It isn’t just the Bonita High School football team that’s had to adjust in the wake of quarterback Garrett Pendleton’s elbow injury. San Dimas, which opens the season against the Bearcats on Friday night, also has had to do some adapting. The Saints were preparing on defense for Pendleton, but with the senior expected to miss 4-6 weeks backup Greg Spathias will be the man under center. There could be some wildcat formations coming San Dimas’ way, too.
To get a better understanding of what’s coming, Saints coach Bill Zernickow had somebody scouting Bonita’s scrimmage against Damien on Friday. The reigning Tribune Coach of the Year thinks he’s got a better idea of what to expect.
“Watching them helped us out a lot,” Zernickow said. “We know what’s coming. Casey Horine is going to run the wildcat and Spathias looks like he has a nice touch on the ball. He would be starting for a lot of teams. He doesn’t take too long to get rid of it.
“We thought with Garrett they’d throw, throw, throw. But now it looks like they’ll be more apt to run the wildcat.”
Zernickow said the key to stopping Bonita will come from his team’s defensive line.
“You can’t let them run the ball an inch,” Zernickow said. “And then you obviously have to get a really good pass rush.”
San Dimas did a good job controlling Bonita’s offense in last year’s win and limited the Bearcats to just 13 points.
The Saints may present Bonita’s defense with a quarterback dilemma of its own. The Saints will unveil transfer Codee Watts on Friday, and if last week’s scrimmage against Rowland is any indicator Watts could have a nice coming-out party.
Watts had about 20 plays against Rowland but managed to rack up more than 100 yards passing and over 40 yards rushing. Zernickow, known for his run-happy Wing-T offense, has promised the Saints will air it out more than usual this season.
“We’re working on it,” Zernickow said. “Codee’s going to be able to spread it around a little bit. Last year we’d just throw it up and hope somebody caught it. This year, we know we’re going to catch it, we just have to get the ball there and give good protection. That’s what we’ve been working on all offseason.”