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Prep football: Hart flustered by D

Indians quarterbacks sacked seven times by stout Tesoro defense; Hart allows four scores to Tago

Posted: September 3, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 3, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

The quarterback situation was uncertain for Hart High football coming into the season.

It turned out it didn’t matter who was taking snaps for the Indians in their season opener against the relentless defensive pressure from Tesoro of Rancho Santa Margarita.

Hart quarterbacks were sacked a total of seven times in a 35-21 loss to Tesoro on Friday night at College of the Canyons.

With the Indians’ presumptive starting quarterback, senior Cory Mayes, missing most of preseason camp due to mononucleosis, sophomore Connor Wingenroth got the start on Friday because he had more practice with the first-team offense.

Both quarterbacks played in the game. Neither one got much going in the passing game.

Tack on penalties and turnovers to that and Hart quickly found itself behind.

“We played a really good football team, and to be a good football team, you can’t make a lot of mistakes,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington. “Tonight, we made way too many.”

After both teams stalled on their opening drives, Tesoro’s blitzing got things going in the first quarter when it sacked Wingenroth on third-and-7 and pressured the ensuing punt to gain favorable field position at near midfield.

Four plays later, Titans running back Nate Tago was in the end zone on a 6-yard touchdown run followed by a two-point conversion to put his team up 8-0 midway through the first.

It was one of four scores for Tago — three rushing and one receiving — on a night where he collected 64 yards on the ground and another 69 through the air.

“I just told my linemen, ‘Just give me a hole. I’ll make it happen,’” Tago said. “And that’s what I did.”

Though Hart (0-1) answered back when Wingenroth broke loose on a draw play for a 71-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, big plays on offense were hard to get off the stout Tesoro front seven.

Wingenroth, who also played defensive back for the Indians in the game, endured four sacks and finished 6-of-14 passing with 92 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Mayes took his place late in the second quarter, but was swapped out again in favor of Wingenroth to start the second half.

“We both knew either one of us could go in there and whichever one was in was going to have to do the best they could,” Wingenroth said.

As the second quarter wore on, the Titans (1-0) began to pull away when Tago scored on a 44-yard screen pass and a 2-yard run to put Hart in a 21-7 hole headed into halftime.

Tago’s third touchdown was set up by drive-killing fumble by Mayes with less than a minute to go in the second quarter.

“When the teams settled in, when the game settles in, Nate Tago stepped in for us,” said Tesoro head coach Brian Barnes. “He’s a special player.”

Not much changed after the break, as Tesoro tacked on another couple of touchdowns on a 25-yard scramble by quarterback Matt Adam and Tago’s final trip to the end zone on a 3-yard run play.

Mayes got back into the game in the fourth quarter, but struggled to find his receivers early, going 3-of-9 for 59 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked three times.

“We had too many third-and-longs and that’s when it happened,” Herrington said of the pressure. “That’s when they got us.”
Both Wingenroth and Mayes found freshman wide receiver Trenton Irwin for touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. Irwin led the Indians with five receptions for 71 yards and the two scores.

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