When the Hart High Indians take the field at College of the Canyons’ Cougar Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. to face Chaminade of West Hills in a CIF-State Southern California Regional, it will be the biggest game in which the school has ever participated.
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A season that started with an enormous amount of hype – even for a school with the Indians’ pedigree – could culminate in a state title game at Stubhub Field in Carson.
But while all eyes will be on the Saturday’s game, we’re taking a look back at the top five key moments that got the Indians where they are today.
5. Learning from defeat
Two of the biggest moments of the year for Hart came in the final two weeks of Foothill League play. Two mistake-filled losses to Valencia and Canyon showed the Indians that perfection wasn’t guaranteed.
And they responded to the adversity come playoff time.
4. Wingenroth the defender
Connor Wingenroth forced a fumble on Palos Verdes running back Tyler Moore after a long run during their second-round playoff matchup.
The moment was early, and led to a Wingenroth fumble on the next series, but it swung momentum away from the Sea Kings, who never got much going from there.
3. A sack and interception
Most will remember Connor Wingenroth pulling down the game-clinching interception of Valencia’s Jake Wallace to conclude their CIF-Southern Section Northern Division tilt.
But it was Cody Shoemaker’s sack that sent Valencia from the Hart 8-yard line back to the 20-yard line with under 30 seconds remaining, just when it looked like Valencia might force overtime.
2. Wingenroth runs into the history books
The Indians struggled to end the season, with their best player, Wingenroth, either out with injury or playing at less than 100 percent.
In Hart’s first-round victory over Paso Robles, though, he gave the Indians the shot of confidence they needed, rushing for a school record 285 yards and spurring Hart’s playoff run.
1. Hart vs. Chaminade, round 1
Up 55-54 in overtime against visiting Chaminade in week 2, Cody Shoemaker led a swarm that took down Eagles running back Donovan Lee on a two-point conversion attempt to secure a Hart victory.
The moment loomed large during selection Sunday, as Hart’s head-to-head victory over Chaminade made it nearly impossible to put the Eagles in a regional and leave Hart out.
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Source: Santa Clarita News