With its 62-game Foothill League winning streak in jeopardy, Newhall Hart was able to overcome a 21-point deficit and 372 yards passing by sophomore quarterback Michael Herrick to pull out a 42-35 victory over Valencia in front of 8,000 Friday night at College of the Canyons.
"It was an unbelievable battle," Hart Coach Mike Herrington said moments after Kevin Ciccone's interception in the end zone with no time left preserved the victory.
Hart (7-3, 5-0 in league play), which won the league title for the 13th consecutive season, broke a 35-35 tie on Dan Howell's one-yard touchdown plunge on fourth down with 1:55 left. Valencia (7-3, 3-2) had stopped three consecutive running plays on first-and-goal from the two.
Herrick, who completed 32 of 51 passes, drove the Vikings to the Hart 30 with seven seconds left. He rolled right and tried to get the ball to Chris Wright in the end zone. But Ciccone leaped and made the interception, leaving Valencia with an 0-10 career record against its rival.
"We were warriors today," Herrick said. "It's very frustrating, but we're going to do some damage in the playoffs."
Less than 10 minutes into the game, Herrick had Hart's defense in a panic mode. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 217 yards and two touchdowns for a 21-7 lead.
The lead reached 28-7 with 9:36 left in the second quarter on a 15-yard touchdown run by Jeff Bomberger, his second of the game.
But Hart scored 28 consecutive points in a 10-minute span. Howell ran two yards for a touchdown. Brian Elledge caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Sean Norton. Norton ran nine yards for a touchdown. And Howell added a two-yard touchdown run with 5:23 left in the third quarter, putting Hart ahead, 35-28. Norton finished 13-for-21 for 230 yards passing.