The Hart Indians fell to second in league with their loss to Valencia Friday, which puts them on the road to Huntington Beach to face the Edison Chargers in the first round of the CIF Southern Section West Valley Division playoffs.
The Indians go into the game 7-3 while the Chargers are also 7-3, finishing second in the Sunset League to Los Alamitos.
The Chargers, ranked 56th in the state, score an average of 35.5 points a game while giving up 17.5. Offensively they average 341.1 yards a game, with 139.3 on the ground and 201.8 in the air.
No one running back stands out but Edison has four different backs with 183 yards or more on the ground. The leader of the group is junior Jacob Marines, a 5-8 155-pounder with 499 yards and eight touchdowns.
Edison was supposed to be Matthew Gane’s team, but the highly-regarded senior quarterback went out in week seven with an injury.
Junior quarterback Grant Lowary has played in every game, however, completing 54% of his passes for 1,277 yards, 14 touchdowns against four interceptions. His favorite target has been Jake Favreau with 34 catches for 603 yards and eight touchdowns.
The world knows all about how Brady White (2,764 yards passing and 36 touchdowns) and Trent Irwin (71 receptions, 1,439 yards and 17 touchdowns) are the most prolific QB/wide receiver combo in California.
The question is can White have enough time to deliver the ball to Irwin’s All-American hands.
Edison has compiled 32.5 sacks in their 10 regular season games. Twelve different players have recorded sacks, which means virtually anyone on their defense is capable of blitzing on any given play. The leader of this sack pack is Manase Time with 8.5.
The problem for Hart has been a porous offensive line. In the five league games just played, the Indians offensive line has given up 24 sacks, an average of nearly five per game. Valencia was able to get to White eight times and Golden Valley sacked the Hart QB six times.
Hart enters the game ranked 55th in the state. It scored 38.6 points per game but gives up 26.4. For the Indians to find success in this first round, the offensive line will have to give White time to make plays.