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Hart offense overwhelms Saugus

Indians stay undefeated with win over Foothill League opponent

Posted: October 25, 2013 10:48 p.m.
Updated: October 25, 2013 10:48 p.m.
 

The Hart Indians knew before they could look ahead to Valencia in week 9, they had to take care of a pesky Saugus Centurions team on Friday night at College of the Canyons.

Mission accomplished.

The Hart offense sliced through the Saugus defense, and despite struggling to pull away in the first half, finally started to put points on the board in a 38-3 victory.

“In the first half we were shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Hart quarterback Brady White. “We went into the lockeroom saying ‘they can’t stop us.’ We were moving the ball well.”

The Indians (8-0 overall, 3-0 in Foothill League) were again without star running back Connor Wingenroth for the third straight game, but that didn’t seem to matter much in this one.

Backup running back Joey Bilbo found the end zone twice on 18 carries for 75 yards before leaving the game with an injury on his 4-yard touchdown run with 6:17 remaining in the game. That run gave Hart a 38-3 lead.

White picked the Centurions’ (3-4 overall, 0-3 in Foothill League) secondary apart, throwing for 377 yards on 26-of-36 attempts.

Duke commit and Hart wide receiver Davis Koppenhaver was the biggest beneficiary of White’s precision, with 122 receiving yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions.

Wide out Trent Irwin didn’t get in the end zone, but managed 132 yards on eight receptions of his own.

Despite the score, the Saugus defense put up a strong effort, particularly in the first half, as the Centurions continued to bend, but kept the Indians from running away until late in the third quarter when Bibo punched the ball in the end zone on a 4-yard run to make it 31-3 with 41 seconds remaining.

Unfortunately for Saugus, the offense couldn’t match its defensive counterpart.

“I think offensively we showed flashes of good things,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn. “But we weren’t able to get it going consistently throughout the game. It’s tough when the other team is scoring points and you aren’t scoring.”

Where Hart didn’t show any signs of let up was on defense, where linebacker Garrett Updegraft led a ball-hawking group that overwhelmed Saugus quarterback Chris Hamilton for most of the contest.

Hamilton finished the game with just 88 yards passing on 12-of-28 attempts Saugus had an opportunity to pull within a touchdown late in the first quarter down 16-0.

The Centurions moved the ball 63 yards and faced a first and goal at the 5-yard line.

But the Hart defense held, and Saugus settled for a field goal, its only points of the contest.

“That was pretty big,” Updegraft said of the stop. “To get that close and not put it in is a momentum killer.”

Now, Hart can look to the two games its fans have had circled for weeks.

The Indians host Valencia next week in a game that could decide the Foothill League title after Valencia defeated Canyon on Friday.

“That’s the league championship game next week,” White said. “They’ve been a second half team throughout the season. It’s funny, we run the same offense. Our teams are very similar. We have to put our best foot forward.”

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