Spears show Hart
David Hart is quickly making a name for himself with the Niagara Spears.
The 17-year-old Niagara Falls resident ran back a punt for 100 yards to break a 20-20 tie as the Spears topped the Cambridge Lions 27-20 in an Ontario Varsity Football League game Saturday night at Kiwanis Field.
Hart’s major came at a critical time in the game with 6:41 remaining and just after the Lions had scored a pair of touchdowns to rally from a 20-6 deficit.
“It think it definitely changed the momentum for our team, but we came in strong and we finished strong. We held the lead the entire game,” said Hart, a Grade 12 student at Saint Michael.
Hart used his blazing speed to outrun the Lions once he got loose thanks to some good blocks early on in the play.
“It’s a team effort and I don’t want to take credit for anything. I just want to play for the team and win for the team,” he said.
“The end goal is always to get a touchdown, of course. That’s why they put us on there but it’s always get what you can, get as far as you can, and if you can’t finish on the one play, we’ll get it on the second.”
Hart said the other members of the special team’s unit took pride in the play.
“It was good blocking. I love all the blocking,” he said. “All my friends came up and told me it was great when I got that block in front of you.
“It was a 100 per cent a team effort. It can’t just be on me. I love how we can play together.”
Hart, who is looking to continue his football career post high school, joined the Spears this year after being an important cog for the Mustangs.
“At St. Mike’s, I was everything. I didn’t come off the field,” he said. “I’m trying to earn my spot here. We have a lot of returning players and a lot of vets so I just want to prove I can be on this team like anyone else.”
Spears head coach Brian Duguay pointed to Hart’s major as the turning point in the game.
“It was huge. We had problems all game with our kick return and our punt return so that was huge for momentum,” he said. “That really swayed it, that changed it. You could see it on the guys once we went back up.”
Duguay marvelled at the talent Hart displayed on the play.
“It was from goal line to goal line. He’s a fast young man and there’s a lot of potential with him,” he said. “He’s doing really well.”
Duguay would like to see a more consistent effort from his team.
“We’re a young team so they have to learn how to play from whistle to whistle and to play 48 minutes,” he said. “We have a hard time sometimes when we get a lead. They start to think they can continue to have that lead without playing.”
The Spears took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a pair of touchdown passes from Travis Arp to Joseph Jones and Dante McNamara. Cole Mackinnon converted both majors.
Arp later hooked up with Justin Succar for Niagara’s third major. The point after was missed.
Arp finished with three touchdowns passes for 150 yards while Josh Ferguson paced the running game with 70 yards.
The Spears, who improved to 2-1, are in Mississauga Saturday.
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