|Isaiah Otis hops into the end zone as Jake Constantine celebrates in the background during Camarillo's 49-20 trouncing of St. Bonaventure (Ventura) on Oct. 9 (photo by Lorenzo Reyna).|
In the end, Camarillo sits at 6-0…and not only did the Scorpions thrash the proud Seraphs 49-20 on Oct. 9, but sent this message to Ventura County, the 805 and the state:
Overlooked no more.
The Scorpions’ 2015-16 resume continues to add significant achievements. From trouncing last year’s 805 representative in the CIF state playoffs Paso Robles, to dismantling the preseason No. 1 team on the Central Coast in Arroyo Grande all the way to the 29-point slaying of the 805’s biggest dragon, it’s time to recognize Camarillo as a Southern Section and state title threat.
Not only has the “overlooked” label been eliminated from Camarillo’s description, but what’s also officially dead is the perception that the Scorpions don’t get up for big games in their region. The proof is in the recent throttling of St. Bonnie.
“It was definitely an emotional game coming into the week. We knew we were going to face a good team, plus we knew there was going to be big bragging rights this week because of what happened last year (against St. Bonaventure),” quarterback Jake Constantine said. “We can tell it was a whole different game we played.”
Last year’s Scorps struggled against some of the best the 805 had to offer after receiving a promotion to play in the Camino League. Camarillo went 1-5 against regional monsters Paso, St. Bonnie, Calabasas, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks and Lompoc.
But now? Cam has scored at will against the best teams on its schedule; smashing Paso, Arroyo Grande and St. Bonnie by a combined score of 117-47.
Constantine is the doctor doing surgery on defenses through his arm and legs, as he’s thrown 1,482 yards, 22 touchdowns and just three interceptions. His fellow surgeons include a powerful offensive line, a deep core of wide receivers and a running back making a serious case for Ventura County Most Valuable Player honors.
Left tackle Sean Chisolm is the lone Scorpion player with an NCAA scholarship offer, and it’s from Division II program Adams State. The receivers will have either Frankie Tostado, Colby Stevens, Desmond Clancy or Ryan Muscarella as the breakout star on any given week. Lastly, Otis has dissected defenses with his powerful legs, breakaway speed and versatility through running and catching, as he’s had a combined 18 touchdowns in six games.
Tostado said the Scorpions still got underestimated before the game against the Seraphs, but it was motivational for them.
“Coming in, we were definitely the more underrated team,” Tostado said. “We’re a public school, we supposedly played in a weak league and they (St. Bonnie) play in a stronger league. But tonight, we showed we can play with anybody.”
And it’s not just the offense making Camarillo one of the best in the region. So has an energetic and aggressive defense that sends five to 11 Scorpion players to the football.
The unit had the Seraphs’ latest stud quarterback Darius Vines under duress all night, as Vines threw two interceptions while constantly getting forced out of the pocket. Some of the other highlight moments from the Scorpion defense include Collin Kirksey pummeling 220-pound Paso back Christian Erickson, linebackers Brett Herron and Brett Triebold leading a run-stopping onslaught for six straight games and recently, Tostado reading a wound-be touchdown pass from Vines by taking his angle, stepping in front of Vines’ intended target and snatching the interception.
There’s still roadblocks awaiting the Scorpions with Calabasas, Newbury Park and Thousand Oaks on the horizon. But after the events of Oct. 9 at Ventura College, this “Camarillo is overlooked” talk can now come to a cease.
EMOTIONAL LIFT FOR PROUD EDISON (FRESNO)
Edison had been searching for an offensive identity and any kind of momentum, after the Tigers have gone from state title run to an odd 1-4 start with a struggling offense.
But at San Joaquin Memorial's stadium in the 559, the Tigers got a big lift from a finally eligible player in new quarterback Gerard Mendez.
The sophomore - who came over to Edison from Sunnyside High and had to sit out several weeks due to the CIF’s transfer rule - went 15 of 22 for 214 yards and one touchdown in the 19-7 upset against previous unbeaten San Joaquin Memorial.
Head coach Matt Johnson told Andy Boogaard of the Fresno Bee that his team finally found some hope on offense with Mendez.
“We found a little something and we found Gerard,” Johnson said to Boogaard. “He made some mistakes but he looked good doing it. I thought he controlled himself; I thought the game wasn’t too big for him, as a youngster. He has savvy and he’s going to make an impact, no doubt about it.”
SMALL SCHOOL BATTLE TO SHINE IN SANTA BARBARA
They met one year ago in Reedley and the game became a close slugfest, with the visiting Bishop Diego Cardinals winning in overtime 20-17 against Immanuel.
Now, the 6-0 Eagles are out for retribution, as Immanuel will take the three hour drive to picturesque Santa Barbara for the huge non-league showdown against undefeated Bishop Diego at La Playa Stadium on Oct. 16.
Both teams are similar not because of the religious backdrop, but both rely on pounding the football with the running game and stuffing the ground game.