By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
For The Signal
The Hart Indians (2-6, 1-2) completed the comeback over Valencia (3-4, 1-2) scoring 14 unanswered points in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime for the 27-21 win.
Hart quarterback Tim Larkins hit running back Daniel Delgado for the game-winning touchdown in overtime and, although the extra point was blocked, Hart’s defense held strong.
But the play of the game would come on a two-point conversion following Larkins’ second touchdown strike to Matt Quintanar. The sophomore tripped after the snap and somehow managed to find his brother senior Daniel Larkins to tie the game at 21 with 1:57 left in regulation.
“This has been a dream for me,” said Tim Larkins. “I’ve been with Hart like my whole life. My brother played here. Coming out here, starting my sophomore year and being able to beat them with my brother, it’s a dream. It’s like the best thing that could ever happen.”
Larkins finished with three touchdowns and the two-point conversion of his life.
Hart would score on their opening drive as the Larkins-to-Larkins connection was on display for a 20-yard touchdown reception.
There were a series of mistakes forced in the first quarter, headlined by Hart defensive end Cole Spivey recovering a Valencia fumble for a touchdown.
The Vikings defense sparked the team and recovered a Hart fumble inside the Hart 10-yard line. Valencia was still turned over downs as all four plays were not enough to get the six points.
Valencia finally got the passing going midway through the second and capped off the drive with a 3-yard run by Caleb Yang. The Vikings gripped the momentum and took the lead off their first trick play of the night.
Valencia running back Dylan Kelly faked the rush and hit wide receiver Duhron Goodman for a 53-yard touchdown reception.
With backup quarterback Trey Erickson still at the helm for Valencia, Hart was on a mission to stop the run game and give the Viking passing game nothing.
The Hart defense would finish with two sacks, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown.
“We made a couple of key mistakes that let them to get back in the game,” said Hart defensive coordinator David Padilla. “But they never stopped. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys. They’re the grittiest group of guys I’ve had in a long time.”
Penalties haunted Valencia all night Including four on Hart’s final drive in the fourth quarter.
A false start would push the Vikings back in their overtime drive and Hart gave the offense nothing. Vikings wide receiver Dylan Kelly who was a hero earlier with a 53-yard touchdown pass in the game would drop a wide open pass in overtime to stunt the offense.
Kelly has scored a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown in his last two games.
“We forced the run and stopped the run,” said Padilla. “(Erickson) got a couple passes through but when it came down to it and we really had to stop them, the guys stepped up.”
Both teams are now 1-2 in Foothill League play. Hart will head to Canyon at 7 p.m. next Friday, and Valencia will host Golden Valley.