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Hart shows it’s a long season

Indians upset Palmdale, showing they can’t be counted out early

Posted: September 12, 2009 12:09 a.m.
Updated: September 12, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hart's C.J. Reyes (25) runs the ball Friday against Palmdale at Cougar Stadium. Reyes threw for 366 yards and kicked the game-winning field goal.

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With five seconds left in a tie football game, Hart kicker C.J. Reyes lined up the biggest kick of the Indians’ still-infant football season. On his mind was only one thing, the jokes made by his holder Blake Borland.

“Blake just shook me up,” Reyes said. “He just told me some jokes and I relaxed and cleared my mind before the kick.”

Once he kicked it, the ball sailed through the uprights 32 yards down the field, giving the Indians (1-1) a 37-34 victory over Palmdale (0-1) Friday night at College of the Canyons.

The field goal came immediately after Reyes led a 64-yard drive over the last 1:20 of the fourth quarter to put the Indians in position for their first win of the season.

“I was just praying to the Lord that (Reyes) would have enough strength to make that kick,” said Hart wide receiver Ty MacArthur. “We just kept fighting and Reyes made a great kick.”

One week after falling flat in their first game of the season, partially thanks to no practice the week prior because of the Station Fire, the Indians looked like an entirely different team driving to the Falcons 4-yard line on their opening drive. Reyes promptly fumbled the ball on the next play ending the drive, however.

“I hate to use excuses but with no practice (prior to the first game) it really threw our timing off last week,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington. “We do know that two weeks in, this team doesn’t quit and we are improving each week.”

The Falcons scored on a 95-yard pass play three plays after the Reyes fumble to take a 7-0 lead and the Indians were forced to play catch-up the rest of the first half. Palmdale had more chances throughout the night to take bigger leads, but 106 yards of penalties prevented the offense from taking over the contest.

“We shot ourselves in the foot way too many times,” said Palmdale head coach Jeff Williams. “And we made (penalties) on the most untimely plays as well.”

Thanks to the penalties, Hart finally caught the Falcons and then passed them 27-19 with seven seconds to go in the first half thanks to another throw from Reyes to his favorite target of the night MacArthur.

“The line gave Reyes a ton of time and he made a heck of a throw,” MacArthur said. “I just made one move to the inside and he got it to me.”

MacArthur finished the night with 224 yards receiving and three touchdown receptions, while Reyes finished 23-of-37 with 366 yards and three touchdown tosses.

In the second half, the teams traded scores leading up to Reyes’ heroics to finish the game.

“This is the Hart team you will see the rest of the year,” Reyes said. “We are going to play hard and fight all game.”

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