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How do you mend a broken Hart?

Team searching for answers after falling to Westlake’s backup QB

Posted: September 26, 2008 11:59 p.m.
Updated: November 28, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Hart QB Spenser Souza throws in an earlier contest. Against Westlake he passed for 172 yards and ran for two scores, but it wasn't enough.

Hart's Spencer Souza tried to do it all himself.

Unfortunately, he was outshined by Westlake's backup quarterback, as the Indians lost to the Warriors, 42-20, in a non-league game Friday at Thousand Oaks.

Nick Isham, who normally walks the sidelines for Westlake as Ben Conlin runs the offense, was asked to take over after Conlin went down with a right shoulder injury at the end of the first quarter.

"I fell on it awkward," Conlin said after the game. "I didn't feel anything at first, but then it started to stiffen up and I couldn't even throw five yards."

He was immediately replaced by Isham after coaches speculated he suffered from a broken collar bone.

The injury occurred with three second remaining in the first quarter, when the Hart defense forced him to fumble on the Warriors' second offensive series of the game.

The sophomore backup quarterback was spectacular for Westlake, as he passed for 147 yards on 15-19 passing, tossing two touchdown passes and running for another. He also rushed for 65 yards.

"I'm just doing what I am supposed to do," Isham said. "I've been in this situation before. I felt very comfortable out there."

Hart did not feel quite so comfortable. After the Indians initial drive lasted more than seven minutes, Warrior defensive back Adrian Muguerza intercepted a tipped pass inside the red zone and returned the pick 83 yards.

The interception set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Warrior running back Tavlor Mowry, giving Westlake an early 7-0 lead.

Only scoring 22 points in its first two games, Hart (1-2) was unable to recover after the touchdown, despite a Souza touchdown halfway through the second quarter that tied the game at 7.

Then, Isham started to get comfortable, leading the Warriors (2-1) downfield for 21 unanswered points to take a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter.

Souza, who rushed for 57 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, cut the Warrior lead to 28-13 on a quarterback keeper with 3:54 remaining in the third quarter.

But Isham responded with touchdown tosses on consecutive possessions, extending the Warriors lead to 42-13.

Hart would find the end zone one more time when Brendan Cox intercepted a pass by Westlake's third-stringer for a 30-yard touchdown return with 1:28 remaining, but it was too late, as Westlake held on for a 42-20 victory.

Souza finished the game with 172 yards, one interception and two rushing touchdowns on 12-for-24 passing.

"Our defense stunk up the place," said Hart head coach Mike Herrington. "We made so many mental errors on defense and too many turnovers."

The Indians had three turnovers, including two lost fumbles (four total) and an interception. Conversely, Westlake had only one turnover.

In the all-time series, this is Westlake's fifth win; Hart won nine of 14 meetings, including a 41-16 drubbing last season at home.


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