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Hart football endures West Ranch

Hart foils West Ranch’s late comeback attempt to stay undefeated on season

Posted: October 11, 2013 10:33 p.m.
Updated: October 11, 2013 10:33 p.m.

Hart's Trent Irwin (4) pulls in a pass and runs in for a touchdown as West Ranch defender Chad Luepke defends on the play Friday night at Valencia High School.

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The Hart Indians couldn’t quite deliver a knockout punch.

But even against a resilient West Ranch team that didn’t want to go away, Hart came out with the unanimous decision, winning 38-24 on Friday night in both teams’ Foothill League openers at Valencia High School.

“It was very relieving to get out of there with the victory,” said Hart lineman Blake Porter, who had four of Hart’s five sacks in the game.

Even so, the Indians (6-0 overall, 1-0 Foothill League) remain undefeated.

Hart quarterback Brady White completed 20-of-34 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns. All three touchdowns were in the first half and all to Trent Irwin.

White also ran for a 12-yard score in the second half.

Early in the game, the Hart offense did what it has done most of the season by running the hurry-up offense with efficiency and precision. And it did so without its leading offensive producer in Connor Wingenroth, who missed the game with a shoulder injury.

Fortunately for Hart, running back Joey Bilbo ran for 99 yards and a touchdown on 17 rushes in Wingenroth’s place.

Hart put up 38 unanswered points to take a 38-7 lead early in the third quarter.

White threw for scores of 28, 7 and 50 yards to Irwin, who had all six of his catches for 138 yards before halftime.

“They made a couple of big plays,” said West Ranch head coach Jan Miller of Hart. “We knew they would get them. They’re that type of team. We know that.”

But the Wildcats (4-2, 0-1) picked off White twice in the fourth quarter, one of which was returned by Alex Rassool 18 yards for a touchdown.

That cut Hart’s lead to 38-17 and a later interception by Bronson Feuer set up a 6-yard Christian Parrish touchdown catch to set the final score at 38-24 with 3:50 to play.

“We’ve got to close out games,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington.

Prior to the fourth quarter surge, the Wildcats were stopped cold most of the game after Parrish ran for 63 yards on the first play of the game to set up his 2-yard scoring plunge on the following play.

West Ranch led 7-0 after that, but Parrish was limited the rest of the game. He finished with 78 yards on 14 carries.

Hart’s defensive pressure up the middle also made it particularly difficult for West Ranch quarterback Chase Killingsworth to get things going.

“Blake Porter was awesome tonight,” Herrington said. “He was all over the quarterback.”

In the end, Killingsworth finished 19-of-32 for 145 yards and the one scoring pass.

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