The new scoreboard at Doug Hitchen Stadium figures to see plenty of action Friday night. Arroyo Grande High and Camarillo, two teams that know how to light it up, will meet in a battle of highly ranked undefeated teams at 7 p.m.
Both the Eagles (2-0) and the Scorpions (2-0) have won this season by scoring on explosive plays — averaging 40 and 46 points per game, respectively — but the Eagles have been downright atomic. Of the 11 touchdowns scored by the Eagles, eight have been on plays of 30 yards or more.
“You have to limit the explosive play,” Camarillo coach Jack Willard said. “They have so many playmakers.”
“They’re the real deal.”
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Willard says while watching tape, he’s been impressed with the play of the offensive and defensive lines and Arroyo Grande’s ability to adapt on offense.
“We’ve done a pretty good job dispersing the ball to a lot of different locations,” Arroyo Grande coach Tom Goossen conceded. “We’ve been able to kind of mix it up.”
Five players have scored touchdowns for Arroyo Grande this season. The Eagles’ do-it-all Bradley Mickey, who leads the team in touchdowns and interceptions, has four touchdowns on offense, including an 81-yard run against Lompoc and a 99-yard catch-and-run in last week’s 45-13 win over Independence. He also had a one-handed pick-six last week.
This week will be Arroyo Grande’s toughest matchup of the season on both sides of the ball against a similarly balanced team. Camarillo 5-foot-8 running back Isaiah Otis showed what he could do against Paso Robles last week, scoring on runs of 39 and 46 yards on the way to a 253-yard, four-touchdown game.
Isaiah Otis with the juke. pic.twitter.com/VAULwTndvc— Travis Gibson (@TravisDgibson) September 8, 2015
“He’s a hard runner and he likes running north, just going straight up, he doesn’t like going side-to-side,” Arroyo Grande junior linebacker Sam Ness said. “We’re just going to play our defense like we’re supposed to and corral to him and if we group tackle, then we’re fine.”
Willard says Otis, who is averaging 216 yards per game on the ground, has become much better at running behind his blockers and catching the ball out of the backfield.
“It was pretty impressive what they did with Paso (Robles), obviously,” Goossen said. “(Otis is) a quality running back with a good line so we’re going to give up a few yards, but it’s giving up big chunks that we have to make sure that we eliminate or at least keep it to a bare minimum.”
But Otis isn’t the only Scorpion capable of stinging the Eagles. Senior quarterback Jake Constantine has completed 60 percent of his passes while throwing seven touchdowns and only one interception. His top target in the hybrid pro-style/spread offense is wide receiver Frankie Tostado, who has a touchdown in each game this season.
“We know that they are going to come out and try to pass a lot,” said Mickey, who has two interceptions at free safety this season. “We need to disguise our defense and do all the little things if we want to go out there and make plays.”
Arroyo Grande junior quarterback Sawyer May is also off to a hot start. May has more than 500 yards passing, six touchdowns and no interceptions this season. But Goossen said Camarillo presents a different challenge than the press coverage the Eagles faced last week in a 322-yard, four-touchdown performance.
“This team is a lot better at going to the ball,” Goossen said. “They have a very agile defensive line, their linebackers go hard to the ball.”
Willard says he will key in on stopping Arroyo Grande’s running game that is led by Mickey, Alex Cecchi and Joey DeLaRosa. But like Goossen said, the Eagles make it hard to key in on one player. Ten players have at least one carry for Arroyo Grande this season.
Although both teams will air it out, Goossen and Willard know even high-scoring games are won in the trenches.
“If you don’t stop the run, you have no chance to win,” Willard said.