Hart High was not about to blow a fourth-quarter lead for the second straight week--even if it looked like the Indians were trying to do just that.
"We tried real hard," Hart Coach Rick Scott said jokingly. "But we'll take the win and get out of town."
Hart left Arroyo on Thursday night with a 13-7 win, but the Indians couldn't escape with a victory until defensive end Jeff Trogan sacked Arroyo quarterback Willie Renya on Hart's 19-yard line on a fourth-and-11 play with 14 seconds left in the game.
Last week Hart (2-1) blew a 14-7 fourth-quarter lead and lost to Mission Viejo, 31-14. After failing to score in the second half for the second straight week, Hart appeared headed for another loss.
Renya, who completed 12 of 20 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown, scrambled for 48 yards rushing, but when he rolled to his left in the final seconds, Trogan pulled him down by the shirt.
On its final drive of the night, Arroyo marched from its own 35 to the Hart 19 in 10 plays. Arroyo, the defending Southeastern Conference champion, converted a fourth-and-1 at the Hart 36 when tailback Jason MacLellan ran off tackle for three yards. Renya connected with Javier Holguin on a 15-yard crossing pattern for a first down at the 18. In three plays, Arroyo lost one yard before Trogan made the defensive play of the game.
The Hart defense stopped Arroyo (1-2) three times in the second half on fourth down in Hart territory.
Hart sophomore tailback Howard Blackwell, making his first start in place of injured Craig Whitten, led all ballcarriers with 124 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.
Hart quarterback Darren Renfro, the leading passer in the Valley area, completed 8 of 15 for 143 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Joe DeSchryver had five catches for 116 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown reception.
Hart took the opening kickoff and drove 81 yards in 12 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Blackwell accounted for 35 yards rushing on the drive, including a 13-yard dash into the end zone.
Arroyo tied the score in the first quarter when Renya connected with Marc Chavarria on a 21-yard scoring pass. Chavarria made a diving catch in the corner of the end zone behind defensive back Todd Daniels.
In the second quarter, Renfro hit DeSchryver with a 61-yard touchdown pass. DeSchryver made a one-handed grab between two defenders and raced untouched into the end zone for a 13-7 halftime lead. H--Blackwell 13 run (Harper kick)
A--Chavarria 21 pass from Renya (Chavez kick)
H--DeSchryver 61 pass from Renfro (kick failed)