WAKE FOREST — Heritage combined a balanced offensive attack with a stalwart defensive effort to defeat Corinth Holders 34-7 in a 4-A N.C. High School Athletic Association football game Thursday night.
On the opening kickoff, Heritages Jaylen Mallory busted upfield before lunging over the goal line for a 71-yard touchdown.
After Heritages defense forced Corinth Holders to punt, three downs, the Huskies added a 20-yard field goal by Matt Sattler to take a 10-0 lead midway through the opening period. Heritages offense mixed the run and pass during the eight-play, 79-yard drive.
After taking possession at midfield following a Heritage punt, Corinth Holders scored on a fourth-and-7 when Pirate quarterback Kenneth Collins hit a streaking Tori Carmichael in stride on a crossing pattern for a 34-yard touchdown pass. The extra point by Alden Shoup made the score 10-7 in favor of Heritage early in the second period.
The Huskies answered with a scoring drive that went 81 yards on 14 plays. Heritage converted two fourth-down conversions on the drive, the second one coming on a 31-yard pass from Blake Walters to Greg Clifton from the Corinth Holders 32-yard line. Walters scored on the next play on a keeper, giving the Huskies a 17-7 lead with 4:07 left in the second quarter.
We try to be about 50-50 on the run and the pass, said Heritage coach Jason McGeorge. We do like it when we do that. We are happy that we are able to do either. We tell the players that we are excited about where we are at, but not content.
Heritage ran the two-minute offense effectively at the end of the first half, driving 90 yards on seven plays to take a 24-7 lead at halftime. Walters completed all five pass attempts on the drive, with the final completion coming on a 19-yard touchdown pass to Marsalis Laushaw, who broke two tackles before dragging another defender over the goal line.
Heritage added a field goal in the third period before Corinth Holders threatened to score another touchdown. The Pirates had first-and-goal at the Heritage 4-yard line late in the quarter but failed to score after one pass completion and three rush attempts. On fourth-and-goal, bruising running back William Floyd was stopped by a swarm of Heritage defenders.
They can be a very good defense, McGeorge said. They like to hit, they are a very physical defense that runs to the ball. We had 10 guys go to the ball on the very last play of the game.