By Bryanna Winner
For The Signal
In the final Foothill League game of the season, Golden Valley defeated Hart 29-28 in overtime at College of the Canyons Friday night.
“This is the first time Golden Valley has beaten Hart,” said coach Dan Kelley. “I’m excited for the kids. They played hard and they deserved it and they got it.
Golden Valley got on the board first on a three-yard run from senior Johnathan Kaelin and with the extra point blocked, the Grizzlies led 6-0 with 9:35 left in the first quarter. This was the only score of the quarter as the Indians were stuffed on defense with multiple three-and-outs.
With 7:22 left in the first half, senior Christopher Alcantar rushed it into the end zone from the 6-yard line to put the Grizzlies up 13.
The Indians came alive not long after the Alcantar touchdown to stop the Grizzlies from putting more points on the board and with just under five minutes left in the second quarter, senior Zach Johnson passed to junior Luke Madison from 12-yards out to get their tally on the board.
Halfway through the second quarter, Kaelin was seen limping off the field before coming back in plays later.
“All these kids are playing with injuries,” said Kelley. “It’s game 10 but the hearts and desire are there.”
Neither team put any points on the board but came alive in the fourth quarter. Kaelin kicked off the quarter with his second touchdown of the night with 37-yard run with 9:44 left in the game.
Hart wasn’t going to go down that easy as senior Taden Littleford ran it in from two yards out with 8:14 left before Johnson connected to senior Ashton Thomas from seven-yards out with one minute to go in the game. The Indians got the two-point conversion to tie up the game.
In overtime, Hart had the ball first and Johnson threw to Ashton again for the 15-yard touchdown to go up 28-21. Golden Valley had their last chance when they got the ball right after.
Alcantar ran it into the end zone from the one and to win the game, the Grizzlies needed to go for the two-point conversion. The Grizzlies were able to get to the end zone and win the game 29-28.
“We were so up and down this season,” said Hart coach Mike Herrington. “Valencia tough, played West Ranch tough and then for them to come out here and didn’t play as well.”
Although Hart and Golden Valley finish tied for second place in the Foothill League along with West Ranch, Golden Valley lost the coin-flip tiebreak procedure and finishes fourth in the final standings.
Hart will automatically go to the playoffs, while the Grizzlies will apply for an at-large bid.
CIF-Southern Section will release the playoff pairings Sunday at noon.