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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Hart Battered, Not Beaten

High school football: Matter sacked nine times, Gregory hurt in 16-6 victory over Thousand Oaks.

September 16, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

VALENCIA — There was no hiding the disappointment, if not real concern, on the faces of Hart High coaches and players Friday night.

Yes, the top-ranked Indians won their 25th consecutive game, a 16-6 victory over Thousand Oaks at College of the Canyons, but weaknesses were exposed and an injury to running back Tim Gregory could lead to added problems.

Kyle Matter of Hart was sacked nine times, fumbled on his own 20-yard line and had two passes intercepted.

Thousand Oaks (0-2) became only the second team in the last two years to shut out the Indians for a half.

"We don't feel good," Coach Mike Herrington said. "Offensively, we had a breakdown almost every play, but it was somebody different each time."

Of immediate concern for the Indians (2-0) is the condition of Gregory, who rushed for 131 yards in four carries and scored two touchdowns before leaving the game with a knee injury at the end of the first half.

Gregory spent the second half on crutches, his right knee wrapped in ice. He'll see a doctor today to learn the severity of his injury.

"We'll have our fingers crossed," Herrington said.

Thousand Oaks held the Indians scoreless in the second half by blitzing almost every play. Matter was hurried into incompletions or left helpless falling to the ground.

The Lancers' defensive ends, Steve Anderson and Joshua Carson, were having the time of their lives introducing themselves up close and personal to Matter.

Matter, bound for Stanford, completed 17 of 30 passes for 225 yards. One of his interceptions wasn't his fault.

At the end of the half, he fired a perfect pass to Keith Howell on the five-yard line, but the ball went off Howell's hands and was picked off by sophomore Corey Mazza.

This game will be remembered for the toughness of Thousand Oaks' outstanding juniors, quarterback Ben Olson and receiver-safety Dave Anderson.

Olson faced a relentless pass rush out of shotgun formation. He was dropped 10 times for losses but finished with 63 yards in 27 carries.

There were no designed running plays, just Olson gaining yards with his own creative moves and instincts. He completed 14 of 31 passes for 181 yards while rarely having time to throw.

Afterward, he had blood on his chin and uniform, and respect from Hart players.

"[Olson] wouldn't stay in the pocket for more than three seconds," defensive end Evan Allen said. "He got us tired."

Anderson caught nine passes for 107 yards and intercepted a pass.

"It's still a loss, but we're proud," Anderson said.

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