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Hart attack

Indians shoot down Cowboys in epic battle

Posted: October 24, 2008 10:11 p.m.
Updated: December 26, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Canyon High running back Shane Habberstad, right, tries to elude a tackle from linebacker Jake Stephens of Hart during first quarter action Friday evening at the Colleges of the Canyons.

 

Drama.

Passion.

Intensity.

In rivalry games anything can happen, and Friday night on the campus of College of the Canyons fans from Hart and Canyon were treated to yet another classic matchup.

In only the second week of league play, the nationally recognized rivalry between the Cowboys and Indians - named this week's Great American Rivalry Series Game - may prove to produce the Foothill League's third and final playoff team.

For Hart, it is a new beginning.

A hard-fought second half and embattled fourth quarter saw the men in black sustain a barrage from a high-powered offense and controversial calls, coming out on top 29-27 and keep their season alive.

"We just did a great job defensively, because that's where we know we needed to work," said Hart senior quarterback Spenser Souza. "We came out and played hard-nose football on defense and they gave us the opportunity to win the game on offense. They had an amazing four down stand in the fourth quarter. They blew me out of the water tonight. It was unbelievable."

Specifically, Ty MacArthur.

MacArthur's defensive plays proved to be the difference in game, blocking an extra point in the first quarter and a field goal in the third.

"We started him off at corner then we moved him back to the strong safety spot," said Hart head coach Mike Herrington. "He just had an excellent game."

However, the Cowboys would have their opportunity to steal the show.

With the game in the closing minutes, Canyon awaited the kickoff.

Senior wide receiver Chris Rivas received the ball, looked downfield and started running.

Weaving in and out of Hart defenders, the wide receiver took the ball down to the Indians' 17-yard line.

Two plays later, Adamczyk hit wide receiver Kevin Voogt from 14 yards out, cutting the lead to 2 points.
Adamczyk finished the night with 191 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Desperately needing the ball back, the Cowboys defense forced the punt on the ensuing drive.

One second down, Adamczyk's intended pass landed in the arms of MacArthur, however, Canyon was able to retain possession on what was deemed defensive pass interference, plus 15 yards from the spot of the foul.

Three plays later, after completing a pass to junior wide receiver Shane Habberstad, Hart forced the fumble, dramatically getting the ball back with just over a minute to play.

After converting a crucial third down, players and fans alike celebrated as the clock ticked down to zeroes.

"The change in the defense tonight came from a lot more heart," Souza said. "We were fighting for our playoff lives here. We knew this game was going to be essential if we wanted to go to the next level."

Souza finished the night with 214 yards and two TDs passing, plus one rushing score.

After watching his team struggle through the first part of the season, emotional leader and senior running back Demitri Diamond agreed with Souza, seeing the difference in the team.

"Just playing with attitude, playing with heart," said Diamond. "We have the talent and we have the skill sets. We've made some mistakes in game but we need to play with heart."

Hart running back Jake Stephens, who filled in for Diamond, also had a memorable night, coming up with big plays off powerful rushes. He finished the night with 113 yards from scrimmage.

The action started right off the bat.

After recovering the onside attempt from Hart (3-4, 1-1) to start the game, Canyon marched 50 yards down the field in just over three minutes, getting on the board first following a one-yard touchdown leap by running back Geffen Camp.

The Cowboys (3-4, 0-2) defense proceeded to hold the Indians in check but on the ensuing punt, Hart capitalizing off the fumbled punt recovered by Nate Allmond.

Spenser Souza made the visitors pay when he fired a laser past outstretched Cowboy defenders and into the hands of wide receiver Ted Glasnow for the touchdown.

Souza came up with some key passes in the first two stanzas going into the break with 77 yards and a touchdown.

People may have expected an offensive shootout, but the first half would only yield a score of 13-13 after two-yard touchdown run by Charlie Cusumano for Canyon and a 9-yard dash by Diamond.

Canyon fans were waiting for sparks to fly off the arm of their quarterback Jordan Adamczyk who finished the half with 91 yards and an interception. However, the yards were hard-earned by the athletic Cowboys receiving corps led by Kevin Voogt's 42 yards and Chris Rivas' 36.

"They have an excellent passing game," Herrington noted. "We've faced the running teams the last few weeks and this team just played more into our strengths."

Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the third quarter, including an 18-yard touchdown strike from Souza to Glasnow, the second time the two connected and a 29-yard sprint by Canyon's Rivas.

Canyon is now in danger of watching their season spiral beyond repair, but Adamczyk knows what it will take.

"A team effort," Adamczyk said. "We have to work harder in practice and come out for games more fired up than we were today."

They will have their chance next week when the Cowboys host West Ranch.

Hart, still very much in the playoff hunt, will be at Valencia in a game with enormous playoff implications.

"We are going to have to win two out of our next three if we want to get it," Herrington said. "We can celebrate tonight but we have to get back to work on game plan next week."

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