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Foothill football: Hart has to fight off GV

Grizzlies give Indians more of a battle than was expected

Posted: October 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 15, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Hart wide receiver Riley Stauffer (11) tries to break the tackle of Golden Valley’s Sean O’Kelley (24) and Jake Keller (20) on Friday night at College of the Canyons.

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The Hart High football team bent plenty in its game against Golden Valley on Friday night at College of the Canyons, but it never broke.

The Indians routinely fought back against the Grizzlies, giving up big plays to Golden Valley before regrouping to force punts and field goal attempts in a 28-3 Hart win.

After a mediocre first-half by Hart standards that saw the Indians enter the locker room up 14-3, Hart (5-1, 1-0) put sophomore Connor Wingenroth in at quarterback in place of senior Cory Mayes, who had played the entire first half.

The two had rotated through the first four games of the season before Mayes appeared to solidify the starting position in Hart’s week five victory over Birmingham.

“(I put him in) to get a little spark. We were bogging down on offense,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington.

To start the third quarter, Wingenroth orchestrated an eight-play drive that culminated in a 35-yard touchdown pass to Riley Stauffer, who broke a tackle at the 15-yard line to give the Indians a 21-3 lead with 5:10 remaining in the third quarter.

Wingenroth finished the game 4-of-4 for 100 yards and a touchdown, including 42 rushing yards on five carries.

“Playing everywhere is fun,” said Wingenroth, who is expected to compete for the starting quarterback position this week. “I like more time on the field.”

Hart running back Dylan Edwards added 99 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown that gave the Indians the final tally.

It wasn’t all Hart, though, as Golden Valley (1-5, 0-1) had plenty of opportunities to take momentum throughout the first three quarters.

After the Grizzlies’ Sean O’Kelley intercepted a pass by Mayes to stop a six-play drive at the Golden Valley 40-yard line to start the game, the Grizzlies gained a quick nine yards to set up third-and-1.

Rather than run the ball again, quarterback Reid Soliman dropped back for a pass and was stuffed for a 5-yard loss.

And that was the story of the game for Golden Valley — opportunity after opportunity not capitalized on.

Hart turned the stop into a 13-play, 79-yard touchdown drive to give the Indians an early 7-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

Mayes would add another touchdown run on the next possession and finish the game with 99 yards passing on 10-of-21 attempts including three interceptions and two rushing touchdowns.

For Golden Valley, a team still looking for its first Foothill League win in school history, the game plan was simple: hand the ball to running back Earl Johnson and hope for the best.

Johnson finished the game with 110 yards rushing on 20 carries, including a 37-yard run that accounted for the team’s first, first down of the game late in the second quarter.

That set up a 37-yard field goal by Michael Richardson to put Golden Valley on the board with 2:31 remaining in the first half.

Soliman did his best to orchestrate a comeback, throwing for 137 yards on 11-of-23 attempts, but the Indians defense continually held the Grizzlies in check.

With the win, the Indians now sit in the same position they found themselves in last season, with five wins after defeating Golden Valley in the first week of Foothill League play.

Hart will have an opportunity to best that performance next week against Saugus at COC on Friday.

For Golden Valley, the quest for a first Foothill League victory continues with a matchup against West Ranch Friday at Canyon High.


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