In a classic rematch of Foothill League foes, the Hart Indians defeated the Valencia Vikings 28-21 to capture the CIFSS Northern Division crown Friday night in front of a raucous capacity crowd.
With the game deadlocked 21-21 in the fourth quarter, Hart junior gun-slinger Brady White linked up with senior Wes Fitzpatrick on a screen pass that went 53 yards to the house for the go-ahead touchdown. Hart senior playmaker Connor Wingenroth sealed the victory with an interception in the end zone with seconds to play.
Wez Fitzpatrick: 2014 ATH Post Game Interview
Hart jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on a long touchdown strike from Brady to Chase White. After a ridiculous interception by Valencia's Spencer Hixon set the Vikings up in Indians territory, senior workhorse running back Stone Jackson cashed in the miscue with a 16-yard touchdown run to tie the game.
The Indians regained the lead when Brady White rushed for a 17-yard touchdown to give Hart a 14-7 advantage. Both teams turned the ball over repeatedly in the first half and Hart took a 14-10 lead into halftime.
Brady White: 2015 QB Post Game Interview
The Indians reached into their bag of tricks in the third quarter, dialing up a hook and ladder play that resulted in a 23-yard touchdown to extend the Hart advantage to 21-10.
Valencia mounted a serious rally in the fourth quarter, paced by the hard running of Jackson, who finished with 159 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Jackson's second score cut the Valencia deficit to 21-16. A 2-point pass from Jake Wallace to Nick Jones cut the gap to a field goal.
After the Vikings added a field goal to equalize, the stage was set for Fitzpatrick to etch his name in the decorated annals of Hart football. With the victory, the Indians claim their ninth Southern Section title and first since 2003.
Despite the absence of suspended junior playmaker Jay Jay Wilson, Valencia mounted a valiant effort that fell just short. Once again, Hart and Valencia provided everyone in attendance with another classic battle that came down to the wire.