VALENCIA – The Hart High football team looks like its going to the playoffs again. The West Ranch football team will most likely have to wait at least another year before it makes its playoff debut.
Hart’s Jake Stephens scored four touchdowns in his team’s 43-26 win over West Ranch at Valencia High School on Friday night. Hart’s win, combined with West Ranch and Saugus losses, puts Hart alone in second place in the Foothill League standings. Hart is 3-1; West Ranch and Saugus are 2-2 each.
West Ranch scored on its first three possessions of the game, but Hart matched each score by West Ranch in the first half.
James McGough caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from West Ranch quarterback Connor Eichten for an early 6-0 lead. Hart blocked the point-after attempt by Brady Stuart.
Hart charged right back, scoring on its first possession less than two minutes later. Stephens scored on a 35-yard run to give Hart a 7-6 lead with just over four minutes to play in the first quarter.
West Ranch responded with a 6-yard touchdown run by running back Zak Snell. But Hart took back the lead again, this time on a 4-yard touchdown run by Stephens to make it 14-13.
Snell scored his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run to give his team a 20-14 lead. Hart cut the lead to 20-17 on a 33-yard field goal by C.J. Reyes as time expired in the first half.
Hart came out in the second half and took the lead for good on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Reyes to Ty Mac Arthur. Mac Arthur had a huge night, catching eight passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Reyes had an equally impressive night, throwing for 329 yards and the two touchdowns to Mac Arthur.
Stephens scored his third touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run to give his team a 31-20 lead. Stephens finished with 125 yards on 25 carries.
MacArthur’s second touchdown came on what turned out to be an 80-yard touchdown pass. Reyes hit Mac Arthur on a quick out that went from a five-yard dump into an 80-yard bomb. Mac Arthur did most of the work winding his way through defenders and down the middle of the field toward the end zone.
Stephens scored his fourth and final touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run with 24 seconds to play in the game.
Snell scored two touchdowns for West Ranch and finished the game with 109 yards rushing on 19 carries.
Eichten threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns for West Ranch. He hit Matt Szymanski with a 35-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Szymanski caught six passes for 81 yards. Teammate Chris Kim caught five passes for 85 yards.