Mike Kocicka can rest easy. At least for now.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior quarterback who transferred to a school that has had nothing but All-Southern Section quarterbacks the past eight seasons, showed Thursday night that he belongs at Hart High in the Indians’ 37-8 victory over Pasadena at Temple City High.
A former backup at Crescenta Valley, Kocicka was far from perfect. He misfired early. But the tall gunslinger with a rifle arm blew away Pasadena with deep passes over the heads of its smaller, often badly beaten defensive backs.
Kocicka’s numbers read like this: 14 for 27 for 321 yards, two interceptions, four touchdown passes. Kocicka, who was sacked twice, also rushed for 20 yards in seven carries.
And his two-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown in the second quarter put the Indians ahead to stay. Hart went on to score 28 unanswered points.
“After my family moved to the Santa Clarita Valley and I knew I was going to Hart, I started reading about Jim Bonds and all the other great quarterbacks that went there,” Kocicka said. “Then it started to get to me. I felt a little pressure.”
Kocicka’s first five passes fell incomplete before he hit Soren Halladay crossing pattern that went for 74 yards to the Pasadena 19. Kocicka threw an interception on the next play.
But Kocicka kept his composure. After Sterling Garns and Bryan Oksas tackled Pasadena’s Dejuan Shamburger in the end zone for a safety, Kocicka hit Halladay with a bomb for a 49-yard touchdown.
After Pasadena’s Mike Green returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and quarterback Chris McAlister (four for 13, 46 yards passing) ran for the two-point conversion to make it 9-8, Hart got rolling.
Kocicka set up his two-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown with a flare pass to Jason Medearis that covered 37 yards. Kocicka added touchdown throws to Halladay (30 yards), Ted Iacenda (20) and Mark Mahone (29).