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Prep football: Hart regains some strength

Indians face Arroyo with boost of having key running back

Posted: September 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 


When the Indians face off tonight with Arroyo High School at College of the Canyons at 7:30 p.m., the team expects to be at full strength with the return of senior running back Dylan Edwards.

Edwards suffered a separated shoulder in the Indians’ week two victory over Palmdale High, after carrying the ball just four times for 135 yards and a 79-yard touchdown on the Indians’ first play from scrimmage.

“(Having him back), it’s big,” Hart head coach Mike Herrington said. “Tim White did a great job at running back last week, but Dylan’s our starting running back, and we can move (White) back to receiver.”

White, starting in place of the injured Edwards, ran for 245-yards on 14 carries, including a 68-yard rushing touchdown last week.

With Edwards back, Arroyo will have to contend with the speedy running back, as well as the quarterback duo of Cory Mayes and Connor Wingenroth who will be splitting quarterbacking duties for the fourth straight week.

“We’re not going to do anything offensively different from the last two weeks. We’ll wait and see how teams defend us, and we’ll see if it’s majority run or majority pass,” Herrington said.

No matter what the offense does, though, the Indians’ defense should go a long way toward determining the outcome.

Arroyo will counter the Mayes/Wingenroth tandem with a talented quarterback of its own in Steven Rivera, who enters the game averaging 337.3 yards per game through the air.

“(Rivera) has started there four years,” Herrington said. “He’s got a great arm and he’s mobile. You have to be disciplined on defense and be able to be in the right place at the right time and try to contain him and try to read his pass.”

Leading the way on the ground for the Knights will be Peter Aholoka, who has rushed for 213 yards on 48 carries in Arroyo’s first three games.

Despite Aholoka’s averaging over four yards per carry, the focus of the Knights’ offense will be on Rivera and the aerial attack.

And that’s something Herrington has tried to prepare the Indians for.

“They are a very good football team, right now they’re undefeated ...,” Herrington said. “They throw the ball all over the place.”

And stopping that passing attack, and getting their own going, will be key if the Indians want a repeat performance of last year’s 44-3 victory at Arroyo High.

“(The key) is how our pass defense is and probably whether we’re able to protect the quarterback,” Herrington said.

And Hart’s quarterbacks should benefit greatly from the return of Edwards, whose play Herrington also mentioned as key to the Indians’ chances of victory.

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