Scoring quickly and often, Hart gave Golden Valley all they could handle, defeating the Grizzlies 60-27 at Canyon High on Friday night.
The Indians, ranked No. 9 in Division 3 in the latest CIF-Southern Section rankings, began the game picking off Golden Valley’s quarterback Zack Chevalier on the third play from scrimmage as linebacker Jacob Montes jumped the pass.
“It set the tone and we didn’t relinquish the lead,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington. “Our guys kept working hard and kept putting the ball in the end zone.”
The Indians (6-4 overall, 3-2 in Foothill League) scored after three offensive plays of their own on a screen pass from quarterback Zach Johnson to receiver Drew Munoz for a 19-yard touchdown to put Hart up 7-0.
Stopping the Grizzlies on the next drive, Golden Valley (2-8, 1-4) was forced to punt.
Needing only seven plays to score on the next drive, Johnson found receiver Michael Colangelo on a bubble screen for the 7-yard touchdown.
“I had fun out there,” Colangelo said. “We came out here knowing that we had to dominate. It was my second week back from injury and I was just looking to get in the end zone and that’s exactly what I did. Zach put the ball on me and I did the rest.”
Colangelo ended the night with two touchdowns receptions.
Johnathan Kaelin answered for the Grizzlies, breaking free for a 73-yard touchdown run for Golden Valley’s first points of the game with 2:52 left in the first quarter.
Answering with a touchdown run, Hart’s running back Taden Littleford rumbled in from three yards out to give Hart at 14-point lead halfway through the second quarter.
The Grizzlies were stopped on their next two drives, resulting in a Jacob Montes 16-yard touchdown. The extra-point try was blocked, then Hart’s Aaron Rodriguez nailed a 21-yard field.
The Grizzlies turned to running back Christopher Alcantar on the next drive, running the ball on all but two of the seven plays on the drive. Going for it on 4th-and 4, Chevalier rolled out and threw a pass to Kaelin, but the pass would fall incomplete.
The Indians would need all but two plays to score, as Colangelo caught his second touchdown pass of the game from 32 yards out with 1:42 remaining.
Just before the end of the half, the Grizzlies put together a 57-yard drive scoring on a Chevalier 8-yard quarterback scramble.
At the half, Golden Valley trailed 36-12.
Hart opened up the second half with a 67-yard drive that resulted in an Aaron Rodriguez 27-yard field goal for his second of the night.
Answering with a 13-play, six minute and five-second drive, Chevalier threw a jump ball up in the direction of Kaelin, who leapt over three Hart defenders, before coming down with the ball and the score.
The touchdown was Kaelin’s second of the game, bringing the score to 39-20 in favor of Golden Valley.
Hart scored on the next two drives as Johnson scored on two 30-yard touchdown runs, bringing his touchdown total to six on the night with four passing and two running.
“We’re nothing without the line. Everything revolves around them,” Johnson said. “They had such a good game tonight. And all around as a team, we played together as a unit. This was one of the first times that we were all connected. Everyone just played incredible tonight.”
With the win, the Indians tie with Saugus for second place in the Foothill League.
“We got hit pretty early with the injury bug and it hurt us,” said Golden Valley head coach Dan Kelley. “Not in the aspect of winning or losing, but depth and it made some guys step up.
“They came out here and fought tonight and that’s the key. We made plays and we didn’t make plays. We will close out the season with our seniors and venture out into the spring and work on building another football team.”