Hart Indians running back Chris Clauss made impact plays all over the field in Friday night’s win over the Golden Valley Grizzlies.
Clauss punched in four touchdowns while adding a plethora of tackles at middle linebacker in Hart’s 42-9 win over the Grizzlies at College of the Canyons.
“The offensive line really stepped up, they gave me four touchdowns so I want to thank them,” Clauss said. “And Timmy (Larkins) threw the ball well and ran the ball well. He did great.”
The win was the program’s first over Golden Valley in five years.
The Indians (4-1, 1-0) wasted no time scoring, and found the end zone on their first two drives. The Grizzlies (2-4, 0-2) did a great job in the trenches and gave Clauss trouble on the ground.
Larkins countered and went to one of California’s receiving yard leaders, Shawn Irwin. The receiver consistently got open and racked up all 107 of his receiving yards in the first half.
Clauss did the rest and punched in two scores on the ground and two through the air. The senior back finished with 108 yards of offense mostly through the air.
Larkins finished the night 19-for-28 with 265 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, shaking off his four-pick night two weeks ago on the very same field.
Hart’s defense also played solid, holding Golden Valley without a first down until the second quarter.
“(Golden Valley) likes to run the ball,” said Hart coach Rick Herrington. “They put double tight ends in there and try and pound you a little bit, so we wanted to make sure we stop that and we did other than one run. We made one mistake.”
The Grizzlies finally broke out of their first down dry spell on a 48-yard rush from senior Isaiah Orozco. The team still couldn’t find the end zone but settled for a field goal later in the drive. Senior Alex Risdon absolutely drilled a long 39-yard field goal to get the Grizzlies on the board midway through the second quarter,
Golden Valley’s play of the day came early in the fourth quarter as quarterback Brandon Contreras hit his streaking receiver Sean Gomez for a 78-yard touchdown reception.
Clauss scored his fourth touchdown on the Indians’ first drive of the second half, and punched in a 3-yard rushing score.
“(Clauss) is so involved with the game offensive and defensively, so nothing really bothers him,” Herrington. “He just worries about his job and then help on defense, helping offense. He’s worried about his job and he runs the ball hard. He does a good job running the ball.”
Hart had multiple highlight plays outside of Clauss’ near baker’s dozen. Larkins hit receiver Parker Maxwell, who split through double coverage and found the end zone on a 71-yard touchdown.
Indians senior defensive back Ian Edwards added his first interception of the year to set up the Indians on another scoring drive.
Hart scorched off their league bye, something the Indians struggled with last year. The team took its week off and had some very productive practices.
“They were excited to play, which is good for the first league game and after having a week off,” Herrington said. “We had two great weeks of practice. We stayed focused the whole two weeks.”
Golden Valley was the only Foothill League team the senior gunslinger Larkins had yet to knock off. However, Friday’s blowout made up for those two losses and a tie.
The Indians will head on the road to face West Ranch on Friday at Valencia High School. Golden Valley will look to retool in its home game with the Vikings on Friday.
“We’re gonna focus on West Ranch for next week, then have a good week of practice and we’re going to destroy them too.”
Both games are slated for 7 p.m.