Howard Blackwell capped a magnificent performance Friday night, dashing 23 yards for a touchdown with 58 seconds to play to lift Hart High to a 35-28 come-from-behind Foothill League victory over Schurr.
In a game in which fierce rivals traded touchdowns and big plays until the final gun, Blackwell, Hart's fleet-footed senior tailback, stepped forward at College of the Canyons, rushing for three touchdowns and intercepting two passes. Blackwell followed both interceptions with touchdown runs and added a third touchdown after a 35-yard kickoff return.
Blackwell, who carried 19 times for 195 yards, also rallied from a fourth-quarter leg injury that left him lying prone at midfield.
"I'm tired as hell," Blackwell said. "I've never played in a game like this before. Just back and forth all night."
Blackwell's heroics and the Indians' 14 points in the final 10 minutes assured Hart (8-1, 4-0 in league play) of at least a tie for the Foothill League title, which Schurr (6-3, 3-1) wrested from Hart last season. They also nullified a 370-yard performance by Schurr quarterback Jay Macias, who nearly led the Spartans to the tying touchdown with four consecutive completions in the final minute.
Macias, who completed 16 of 28 passes--two for touchdowns--was sacked at the Hart 30 by defensive end George Kase as time expired.
"That was a barn-burner," Hart first-year Coach Mike Herrington said.
With the score tied, 14-14, at halftime, Schurr grabbed its first lead on a 14-yard pass from Macias to David Hernandez early in the fourth quarter. Blackwell returned the ensuing kickoff to the Hart 40, then dashed 60 yards for the tying score on the next play.
Macias gave Schurr the lead again on a 25-yard pass to Ed Lua. One minute later, Hart's Rob Westervelt (nine of 18, 162 yards, two touchdowns) connected with Lance Migita for a 65-yard touchdown pass to force another tie.
Blackwell next intercepted a pass by Macias and returned it 24 yards to the Spartans' 36. Four plays later, Blackwell sprinted off-tackle for the winning score.
After a scoreless first quarter , Blackwell provided the game's first break when he intercepted a Macias pass over the middle and returned it 17 yards to the Schurr 17. On the next play, Blackwell raced 17 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Hart lead.