By Ryan Menzie
Signal Staff Writer
The Friday night lights are back as the Hart Indians faced the Camarillo Scorpions, but were unable to come up with the victory in a tight, 20-7 defensive matchup.
“Our run defense was really good,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington. “Our quarterback is still young, he’s a sophomore playing in only his third game. We prepared how we needed to for today’s game. We just have to lower our mistakes and we will be in good shape.”
The first half was packed with gritty tackling and hard-nosed football with both opening drives ending in turnovers. The Indians forced a fumble on the Scorpions’ side of the field, but the Indians were unable to capitalize after an interception at the Scorpions’ 10-yard line.
Linebacker Zachary Stothers led all defensive players for the Indians (0-1) with six tackles, including a tackle for loss, and he helped force the first turnover of the game.
The Indians’ struggles continued with quarterback Tim Larkins only throwing for 3 yards in the first half and accounting for 22 yards of total offense as a team. Larkins would not let his slow start phase him heading to the second half.
“We started getting to the spots that we needed to,” said Larkins. “Our line started blocking a lot better, we were able to get to the routes and get the ball easier. I think we just played a lot harder in the second half.”
Most of the struggles for the Indians’ offense came from the overwhelming Scorpion defensive line, as the Indians surrendered seven sacks over the course of the game.
The Scorpions’ luck would soon change as quarterback Brody Meyer started hitting his receivers despite not having a run game for a majority of the first half. Meyer would finish the first half with 155 passing yards, including a 58-yard touchdown score to Jack Maulhardt to cap off the end of the half. Maulhardt ended the half with 91 receiving yards.
The Indians looked to change their fortunes leading into the second half, but it was mostly the same story for the offense. Larkins threw three more interceptions, including one that was taken to the house.
Larkins stayed poised and, after a key interception by the Hart defense, Larkins would bounce back with a 12-yard touchdown to wide receiver Chase Depaco and finish the game with 146 yards of total offense.
“I’m upset we took the loss, but we will win and we will show up,” said Depaco. “We just got to go through the motions as a team, practice and conditioning will help us for our next game.”
The bright spot for the Indians came from their strong defense throughout the game. After allowing the first-half touchdown they held the Scorpions (1-0) scoreless until a 50-yard rushing touchdown in the final two minutes of the game by wide receiver Nathaniel Tostado. The Indians forced an interception and a fumble recovery, and Stothers was once again in the middle of the play.
Despite the relentless effort by the Indians’ defense, the Scorpions would hold on to win the game.
The Indians will now look to bounce back next week at Muir High School.