By Matt Lechuga
For The Signal
Coming into Friday night’s season-opening game between Camarillo and Hart, the programs had matched up eight times since 1957, with the series tied at four wins apiece. In this ninth competition the Scorpions took a one-game lead with a 35-17 win at Camarillo High School.
The Indians (0-1) struggled to keep the Camarillo big-play offense at bay, allowing Camarillo senior quarterback Brody Meyer to complete 16 of 23 passes for five touchdowns and 301 yards.
The Scorpions (1-0) controlled the game early, running up a 21-0 lead before Hart could answer. The Indians struggled to stop the big play as Camarillo hit on multiple long touchdown passes to give them a 21-3 lead going into the half.
The Scorpions’ first score came on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Meyer to Brandon Contreras. They extended their lead one series later when Meyer found running back Nathaniel Madrigal for a 20-yard touchdown on a screen pass and went up 21-0 when Meyer hit Contreras on another screen pass, this one going 84 yards for the score.
“We made a lot of simple mistakes where guys would forget who was supposed to cover who,” said Hart head coach Rick Herrington. “They had three long touchdowns and that usually doesn’t happen with us.”
Hart kicker Samshj Oweyo hit a 46-yard field goal to give the Indians their only points of the first half.
The second half offered more of the same with Camarillo taking its first drive and capping it with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Meyer to Reese Winchester.
Two series later, after an interception thrown by Hart junior quarterback Timmy Larkins, the Scorpions scored on a 7-yard pass from Meyer to Blake Bryce to put them up 35-3.
It was in the fourth quarter when the Indians finally found some footing. Larkins was able to salvage a broken play on a bad snap and hit a wide-open Ryan De La Maza in the end zone for Hart’s first touchdown of the season, making the score 35-10.
After recovering an onside kick, the Indians marched down the field and capped the drive on a 12-yard pass from Larkins to Chris Clauss to make the final score 35-17.
“We had some little mistakes at the beginning of the game but it’s good that we kept going,” said Larkins. “At the very end we came a lot stronger.”
The Indians will look to pick up their first win of the season next week when they travel to Oxnard to take on the Yellowjackets.