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Hart Picks Off Another Title

Foothill League: Indians intercept four passes in first quarter, survive Matter scare in 37-6 rout of Saugus.


VALENCIA — Ring up another Foothill League championship for Hart High, even after its All-Southern quarterback got his bell rung.

The Indians tied up their 10th consecutive league title with a 37-6 rout of Saugus on Thursday night at College of the Canyons, their 48th victory in a row in league play.

"It's a great accomplishment to win one championship," said Coach Mike Herrington, who has won 53 of 54 league games in his 12 seasons. "To win 10 in a row is just unbelievable."

Hart (8-2, 5-0 in league play) intercepted passes on Saugus' first four possessions to sprint to a 28-0 first-quarter lead, but got an early scare when quarterback Kyle Matter suffered a mild concussion after getting hit on the chin while passing.

Checking to see if the Stanford-bound student with a 4.5 grade-point average was OK, Hart coaches asked Matter to recite the Pythagorean theorem. When Matter answered correctly, he was sent back out on the field.

But with a 31-0 halftime lead, there was little reason for him return, so he yielded to backup Matt Moore.

Moore, a junior, showed flashes of brilliance, completing seven consecutive passes at one point and finished 11 of 17 for 151 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown to Keith Howell.

Matter completed seven of 10 for 81 yards and 14-yard touchdown to Evan Allen.

Moore, Ryan Rich, Kyle Hollis and Chase Mendenhall intercepted passes on each of the first four possessions by the Centurions (5-5, 3-2), who needed an upset to force a three-way tie for the league title.

Moore's interception, his seventh of the season, tied a school record.

Hart converted each turnover into a touchdown, including two one-yard runs by Peter Dubsky and a 20-yard run by Mickey Mercado.

"We could have overcome the first turnover," said Coach Ron Hilton of Saugus, which rallied from a 1-3 start this season.

"We could have overcome the second. It was pretty clear after the third and fourth that we were done. It was not a good quarter of football for us."

Josh Cummings kicked a 39-yard field goal, but fell short on a fourth-quarter attempt from 61 yards.

Chris Ahlheim, who threw three of the interceptions, finished eight of 16 for 72 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown to Tim Carter.

Until that drive, the Centurions had not crossed midfield and were out-gained in the game, 272-154.

Moore, a junior, showed why he is being touted as Hart's next star quarterback, but Matter is still the guy the Indians expect to lead them this season.

"I'll be back," said Matter, who has passed for 6,388 yards and 73 touchdowns in two seasons. "I'll be fine."

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