Hart Utilizes More Than Owens in Rout


Any teams who show up to play Hart High had better come with a game plan better than just shutting down Jerry Owens.

A quick check of the game film from Hart's 42-7 nonleague drubbing of Thousand Oaks on Friday night at College of the Canyons should be enough evidence.

Owens, the All-Southern Section receiver for Hart, did not figure much in the victory.

Sure, he caught five passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, but it was the balance in the Hart offense that proved too much for the Lancers.

"If they double Jerry, we've got other guys who can catch it," quarterback Kyle Boller said. "I don't have to force anything to Jerry."

And the statistics prove it. Boller, who completed 20 of 45 passes for 390 yards and three touchdowns, found six different receivers, all of whom had at least two catches. Jared Bazar had four catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns.

But despite Boller's gaudy numbers for the second consecutive week (he had 420 passing yards in the Indians' opener), running back Billy Brecht might have been the game's most valuable player.

The 5-foot-8 senior may be the most overlooked player in Hart's flashy passing offense, but his 115 rushing yards and 55-yard kickoff return show that he is also the most underappreciated.

"It's a team game," Brecht said. "If I don't get the ball I can just block or something else. It would be fun if we were a running team, but I'm just getting the job done."

Brecht, who also caught three passes for 36 yards, returned the second-half kickoff 55 yards to give the Indians the ball at the Thousand Oaks 40-yard line. His 10-yard run three plays later gave Hart a first down and set up a 29-yard pass from Boller to Bazar for a touchdown and a 28-7 lead.

Brecht's 55-yard touchdown run late in the third period extended the lead to 35-7.

"Billy is one of the top running backs around," Coach Mike Herrington said. "Just because of our offense he doesn't get all the carries and yards of the premier backs but teams know they have to stop Kyle and Jerry, and that leaves it open for Billy."

The impressive victory helps ease the pain of a forfeit loss charged to Hart (1-1) this week. Hart whipped Quartz Hill, 49-13, but used an academically ineligible player and had to forfeit.

The Indians led just 7-0 after the first quarter in a game that was supposed to be over by then and held a slim 13-7 lead when Thousand Oaks quarterback Gabe Portilla fumbled at the Hart eight yard-line. Owens recovered and Hart scored 10 plays later to take a 21-7 halftime lead.

"Ever since I've been coaching, the second game of the season is kind of a letdown," Herrington said. "The opener is hyped so much and everyone is up for it, but how can you complain about 42-7?"

Boller admitted that he was not quite as sharp as he was last week, throwing several passes low.

"The rush was a little stronger tonight," said Boller. "Last week seemed a little easier."

Portilla was 11 of 15 for 107 yards. The Lancer running game picked up 161 yards. Wes Cobos rushed for 59 yards in 13 carries and had six catches for 56 yards.

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