Pac-5 Notebook: Amat facing toughest defensive front all season; Shay not expected back

“When this group become seniors, I truly believe we could have one of the best teams in the country. Our front seven on defense is pretty special.” Tesoro coach Brian Barnes on the Titans’ defensive front.

“I think any kid who has to cover a receiver for eight seconds would be in trouble. There were probably a dozen times where we had our arm on him (Adams), but that’s not enough; you have to get him down, and we didn’t do that.”Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty on the Lancers’ secondary, noting they gave Alemany QB Vernon Adams too much time to beat them last week.

By Fred J. Robledo
If fourth-seeded Bishop Amat (9-1) doesn’t take care of business against visiting Tesoro (7-3) in Friday’s first- round CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division opener at Kiefer Stadium, the Lancers better hope they avoid the Titans in the near future. The Titans start nine sophomores and have a defensive front that Lancers coach Steve Hagerty says is the best they will have faced all season – and he won’t get an argument about that from Titans coach Brian Barnes. (To continue click thread).

Here is a look at raw footage of Chino Hills 14-13 win over Tesoro earlier this season.


“When this group become seniors, I truly believe we could have one of the best teams in the country,” Barnes said. “Our front seven on defense is pretty special.”

They’re not all young, though – 6-foot-3 senior defensive end Sean O’Grady is headed to Arizona State, and senior middle linebacker Nolan Muchow is a monster.

“It’s a great defensive line; one of their sophomores looks like Mario Williams (of the Houston Texans),” Hagerty said. “They’re going to pose some real matchup problems.

“I wouldn’t say they’re as athletic as some of the teams we’ve played, but they definitely have a lot of talent and have played some very good teams tough.”

Tesoro was one of the top- ranked teams in Orange County before finishing with losses to San Clemente and the division’s top-seeded Mission Viejo – two games in which they were without starting running back Nate Tago, one of their dynamic sophomores.

In Friday’s loss to Mission Viejo, fullback Brandon Cody suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, so they’re limping into the first round somewhat, though sophomore quarterback Matt Adams is starting to blossom.

“He’s (Adams) playing better and better,” Barnes said. “If we can provide some coverage and give him some support, we’ve got a chance.”

Bishop Amat is undefeated at home since Hagerty arrived in 2008. Barnes has visited Kiefer before, just never as a coach or player.

“It’s one of the best home- field advantages in high school football,” Barnes said.

Shay not expected back

Change-up back Zach Shay is expected to miss his fourth consecutive game since suffering a severe ankle sprain against Crespi on Oct. 15.

Hagerty was hoping to have Shay back for last week’s Serra League title game against Alemany, but it’s an injury that’s slow to heal.

“Our (trainer) says it was one of the worst ankle sprains you can have,” Hagerty said. “He (Shay) practiced (Monday), but it didn’t go well. We would love to have him out there, and he’s going to do what he can the rest of the week to get himself ready, but at this point we probably won’t have him.”

Secondary issues?
In Friday’s 38-30 loss to Alemany, Warriors quarterback Vernon Adams had his way with the Lancers, completing 15of 18 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns.

The Lancers gave up two huge pass plays in the final minute of the first half that turned a 17-14 lead into a 28-17 halftime deficit, and when they had chances to wrap Adams up, he continually broke free and made plays.

“I’m concerned that we gave up 38 points, our defense did not play that well, but everyone keeps talking about the secondary, and that’s not it,” Hagerty said. “We gave their quarterback too much time to throw the ball. Give him credit he kept getting away, and we have to do a better job of tackling and wrapping him up.

“I think any kid who has to cover a receiver for eight seconds would be in trouble. There were probably a dozen times where we had our arm on him (Adams), but that’s not enough; you have to get him down, and we didn’t do that.”

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  • 12th man

    Turnovers & special teams will play a big factor in this game, both teams have a good defense…Dont leave early~ this one mite come down to the final drive!!

    Amat 28

    Tesoro 21

  • 12th man

    Tesoro:

    83.1 Passing Yards Per Game
    114.1 Rushing Yards Per Game
    77.0 Tackles Per GameSacks Per Game
    3.0 sacks per game
    32.1 Points Per Game
    68 Passing Comp

    Bishop Amat:

    175.6 Passing Yards Per Game
    217.6 Rushing Yards Per Game
    38.5 Tackles Per Game
    3.0 Sacks Per Game
    36.9 Points Per Game
    117 Passing Comp

  • Observation

    If it comes down to a fieldgoal in this game Favor Tesoro. Amats kicker is average at best. That extra point miss vs Alemany gave Alemany even more momentum to work with, you cannot do that, you must hammer them home with authority. You must have a good kicker to get you through this tournanment and Amat lacks one. If Amat Advances great but down the road this could be their downfall the kicking game. Alemany’s Kicker booted it in the end zone consistantly and Amat had to take it at the 20. Amats kicker, kicks it at best to the 15 yard line giving the opposing team a possible run back. I dont know if this is going to decide Amats fate but I have not had a good feeling about this kicker all year long. Punting got changed around with Wallace taking over for Rio and that added a new dimension. Some say Hags was listening to me here but it was someones wise choice to take Rio out of punting the ball. As for the kicker well what choice do you have but to win your games outright so it does not become a factor, but in a close game which is usually the case in tournament play it really does become a factor. Let hope not for Amat’s sake and future.

