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Prep football: Victory slips away from Indians

In the night’s marquee matchup, Hart allows late touchdown, misses short field goal in loss

Posted: September 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.

LAS FLORES — Tesoro High did all it could to give Hart a victory in the Indians’ season opener at Tesoro High Friday. But the Indians just wouldn’t accept the victory.

Hart missed a 22-yard field goal attempt that would have given it a touchdown lead midway through the fourth quarter and wilted against the Titans’ run game late in a 10-7 loss.

“It was exactly the opposite of what I thought it would be. I thought it would be a shootout,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington. “But I’m so upset. I’m disappointed in the offense.”

Hart (0-1 and ranked first in the Northern Division) managed 181 yards on 45 plays and turned the ball over twice. But the Indians’ veteran offensive line struggled to protect sophomore quarterback Brady White throughout the game.

The much-heralded sophomore was sacked five times in the game, including twice by Titans defensive lineman Chazz Roberts. Roberts also recovered a fumble.

Herrington singled out the offensive line when describing his displeasure with his offense.

White was 11-of-19 for 129 yards and an interception, but showed a natural feel for the position.

Tesoro (2-0 and ranked fifth in the Pac-5 Division) struck first in the game with a 35-yard field goal on the opening drive by Zach Schottenfeld.

Hart answered late in the quarter when Connor Wingenroth scored on a 23-yard quarterback keeper with 1:16 to play to give the Indians a 7-3 lead.

Wingenroth, last year’s starter at quarterback, started at running back on Friday, but played quarterback periodically so he could run. He finished with 79 yards on 15 carries.

But the game was sloppy throughout. Referees flagged both teams a combined 22 times for 200 yards. Tesoro was hit for 12 penalties for 120 yards. It constantly killed any momentum the Titans might have gained.

On top of that, Tesoro turned the ball over three times in the first half.

Hart linebacker Jonathan Gonzalez stripped quarterback Matt Adam late in the first quarter and Austin Murillo intercepted one of his second quarter passes.

Hart scored the touchdown after the strip, but couldn’t take advantage of the other miscues.

Credit Tesoro’s defense, because it limited Hart’s projected big-play ability.

Hart’s defense also had a big game.

The Indians stopped Tesoro’s drive inside their 10-yard line late in the third quarter and refused to let the Titans in the end zone.

That was until late in the fourth quarter.

White’s first pass of the fourth quarter was intercepted at the Tesoro 18.

The Hart defense held, and the Indians drove again into Titans territory.

That set up a 22-yard field goal attempt by Zachary Kret, who hooked it right.

Then the Titans running game, which started to build momentum in the third quarter, turned it on.

Tesoro ran 12 times in a 13-play drive that went from 6:33 in the fourth quarter to 1:33. The 80-yard drive culminated in a Parker Wells 2-yard touchdown to give the Titans the 10-7 lead.

Wells ran the ball nine times for 57 yards, Nate Tago had 25 carries for 119 yards and Adam ran the ball 14 times for 124 yards.

“They pretty much played better than us,” said Tesoro head coach Brian Barnes. “In the end, we went with what we do — ground and pound.”

Hart didn’t have an answer. On fourth-and-17 from their own 13 with 40 seconds to play, White completed to Wes Fitzpatrick for 16 yards.

It was lost opportunity.


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