WAKE FOREST — Heritage made the most of early opportunities and survived a fourth-quarter rally by East Wake to top the Warriors 41-35 on Friday.
The Huskies (3-1) took a 41-14 lead after a 3-yard option score by Abdul Sesay in the final quarter, but East Wake (1-3) showed it wanted to play until the final whistle by scoring three times in the final three minutes.
“The hard thing sometimes is you try to slow the game down, and the kids slow down,” Huskies coach Jason McGeorge said. “We kind of relaxed. Then when you have to get back in it, you really have to turn it back on. It’s difficult.”
Quarterback Trent Evans scored on a 17-yard keeper, and the Warriors recovered their onside kick that followed. On ensuing possession’s first play, Evans found Evan Finch for a 47-yard strike to pull within 41-28.
After another connection between Evans and Finch, good for a 41-yard score, and two more onside kicks by East Wake, Heritage took the final possession and ran down the clock.
The Huskes scored 24 of their points in a second quarter in which the Warriors had three significant miscues – two on which Heritage capitalized.
Attempting to punt under pressure, Evans barely made contact with the ball before Marsalis Laushaw scooped it up and returned it 10 yards for the 31-17 lead. On the Warriors’ offensive next play, Evans fumbled and Heritage’s Matt Baker recovered on the East Wake 33. Matt Sattler nailed a 26-yard field goal to stretch the lead to 27.
Sattler opened scoring with short field goal after the Huskies returned the opening kickoff to the Warriors’ 12-yard line. Quarterback Blake Walters, who finished 7-for-11 for 126 yards, kept it on the ground from 4 yards out to post a 10-0 Heritage lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Huskies’ other second-quarter scores came on a 3-yard rush by Sesay and a 39-yard dart from Walters to Jalen Parson.
Finch hauled in East Wake’s other two touchdowns – a 29-yard snag halfway through the second quarter and a 31-yard catch near the end of the third – to finish with four scores.
Evans finished 20-for-30 for 341 yards.