Prep Impressions: Aug. 17, 2018

The Riverside Arlington-Riverside Hillcrest Week 0 varsity football game on Friday night, Aug. 17, 2018, was the beginning of something new for both programs.

For Arlington it was a new start under a new coach – Jeff Roney – and a new offense.

“We’re young, and we know that,” Roney said. “We’re making the same mistakes in practice but it was good to see them, as a young team, stick together, battle and we learned a lot about ourselves tonight and we’re going to take… the biggest jump you make is from Game 1 to Game 2 and so there’s a ton of positive. There are a lot of good athletes on this team, a ton of guys starting on varsity for the first time on a Friday night, so we’re looking forward to building toward league, which is Week 8. We got a long way to go but we’re not happy with where we’re at; obviously we wanted a different outcome but they battled and we’re going to fix it. For Izaiah (Leuta) this is his first varsity start and I thought he played well, but there’s still obviously stuff to clean up there. I’m excited about where we are right now with him. He was the JV quarterback last season. We need to see more composure like on the first one in the first half when he rolled out and decided to throw late and he threw the pick. He should’ve ran that. We would have had the first (down). Making the read better on the option. There’s a couple where he could’ve kept it, but for his first varsity start I was super happy with how he played. He’s not really the leader-type personality but he’s got to take that on so he’s just growing. I got two years with him now, and we had Derrick Cruz last time we did this (at Riverside La Sierra in 2014-’15) and that second year he lit it up, and (Leuta) he’s got two years to figure this out. We’re relay young up front, so we just got to keep working with them. One of our starters that was his first football game – period. The other had played on the freshman level and now he’s a varsity starter. We’re young and they battled all night and I think we’re just going to get better. These are big, strong kids and as they get used to Friday night speed they’re going to be just fine.”

For Hillcrest it’s time for a new quarterback, a new running back and the physiological breakdown of its defense.

“A win’s a win,” Hillcrest head coach John Brandom said. “We just played sloppy on both sides of the ball, in particular on offense. We made some big plays on offense but I think we were pressing a little bit. We’ve got some young guys in there (and) we were just off. They made some big plays. That quarterback can run like a freakin’ wild man. Hats off to them. They did a great job and stayed in, and our guys found a way to finish it. Re: the Trojans’ two early touchdowns – That doesn’t help in a sense that we started to get relaxed and start to think they got it made, and then they start getting behind, and then they start pressing to catch up, so we were just kind of off, and we didn’t have rhythm all night. Found a way to run the football in the second half, and grind the clock out. (Clay) did a good job of seeing the holes and made a couple of nice finishes, particularly on the touchdown when he ran over the safety. We’re not very experiences on the perimeter, and that’s where most of our miscues were throughout the game The offensive line had a rough first half and came out in the second half and did a great job. Defensively, with the exception of a couple drives, did some great things. Josh (Ford) is a big heart beat. We got a lot of guys on defense with some experience and he’s one of them. He’s kind of the heart beat. We got another guy that’s kind of the liver, and another that’s kind of the lungs. It’s just the way we finished. It’s always nice to win a game like that rather than to lose it. Re: what sophomore QB Camren Payne must improve upon – Just decision making and overall focus throughout the whole game and that’ll lead to consistency.”

Arlington – 0 – 13 – 0 – 7 — 20
Hillcrest – 14 – 0 – 7 – 7 — 28
First quarter
H – Howard 76 pass from Payne (Ek kick), 11:19
H – Banks 37 pass from Payne (Ek kick), 11:10
Second quarter
A – McCullough 53 run (No. 1 kick), 7:58
A – Leuta 11 run (kick failed), 0:10
Third quarter
H – Clay 10 run (Ek kick), 4:22
H – Clay 14 run (Ek kick), 1:36
Fourth quarter
A – No. 23 32 int. return (No. 1 kick), 11:36
Individual statistics
Rushing – Arlington: Leuta 24-93, McClullough 9-64, No. 44 13-15; Hillcrest: Clay 28-170, Howard 1-4, Banks 1-2, Mayweather 1-2, Payne 8-(minus-9).
Passing – Arlington: Leuta 9-25-3-121; Hillcrest: Payne 5-12-1-138.
Receiving – Arlington: No. 4 4-33, No. 5 5-88; Hillcrest: Howard 3-93, Banks 1-37, Montello 1-9.

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