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Rush Hour in Westlake

High school football: Warriors hold Matter to 136 yards passing and Contos runs for 127 yards and two touchdowns to snap Hart's 25-game winning streak, 23-13.

September 22, 2000|MIKE BRESNAHAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

WESTLAKE VILLAGE — What chaos?

Injuries, a suspension, a shortened practice week, a new quarterback and a game against the No. 4 team in the state comprised the laundry list of mishaps and misfortunes that could have swamped Westlake High.

Instead, the Warriors did the stomping, sacking and celebrating in a 23-13 victory over Hart during a nonleague football game Thursday night at Westlake.

The Warriors sacked Kyle Matter 11 times, held Hart to minus-17 yards rushing and delivered an on-field message to those who figured they were done after winning the Southern Section Division IV title a year ago.

Westlake carved up the vaunted defensive front of Hart, rushing for 166 yards, including a 127-yard effort in 18 carries by Jonathan Contos.

Todd Feiereisen, playing for injured Cory Miles, who is out six to eight weeks because of a broken bone in his left leg, completed nine of 20 passes for 101 yards. Nothing special, but nothing disastrous.

That word could only describe the Hart offense, which totaled a paltry 168 yards.

Leo Reed of Westlake, who was moved from inside linebacker to defensive tackle this week, logged plenty of time in the Hart backfield and finished with seven sacks.

"We can't block him [in practice] and we've got a pretty good offensive line," Coach Jim Benkert of Westlake said. "We knew he'd create havoc in the middle. But no one in their wildest dreams thought he could get [seven sacks] against Hart."

Westlake was left in a nightmarish mood Saturday after losing to Clovis West, 24-23, on a failed two-point conversion in the final minute.

The Warriors (2-1) practiced only three days this week. They probably needed only half a day.

After giving up a touchdown on Hart's first possession, Westlake scored the next 13 points.

The Warriors also welcomed back defensive back-receiver Dan Catalano, who returned from a two-game suspension for violating the school's code of conduct.

Hart has plenty of game-film studying to do.

The Indians, who allowed nine sacks last week in a lackluster 16-6 victory over Thousand Oaks, were actually worse against Westlake.

Matter, who threw 48 touchdown passes last season and has committed to Stanford, was under constant pressure. He completed 13 of 27 passes for 136 yards.

The one touchdown he threw, his fourth this season, came on a deflection in the end zone and brought Hart to within 16-13 with 4:51 left to play.

Hart stopped Westlake on the next drive, but Jake Norton fumbled a punt at the Hart 12 with 2:01 left. Contos scored three plays later.

Hart was left lamenting the end of its 25-game winning streak, second longest in the state. And the performance of its offensive line.

"We might be bringing up some sophomores from the JV team and some freshmen from the freshman team," said Hart Coach Mike Herrington. "We just weren't getting it done up front. It's a shame because we have one of the best quarterbacks in the state and he can't get the ball off."

The Indians (2-1) missed junior running back Tim Gregory, who was on his way to another 1,000-yard campaign before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Thousand Oaks.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

THE SERIES

2000

Westlake 23, Hart 13

1997

Hart 18, Westlake 14

1996

Westlake 26, Hart 24

1995

Hart 37, Westlake 7

1994

Hart 20, Westlake 7

1993

Hart 31, Westlake 14

1992

Hart 38, Westlake 0

THURSDAY'S STATS

PASSING YARDS

Westlake 101, Hart 185

RUSHING YARDS

Westlake 166, Hart -17

PASSERS

Todd Feiereisen, Westlake

9-20-101-0-0

Kyle Matter, Hart

13-27-136-1-0

RUSHERS

Jonathan Contos, Westlake

18-127

Mickey Mercado, Hart

8-40

*

GAME DAY

Intriguing matchups tonight include Notre Dame-Saugus, Taft-Jefferson, Ventura-Royal, Newbury Park-Buena, Camarillo-Thousand Oaks and Serrano-Lancaster.

Page 15

*

NOTEBOOK

The high-flying Falcons of Palmdale head to Bloomington to try to avenge a loss

from last season.

Page 15

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