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Indians roll into the playoffs

Posted: November 13, 2009 11:41 p.m.
Updated: November 14, 2009 4:30 a.m.
 
The Hart football team looked prolific for a second week in a row, clinching second place in the Foothill League with a 42-7 win over Golden Valley on Friday.

But there was nothing second rate about the Hart’s first-half performance at Cougar Stadium.

The Indians cashed in on their first five drives with Hart quarterback C.J. Reyes carving up the Golden Valley secondary by going 8-of-10 for passing with 189 yards and three touchdowns before the break.

It was another strong offensive showing for a Hart team that won 43-26 against West Ranch last Friday.   

“I’m just trying to learn and get better each game,” Reyes said afterward. He added the offense’s potency of late has given the team more confidence for the playoffs.

“It helps a lot just to get the momentum,” he said. “I’m surrounded by a lot of great players, and it helps to know that everyone knows their role and how to execute.”

Da’jon Hairston and Jake Stephens added rushing scores, as Hart (7-3, 4-1) was able to do whatever it wanted at the line of scrimmage while taking a 35-0 first-half lead.

Stephens finished with 87 rushing yards on 17 carries and two scores.

“It went as planned, and we were able to execute and do some things on offense and play good defense,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington.

The Grizzlies (0-10, 0-5) finished a struggling season with improvements on offense, but with little to show for it in terms of points.

Golden Valley took several chances with mixed results and seemed to have trouble capitalizing even when it got a rare break.

Golden Valley head coach Andy Campbell said his team was pulling out all the stops to get any advantage it could.

“We’re oh-for. We’re not getting a lot of breaks, so yeah, we’re trying to go for it,” Campbell said of a couple onside kick attempts and a couple decisions to go for it on fourth down. “We’re not getting any good luck coming our way, so we were trying to make our own luck. What did we have to lose? Absolutely nothing.”

Facing a 21-0 deficit, confusion on the field left the chains reading third down when it was really fourth-and-2 on the Grizzlies’ 28-yard line.

A quick snap allowed Golden Valley running back Jeff Coprich to notch the team’s only first down of the half on a 2-yard run. But three plays later, the drive was stopped by Hart’s defense.

On the ensuing punt, a poor kick by the Grizzlies bounced off the foot of an Indians defender and Golden Valley retained possession.

But three plays later, Hart’s defense made another stop.

It was emblematic of a hard-fought first season for Campbell.    

Between injuries, departures and a winless year, Campbell has had about as rough a rookie season as it gets, but felt he had a lot to move forward with.

“I’ve learned more from this season of football than I have in 20 previous. Seven of the 10 teams we played made it to the playoffs, so we saw a lot of what we need to do,” Campbell said.

Coprich was one of the bright spots for the Grizzlies on offense.

After Stephens scored his second touchdown on a three-yard run, Coprich helped lead Golden Valley’s only scoring drive of the game midway through the fourth quarter.

After a pair of 16-yard runs by Coprich, Golden Valley quarterback Reid Soliman snuck into the end zone on a keeper to make it 42-7.
Coprich, a sophomore, also tallied all of his team’s first downs en rout to a 112-yard rushing effort on 21 carries.

The Indians will find out Sunday who they will be playing in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs.

As the Foothill League’s second-seeded team, Herrington said the team has a 50-50 chance at a home game next Friday.

“Our guys know they haven’t played the best football they’re capable of,” Herrington said. “And I think they’re capable of a lot better. We’re playing good but not our best.”

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