|Camarillo slot receiver/return man Ryan Muscarella should see plenty of touches as the Scorpions go for regular season perfection, as 9-0 Cam takes on upset-minded Royal of Simi Valley on Friday, Nov. 6 (photo by Lorenzo Reyna).|
Camarillo High football has won in three ways: blowout wins, defensive battles and last second heroics.
Now, the 9-0 Scorpions are one victory away from regular season perfection.
Standing in the way is 4-5 Royal of Simi Valley. The Highlanders have lost four of their last five games, but all five losses have been by a margin of 14 points or less.
Here’s a breakdown:
ABOUT THE SCORPIONS: Jake Constantine, the Scorpion front line and Frankie Tostado ensured that Camarillo wasn’t going to go down in defeat during the final seconds of the Oct. 30 road game at Thousand Oaks.
Constantine, from the Lancers’ 35-yard line and with excellent protection from his front five, lobbed an air ball that hung in the air for five seconds before falling into the palms of a double covered Tostado, who came down with the catch and sealed the heart-pounding 49-45 victory.
Tostado is one of four weapons at Constantine’s disposal in the air attack. Colby Stevens helped provide some clutch catches during the final drive of the TO game. Tight end Desmond Clancy and slot receiver Ryan Muscarella have stretched the field with the ball in their hands all season long as well.
Camarillo has won the last two games without top rusher Isaiah Otis, who’s expected to return from a knee injury for the playoffs but has been successfully replaced by Aaron Lamb, who has 215 yards and four touchdowns in the last two games.
Defensively, Camarillo has been without top tackler Brett Triebold, but Brett Herron and Collin Kirksey picks up the slack at linebacker. Tostado serves as Camarillo’s shutdown ace and was credited for limiting Nevada commit Kevin Howell’s big plays last week.
ABOUT THE HIGHLANDERS: Like the Scorps, Royal prefers to do its damage in the sky, with a passing attack that’s averaging 249.7 yards per game.
Quarterback Matt Sciumbato drives the offense. The senior has 2,247 yards, 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions through nine games. His best outing was a 440-yard, five touchdown evening in the 44-37 loss to Newbury Park last week.
Royal has four receivers with 22 catches or more and a combined 16 touchdowns. Ryan Pench is the go-to-guy with 35 catches, 626 yards and seven touchdowns; all team highs. Cesar Magdaleno is second on the Highlanders with 33 receptions, 480 yards and three scores.
Defensively, 6-foot-2, 165-pound Ryan Hoffenberg is Royal’s top playmaker with five interceptions.
BEST MATCHUP: Frankie Tostado versus Ryan Hoffenberg. These two towers will likely cross paths on both sides of the ball, with one trying to take the ball from the other.
DON’T SLEEP ON: Aaron Lamb. He may not have Otis’ breakaway speed, but Lamb brings power and a hard-nosed mentality to the Scorpion offense.
GAME INFORMATION: Kickoff is 7 p.m. It’s also the Scorps’ senior night and Homecoming game.