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Eye on the prize

Hart secures final CIF playoff spo

Posted: November 14, 2008 10:49 p.m.
Updated: November 15, 2008 4:55 a.m.
 
Catch, run and return.

Hart running back Demitri Diamond performed what seemed to be football's version of the cycle.

Diamond scored three times for the Indians as Hart secured a spot in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs with a 47-0 rout of Golden Valley on Friday night at Harry Welch Stadium.

Diamond opened the second half scoring on a 99-yard kickoff return - his previous scores were on runs of 15 and 39 yards.

"The line did a great job at blocking, definitely one of the best blocking games I have seen," Diamond said. "I was just running out there."

Diamond finished the contest with 186 yards on six carries. He also made two interceptions as a linebacker.

Hart (5-5, 3-2) opened its scoring on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Spenser Souza to Ty MacArthur with 8:55 left in the first quarter.

It was an all-Indians show from there out. Hart would score two more times in the first quarter, twice in the second and once in the third and fourth quarters.

The Indians preserved the shutout with an interception with less than 10 seconds left in the game.

Now Hart its shifts focus to the playoffs. Granted, the matchup with Golden Valley (3-7, 0-5) wasn't exactly the type of competition Hart will face in the playoffs, but the team's turnaround from the beginning of the season shows its determination to make a run in the postseason.

"When we fully made the commitment to this team as a whole, we talked about what we wanted from this season and what we wanted to do with it, and we're ready to go."I know they say better late than never. It was a common consensus that we wanted to take it all the way. There was never any doubt in our minds that we weren't a great team and we can compete with the best. We just needed to pull it together and have confidence in one another and play as a team, and I think we are finally doing that and things are looking up," Souza said.

Souza finished Friday's matchup 9-of-15 for 136 yards. He rushed for 101 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Hart head coach Mike Herrington said the turning point for the team came after its win over Canyon on Oct. 24. Many skeptics did not foresee the Indians making it to the postseason after a tumultuous season start.

But Herrington is right back where he is used to being - a fresh start in the postseason.

"We're playing a little bit better at the end of the season, and I think we have a little bit more confidence," he said. "Everyone starts fresh, and we'll see what happens and we've played some good teams in our league and that will prepare us for the playoffs."

By the second half of Friday's contest, Herrington brought in his second team to close things out.

Despite finishing winless in the Foothill League for the third straight season, Golden Valley head coach Steve Pinkston remains optimistic about his team's progression.

"It's a hard climb, especially in the Foothill League," Pinkston said. "Overall as a program we've made progress big picture wise. We're getting closer every year.I feel like we did some good things this year in league. We were in games longer than we've been in the past. We just have to be fired on all cylinders at the same time. If we can get some consistency on both sides of the ball, I think we'll be right there."

The Grizzlies' attempts to make noise in Friday's contest were met by a formidable Hart offense and defense.

"It's a process and I knew it would be a few years before we were in the thick of things in the league," Pinkston said. "I think next year we'll be a lot closer. There will be some games that will be right down to the fourth quarter and if the ball bounces our way we'll be there to capitalize on it."

wmcneal@the-signal.com


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