Rivals Offer to Help Tackle Hart's Problems in Wake of Equipment Fire

When Saugus High football Coach Jack Bowman learned of a suspected arson fire that destroyed Hart's equipment shed, he called his rival coaches Tuesday and offered his spare helmets, shoulder pads and other odds and ends.

"That's a horrible thing to have happen, and it could happen to me tomorrow," Bowman said. "We're all in this together in the long run. I like [Hart Coach Mike Herrington] a lot. That's an unbelievable situation. I hope they catch the guy and fry him."

Herrington said Hart lost nearly $30,000 in equipment when its wooden shed apparently was set ablaze about 2 a.m. Monday. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is investigating for arson.

Herrington said a member of the Valencia High booster club also has offered to donate equipment. None of the Hart players lost personal items in the blaze. Herrington said he welcomes donations because he needs more equipment to get through the season.

"I'm not sure what the district will pay for yet," he said. "But I'm trying to order something extra in case something breaks or someone loses something, which always happens."

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Exercising to excess: Probably the person most upset with Northern Arizona's 68-7 rout of the Cal State Northridge football team on Saturday was the Lumberjack mascot.

Every time the Lumberjacks scored, he did pushups corresponding to the number of Northern Arizona points.

He ended up doing 411 pushups before the night was over. But he's probably in pretty good shape, because the Matadors were the third consecutive team to give up 60 or more points to Northern Arizona.

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Passing fancy: Two completed passes are all it took for Neal Sowter, Glendale College's outstanding linebacker, to consider switching positions.

Sowter, a sophomore from Glendale High, is two for two. He completed a pass in a 14-10 loss to Citrus on Sept. 9 and another in Glendale's 37-6 victory over Harbor last week. Both came in punt formation.

"He did let me know that if we are hurting with the passing game, he's ready," Glendale Coach John Cicuto joked.

Cicuto said freshman quarterbacks Aryan Hart and Greg Marquez need not worry.

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Tipped off: If Cal Lutheran had tried a "Hail Mary" pass on its final possession during a 28-21 loss to the University of San Diego last Saturday, the Kingsmen had the perfect candidate to make the play work.

Wide receiver Billy Perra, who finished with 11 receptions, made two spectacular catches off tipped passes during Cal Lutheran's fourth-quarter rally. Although burdened with double coverage in Cal Lutheran's final drive, Perra was ready for a deflection.

"We practice it all week," he said. "It's just a matter of following the ball and keeping your eyes on it and not giving up."

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Getting healthy: The St. Francis High cross-country team is expected to have its entire varsity squad in uniform for the first time this season when the Golden Knights race Loyola today in a Mission League meet at Crescenta Valley Park.

St. Francis enters the meet with a 4-0 dual-meet record, a victory in the Rosemead Invitational and a No. 3 ranking in Southern Section Division III.

Yet the Golden Knights have been without junior Pat Jaques all season. And freshman David Phillips missed last week's meet against Alemany because of a sore hip.

"I'm not sure what to expect out of Pat because I've never seen him race," first-year Coach Tim Weir said. "But he had a real good summer. It's my understanding that he was running with [No. 3 runner] Steve Garcia in training when he was healthy."

Quotebook

"We've been in too many close games to go for a tie."

--Grant High football Coach Bill Foster, after the Lancers' two-point conversion pass came up short in a 14-13 loss to Hoover on Friday.

Contributing: Fernando Dominguez, Jeff Fletcher, Dana Haddad, Michael Lazarus, John Ortega.

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