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Hart hangs on against Santiago

Hart uses five-TD night from Connor Wingenroth in victory

Posted: August 30, 2013 11:39 p.m.
Updated: August 30, 2013 11:39 p.m.

CORONA — It was the best of times and the worst of times for the Hart Indians on the road at Santiago of Corona on Friday night.

What looked like a runaway Hart victory nearly turned into a loss, as the Indians’ bookended an outstanding offensive evening with sloppy mistakes in the first and fourth quarters of their 56-49 victory over the Santiago Sharks.

Hart (1-0) took a 34-7 lead with 6:39 to play in the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Connor Wingenroth — who had four touchdowns on the night — and the Indians looked firmly in control.

But things started to derail from there, as poor special teams play gave Santiago a short field to work with on the Sharks’ next four possessions — and Santiago made the Indians pay.

Quarterback Blake Barnett connected with wide receiver Jordan Huffman for touchdowns of 5, 17, 50 and 16 yards to pull Santiago within 48-35 with 7:52 left to play.

As if things weren’t bad enough on the Hart sideline, the Indians were forced to punt on the next possession after a controversial incomplete call on a would-be first-down pass from Hart quarterback Brady White to wide receiver Davis Koppenhaver right in front of the Hart bench.

On the ensuing punt, the Sharks’ Corey Larez blocked the kick and ran it into the end zone to pull Santiago within six points at 48-42.

But the Hart offense took control once again.

White, who showed a strong command of the pocket on his way to a 37-of-48 for 442 yards and three touchdown performance, led a 51-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 14-yard run by Wingenroth.

White also added two touchdowns and 57 yards on the ground.

Wingenroth continued to showcase his skill set on Friday, scoring the Indians’ final four touchdowns, as part of his 169 yards on 26 rushes for three touchdowns and 124 yards receiving on 10 catches and one touchdown.

Wide receiver Koppenhaver had a huge day for the Indians, snagging nine balls for 96 yards, and Trent Irwin had four catches for 94 yards.

Andrew MacArthur had a 10-yard touchdown reception, and Wes Fitzpatrick hauled in a 15-yard touchdown on an acrobatic catch from his back.

The highlight of the game came early in the second quarter. Hart had already fumbled the ball away in the red zone on its first two possessions and trailed 7-0 on an 87-yard run by Barnett when White appeared to be taken down for a safety on the Indians’ third chance on offense.

Instead, Wingenroth came up with it and dashed 32 yards for a first down to swing momentum back in Hart’s favor.

The Indians will be tested again on Friday when they host Chaminade at College of the Canyons at 7:30 p.m.


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