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Tornadoes look to turn tide at home

Mountain View, the last team Hoover beat, comes into Moyse to round out nonleague slate for struggling squad.

September 21, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

The following are previews of the area's upcoming high school football games this week.

Pacific League play is little more than a week away and there's nothing the Hoover High football team would like more than to get a win going into the truly meaningful portion of its season, if for no other reason than a simple morale boost.

"The confidence thing for us is huge right now," said first-year Tornadoes Coach Andrew Policky, whose team is 0-2 to start the year and winless in its last nine going back to the third week of last season when it beat the very same Vikings, 45-38, that it will face today at 7 p.m. at Moyse Field. "That's something that we're seriously lacking. That part of it is our big focus this week and moving forward this season — how do we get our kids to believe that they can be successful?"

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Another win over the Vikings (2-1) would certainly be a start, although the Tornadoes have a starkly different look than the version that rung up 45 points in last year's meeting, having scored just 12 combined points over the first two weeks in losses to Glendale and South Pasadena.

"I think we're just trying to figure out an identity for ourselves right now," said Policky, who, upon taking over for former Coach Chris Long in May, installed a West Coast offense in place of the spread formation favored by his predecessor. "Our offense is almost like a blank slate the way that it's set up, we can do a lot of different things out of it. We just have to figure out how it's best suited to our kids and start to tailor that and pare it down. If we can just pare it down and find some things that we can hang our hat on and that we're good at and we can build off of that."

Defensively, the Tornadoes have not fared well against run-heavy teams. South Pasadena rolled up 289 rushing yards in a 39-6 win on Thursday and now, after facing two wing T teams in Glendale and South Pasadena, the field will get even more condensed when Hoover goes up against the double-wing T of the Vikings.

"It's different from anything else that we see, so it's tough to simulate in practice, but we've seen it before, so that's good for us," Policky said. "Even the wing T teams that we've seen like Glendale and South Pas leading up to this are way different than we're going to see this week.

"They're going to try to grind it out and we just have to step up to the challenge and be physical."

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