Prep Impressions: Week 2

15Week2I covered the Perris Citrus Hill-Riverside Arlington varsity football game on Friday, Sept. 6, 2015, for The Press-Enterprise, & @pecom_preps, and came away thinking nobody — not even head coach Eric Zomalt — knows what to make of the Hawks this season.

Citrus Hill (2-1 overall) cruised to a 28-0 lead and won comfortably at Arlington a week after losing by 23 at Murrieta Valley. Clearly, the two opponents are in different places (neither best nor worst), so just how bipolar is this team?

“I think we want to be good but I just don’t know right now. It doesn’t show in our performance and even our preparation, and in the end it falls on my shoulders,” Zomalt said. “I’m trying to figure it out right now.”

If the Hawks seem to have a personality problem it might be because Elijah Matthews passed the ball effectively in a Week 0 win, turned the ball over in a historic Week 1 loss and finally went to Devin Floyd, Dumar Fisher and their dominant running game in a comfortable Week 2 victory.

“I don’t know what it is,” Zomalt said. “If I knew what it was then I would try to fix it but from week to week we’re different.”

Week 2 was just different good.

Citrus Hill coach Eric Zomalt:

“It’s tough because Arlington’s in a tough situation, they’re kind of rebuilding the program and so you want to keep it in perspective, the success you have. I know that just like last week we’ll look at the film and it won’t be as bad as it felt in the moment. I’m almost positive when we put the film on tonight it won’t feel as good as the score would indicate. We just have work to do, man. And that was part of my post-game speech, just about the standard here, the level of expectation, and so we have a long way to go. We’re capable of so much more and it just frustrates me to no end. I hope we understand that and embrace that, and decide to really, sincerely prepare and compete, and give ourselves a chance to win a championship. We go some weapons on offense, and those guys are supposed to make plays; there’s never any pressure off of us. that’s how I’m built and how the program is run. Regardless of whether we get or to a quick start or a slow start we need to execute, first snap, second snap and throughout the course of the game.”

Arlington coach Rich Lunsford:
“They dominated the line on us. They controlled both sides of the line on both sides of the ball. There was never a time when we were able to control the line of scrimmage at all tonight. When a team like that does that to you with a powerful running back like they have there’s just no way. We were put in a disadvantage very early. There’s no doubt about it. Like I told the guys ‘Last week (vs. Riverside La Sierra in Week 1) we didn’t get the chance to compete. (La Sierra) didn’t play a full game, running clock in the second half, and now we go against one of the better teams in the I.E., and they exposed us really quickly. We didn’t get a chance to compete at a high level (against La Sierra) and then we get thrown in there vs. Citrus, they exposed some of the things that we really need to work on. Some of the positives are they fought the entire time. The kept fighting and they’re upset about it because they want to be successful, they want to be better and they want to improve on a daily basis. I told them ‘Losing to a team like that is not the worst thing that can happen to us.’ We going to get better and learn from it. The chance to compete against a high-level program so you’re going to be able to learn from how they do things and be able to pick it up. It took us a good 1 1/2 quarters because the pace of the game was higher than it was last week. We knew from watching film that there were some holes that they had. How they beat you is how they cover those holes with just their speed and aggressiveness. We weren’t able to get (slant play over middle) early in the game like we wanted to so we had to make a couple of adjustments. We saw that and we got that thing going. It was a little too late. Too little, too late.”


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