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Hart skins Wolfpack

QB Souza silences his critics – for now at least

Posted: October 3, 2008 10:47 p.m.
Updated: December 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Hart receiver Blake Borland makes a catch near the sidelines as Claremont's Manny Roman prepares to make the tackle Friday at Cougar Stadium on the College of the Canyons campus.

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Three games into their season, many questions remained unanswered for the Hart Indians.

Friday night against Claremont, Hart (2-2) went to the wire to prove they have what it takes to remain competitive in the Foothill League with a 14-7 victory.

Senior quarterback Spenser Souza may have silenced his critics, showing why he deserves to be in the driver's seat of a potentially explosive offense.

Throwing for 194 yards and rushing for 93 more, Souza led the Indians on long drives, coming up with key completions and long runs.

Before getting the ball back for the final time, the Indians averaged ten plays per drive.

Equally impressive was the play of junior running back Jake Stephens, filling in for the injured Demitri Diamond.

Amassing 127 yards on the ground and both of the Indians' touchdowns, Stephens' hard running wore down the Wolfpack's defense all night.

Hart's defense remained tough the entire game, keeping pressure up front. Notable was the play of the 6-2, 255-pound senior lineman, Adam Bouyer who was all over the field, making key tackles behind the line of scrimmage and opening up holes on offense.

Claremont quarterback Woody Cash was held to 4-for-14 passing for only 64 yards.

The first half of the game was a defensive struggle until the final minutes of the second quarter, when running back Tyler Singleton of Claremont (2-3) capped off a nine-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown leap over the Hart defense.

Singleton, a 5-11, 201-pound junior, came into the game averaging 164.8 yards per game (659 on the season), but was held to 44 rushing yards off 15 carries in the first half.

Getting the ball back with about a minute and a half left before the intermission, Souza led the Indians down the field with completions of 17 and 36 yards to junior wide receiver, Ty MacArthur.

With 11 seconds to go, Stephens took the ball up the middle for the 12-yard equalizer. Stephens finished the first half with 76 yards on the ground.

Hart took their first lead of the game with 10:25 in the fourth quarter, when Stephens scored his second touchdown of the game from one yard out.

Souza again led his team down the field and was on the verge of putting the game away from the 3-yard line when Claremont's Tanner Kuramata took the signal caller's pass 70 yards the other direction to the Hart 23-yard line.

The interception - the first turnover of the game - gave the Wolfpack new life, turning Hart fans' joy to fear.

Claremont twice had big plays called back due to holding on their final drive of the game, including a 23-yard touchdown run by Singleton.

Hart had to remain tough and hold Claremont deep in their own territory in order to earn the win.

Though winless through all of last year, Claremont began to turn things around this year, coming into the game 2-2 in head coach Terrance Lynch's first season with the Wolfpack.

The victory evened up the Indians' record and gave them a lot of momentum heading into the final week of non-league play.

Next week, the Indians travel to Loyola to face the Cubs before coming home to host Saugus in the first week of league games.

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