  • Come on Hags

    Adams did not have 8 seconds on that 3rd and 27 that got completed. That was a game changer. Blue was beat bad on that one. The catch in the end zone with three Amat defenders around the reciever or as known The hail mary, not once did I see a Amat defender try to slap the ball down they all went for a pick, hope they learned something from that debacle.

  • tcbruin

    Observation,

    WG was NOT available until game 5 for punting duties. RR was ok as a fill-in, but once WG got his ‘feet wet’ he has been a much better punter than RR.

    As for K/o’s, the ‘strategy’ is for the kicker to kick the ball HIGH inside the 10 yard line. This give the K/o coverage team TIME to get down the field to tackle the returner INSIDE the 20. For the most part when executed well this tactic HAS worked. Not too many k/o’s returned for big yardage. Earlier the COACH in charge of this area was fiddling around with the kicker going with youth[potential] over experience. Now this has been settled[experience winning out], K/o’s are being executed more consistently.

    As for PATs not too bad this season. Even last years kicker missed some PATs.

    As for FG’s, not a weapon as in years past BUT thank goodness they have not been needed them to decide games. Kicker was injured earlier in season which has slowed progress.

  • CH Husky Fan

    Tesoro is a very good team. They are young! They could be a major player in the Pac5 in the next couple of years. I don’t think they have the offensive firepower to do much damage in the playoffs this year. They won’t be a creampuff for Amat, I think Amat wins 28- 17.

  • CH Husky Fan

    Tesoro is a very good team. They are young! They could be a major player in the Pac5 in the next couple of years. I don’t think they have the offensive firepower to do much damage in the playoffs this year. They won’t be a creampuff for Amat, I think Amat wins 28- 17.

  • CH Husky Fan

    Tesoro is a very good team. They are young! They could be a major player in the Pac5 in the next couple of years. I don’t think they have the offensive firepower to do much damage in the playoffs this year. They won’t be a creampuff for Amat, I think Amat wins 28- 17.

  • win as a team lose as a team…..

    u cant blame the whole game on the secondary or the defense i mean come on , the offense gave up 2 tds one on a screen and one on a kick off return. that game could have gone either way and we were on the other end of the stick.we are a young team and we made sum young mistakes and it cost us the game. but that was last week and now we gotta move on!!!! STOP BEING A CRY BABY and give our kids some positive energy cause we need it going into fridays game against tesoro and into the pac 5. no one said it was gonna be a cakewalk or easy….. LETS GO AMAT!!!!!!

  • AMAT 73

    Come on Hags,
    Ever here the phrase don’t cry over spilled milk. Well the milk has been wiped up the paper towels are in the trash and that game is behind us . We will fair better next time believe me . Team loss plain and simple just as it is a team win also.

  • Observation

    TC Bruin,

    Fieldgoals decide playoff games when you get two evenly matched teams playing one another. I cant begin to tell you how much Amat “may” be effected in this area. The 3′s add up when you cannot get that first down inside the 30, then you have to rely on your kicker. Does Amats kicker have any consistancy from 35 and 40 yards out? He has not been challenged this year and lets hope he is not challenged in these playoffs, but if and when he is called upon and should he miss this is where it could become their downfall. The kickers will play a big role in these playoffs games for all schools in this pac5 tournament. Does Amat have a good kicker?

  • Amat Dude

    Here is why Amat will beat Tesoro:

    1) Amat is at home and their great fans are the 12th man. I guarantee there will be over 6,000 screaming Amat fans at Kiefer this Friday night.
    2) Tesoro is a running team with a sophomore QB. Anyone remember Matt Barkely and Wittek of Mater Dei? Amat will shut down the run and has beaten great young Orange County QB’s.
    3)Tesoro has the best front 7? well guess what, they are very young and Amat’s Offensive Line will turn them into minced meat. Moore will beat them on the ground and Rio to Gonzalez/Sanchez will beat them in the air.
    4) Amat is hungry for win, especially after beating themselves last week against Alemany. Alemany didn’t beat Amat, Amat beat Amat.
    5) Better execution, the boys watched and learned from all the critical and boneheaded penalties that cost them the game last week.
    6) The secondary will be better prepared this week against any possible air assault if Tesoro’s ground game comes to a screeching halt.
    7) The trip from Rancho Santa Margarita to LP is not going to be a pleasant one.

  • tcbruin

    Observation,

    I AM well aware of the importance of the kicking game and how FG’s MAY be the difference between a W or L in ANY game.

    Amat’s FG kicker is good, BUT has NOT been NEEDED this season so it’s hard to know HOW good. As I wrote earlier, he was injured which slowed his progress.

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