With both teams finding it hard to get traction on offense, undefeated Heritage tacked on a pair of defensive touchdowns in the fourth quarter at Leesville Road on Friday night to escape with a 21-0 win in a game that was the Cap-8 opener for both squads.
This was the second shutout for Heritage, now 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the league. But Huskies defensive coordinator Wallace Clark said it’s about the team, not the offense or defense.
“It’s all about the team and what we can accomplish,” Clark said. “Coach (DeWayne) Washington talks about overcoming adversity, and that’s what we did tonight, as a team.”
The Huskies started the game missing two key players, running back Ricky Person and defensive end Randy Davis. Then the offense ran into a stout, formidable Pride defense that gave up just one score in the first quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Huskies picked up their second unsportsmanlike penalty on the bench, resulting in Washington being disqualified from the game.
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Leesville’s offense was showing life in the second half but got backed up to its own 1-yard line after an interception by Pride defensive back Davonte Terry. On second down, Leesville quarterback Evan Provost threw the ball over the middle, but Huskies noseguard Maui Garchitorena was able to grab the ball for a touchdown that put his team ahead 14-0 with 6:38 left in the game.
“I wasn’t expecting that, my first touchdown,” Garchitorena said. “I saw the ball and just jumped, and it was in my hands.
“But the whole defense played well this game, set the tempo.”
THEY SAID IT
“Our defense played great,” said Leesville coach Brad Wilson, whose team is 2-3 and 0-1 and has been led on defense this season by linebacker Danny Blakeman and back Colton Murray. “Offensively, we missed some opportunities early and couldn’t get in any rhythm. But they played better than we did.”
THREE TO KNOW
Jalen Pittman, Heritage: The speedy senior burned the Pride defense for a first quarter, 44-yard touchdown on a pass from Gunnar Homberg. Then in the fourth quarter he iced the win with an 87-yard interception return with just over 5 minutes left that gave his team the three-touchdown lead.
Austin Dowler, Heritage: He led the Huskies defense that made things difficult for Leesville the whole game. He had several tackles for loss and a fumble recovery on a sack.
Evan Provost, Leesville: Threw for 153 of the Pride’s 262 passing yards, with Vince Amendola throwing for the other 109 in the fourth quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS
73: Total offensive yards Heritage mustered in the second half against Leesville, but the defense picked up the slack with two touchdowns.
Minus-18: Rushing yards for the game for Leesville against a strong group of Huskies, led by Dowler, linebacker Drake Thomas, lineman Joe Kane and safety Branden Kunz, according to Clark.
3 for 30 yards: Consecutive penalties for Heritage that resulted in a second down and 42 to go situation late in the first half.