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Valley / Ventura County Sports | HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Hart Takes a Pass at Loyola

Football: Indians will be up in the air, Cubs will get down and dirty in match of powerhouse programs tonight.


When Hart High, ranked No. 7 in the state, meets Loyola, ranked No. 9, tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Glendale High, both teams get their first real test of the season.

Hart (3-1) has been lighting up scoreboards, averaging 46 points a game against Quartz Hill, Thousand Oaks, Sylmar and Palmdale--opponents that are a combined 6-9-1. Hart won all of its games on the field, but had to forfeit a 49-13 victory over Quartz Hill in week one.

Loyola (4-0) has had a tougher schedule, but in victories over Pasadena, Mira Costa, Santa Barbara and Crenshaw, the Cubs have allowed just over six points a game. Loyola's opponents have a combined 10-6 record.

"We're not looking to light them up," said Jerry Owens, the top receiver for Hart, who set a school record with 275 receiving yards in a 31-21 loss to Loyola last season. "I expect it will be close all the way through. We know they're going to be fired up to play us, and I'm going to do my best to make sure we're fired up to play them."

Kyle Boller, Hart's quarterback, provided a glimpse into the future last season against Loyola. In relief of starter David Neill, Boller had 147 yards passing in less than four minutes, including a 79-yard touchdown to Owens.

With Boller starting this season, he has found Owens 24 times, seven for touchdowns. The completions have averaged 25 yards. Hart will need to make those types of big plays tonight if it is to come out on top.

"A lot of teams think we've played an easy schedule," Boller said. "But if we can beat [Loyola] it would really show how good we are."

Loyola will try to slow Hart by putting pressure on Boller with a tough, quick defensive line.

"We've improved every week," said Coach Steve Grady of Loyola. "We've played well enough to win, but Hart is a step up. They run that offense the best in high school. It's very hard to defend."

James Grady (426 yards in 56 carries) and Andrew Altman (175 yards in 17 carries) lead the traditional grinding Loyola offense, but quarterback Chris Peterson (32 of 55 for 491 yards) keeps defenses honest.

The visiting team has won all three meetings. Loyola won in 1995 and 1997, and Hart won, 24-10, in 1996.

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