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Hart on a Roll in the Win Column

The Indians, who started the season with three losses, score their second victory in as many weeks, defeating Loyola, 23-16.

October 11, 2003|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

Sometimes a victory, no matter what team it's against, is all it takes to change the momentum of a season seemingly gone bad.

For Newhall Hart, which started the season with three consecutive losses, the crucial victory came last week against Van Nuys Birmingham. Now the Indians, ranked No. 8 in the Southland by The Times, are on a winning streak.

The Hart defense, a problem through much of the early season, held Los Angeles Loyola and its storied rushing attack to only 71 yards in a 23-16 victory Friday night at College of the Canyons in Valencia.

The victory last week against defending City Section champion Birmingham, which won only one of its first four games, was a key stepping stone, but defeating No. 14 Loyola (3-2) boosted the team's confidence. "This is huge," Hart Coach Mike Herrington said. "We beat a tough, tough team."

Loyola trailed, 20-7, at halftime, but Ian Wilson intercepted a pass by Hart quarterback Sean Norton and returned it 23 yards to the Hart seven-yard line. Two plays later Loyola quarterback Scott Deke found George Hypolite in the end zone.

The two-point conversion failed and Hart led, 23-13, with 6 minutes 22 seconds to play. On Hart's next possession, running back Dan Howell fumbled and Loyola recovered at the Hart 19, but the Indians held Loyola to a field goal and maintained a 23-16 lead with 5:08 to play.

A 35-yard pass play from Norton to Terry Leigh and two offside penalties by Loyola on the ensuing drive helped Hart run out the clock, but not before Herrington had flashbacks of his team's 25-24 loss to No. 4 Westlake Village Westlake this season.

In that game, Westlake scored a touchdown and two-point conversion in the final minute to win.

"There were some nervy coaches over there," Herrington said.

Loyola scored on the opening possession, going 72 yards in eight plays, but mustered little after that. Hart, meanwhile, moved the ball impressively against a Loyola defense that had allowed only 24 points in its previous four games.

Norton completed 14 of 24 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Howell carried 24 times for 111 yards and also had three catches for 16 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Kevin Ciccione had seven catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.

For Loyola, Deke completed 10 of 22 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw an interception.

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