Passing game lifts Indians to road win in final preleague game
VENTURA – In a game that was supposed to be a showdown between the Hart air attack and the Ventura ground game, quarterback Nick Moore and the Indians were the only ones who showed up.
Moore completed 22 of his 34 passes for 294 yards and four touchdowns and added 49 rushing yards and a score to lead Hart to a 42-7 victory over the host Cougars.
And he did all that while sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
The Indians (4-1) grabbed the lead with 1:49 left in the first quarter and never looked back when Moore found AJ Stanley from 36 yards out.
MORE football: Valencia sees halftime lead slip away
Things snowballed from there with Moore adding another three touchdowns before the half. The first was a 36-yard scramble on a broken play. The second on a 3-yard pass to Jack Sheehee.
The final, and most impressive, was a 42-yard Hail Mary that was tipped in the end zone and grabbed one-handed by Sheehe, giving the Indians a 28-0 lead going into the half.
“I was on the ground so I had a bad view of that last one before the half but the receiver made a great play,” said Moore. “A tip is almost what you want there and that gave us a ton of momentum going into halftime.”
Moore added one more touchdown throw, 9 yards to running back Chase Garcia, with six minutes to go in the third quarter to call it a night.
Daniel Madison led the Indians in receiving with 104 yards on eight catches. Garcia was right behind him with 94 yards and two scores on seven catches. He also added 31 yards on the ground.
In total, the Indians racked up 374 yards of offense.
Things weren’t nearly as smooth for the Cougars.
Ventura (4-2), led by running back Broc Mortensen, had rushed for 178 yards and three scores in last year’s meeting between the teams, but this year was the exact opposite.
Hart held Mortensen to a mere 24 yards on 20 rushing attempts. Ventura’s passing attack was stifled as well with quarterback Jack Gutierrez completing 13 of his 25 attempts for 120 yards with an interception and a touchdown.
The lone score for Ventura came on a 7-yard completion from Gutierrez to Hector Soltero with six minutes to go in the game.
“We didn’t make too many mistakes in any phase of the game so I’m really happy with the way the guys came out and played,” said Indians coach Mike Herrington. “We looked at last year’s film, and we emphasized that we can’t give up the big play. We were disciplined against the run and our defense came up big.”
Hart now turns its full attention to next Friday’s Foothill League opener at Valencia High against the Vikings.