passing tournament and lineman challenge at Simi Valley High School on Saturday morning.

“In 7-on-7 its always tough footwork-wise,” he said. “Sometimes you get caught being a little bit lazy as a quarterback because there’s no rush on you, so I’ve always got to make sure that I’m keeping up with my footwork during games and not getting lazy, just not form bad habits during 7-on-7 that would translate to the season.”

The Indians begin Saturday’s passing league action at 9 a.m. against Simi Valley. At 10 a.m., they’ll play Ventura and at 11 a.m. they’ll play Agoura. At 12:45 Hart plays Buena and play concludes at 1:45 with a contest against Camarillo.

Hart begins the regular season at Carlsbad on August 23.

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About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.