Cap-8 Conference football is about keeping up with Wake Forest for a chance to dethrone a dominant program that has won back-to-back unbeaten league titles followed by deep runs in the post-season.
Heritage kept pace for at least another week, remaining unbeaten with a 17-3 victory over Sanderson before its large Friday night homecoming crowd.
The Huskies, ranked No. 5 among in the N&O poll, improved to 6-0 with a 2-0 Cap 8 mark. They seek another win next week against Enloe before they face No. 2-ranked Wake Forest (6-0, 2-0 Cap 8) on Oct. 14 at Heritage.
Sanderson (4-2, 0-2 Cap 8), ranked No. 15, was unbeaten until opening league play.
Heritage’s three first-half scoring drives were 10 plays, 57 yards for Parker George’s 25-yard field goal; 11 plays, 54 yards for quarterback Gunnar Holmberg’s 10-yard TD run; and seven plays, 66 yards for running back Ricky Person’s 4-yard score.
“The only game we’re looking at is Enloe,” said Holmberg, who was 17-of-26 passing for 189 yards. “We’re not looking past them at all or we could go into Wake Forest 6-1.”
The game was tied 3-3 when Sanderson forced Heritage to punt midway through the second quarter, but a roughing the punter penalty gave Heritage a first down at the Sanderson 45. Holmberg finished off the scoring drive with a fake inside handoff that he kept around the right side.
THREE TO KNOW
Thayer Thomas, Heritage: The senior wide receiver led all players offensively with eight catches for 102 yards.
Joe Kane, Heritage: The senior defensive end recorded his 13th sack of the season.
Malik Medley, Sanderson: The junior led a stout defensive line. He recovered a fumble at the 4-yard line that set up Sanderson’s only points, a 21-yard field goal from Xavier Carrington.
THEY SAID IT
“My coach told me whatever we called that if I saw it to go ahead and keep it,” said Holmberg about his fake and TD run.
BY THE NUMBERS
1: Wave to the crowd from N.C. State Coach Dave Doeren, who responded to a welcome “shoutout ” from Heritage announcer Brian Pate. Doeren can’t comment on recruits, but he was believed to be eying Heritage RB Ricky Person, Heritage WR-DB Jalen Pittman and Sanderson DB Jesse Williams.
2: Injured running backs Sanderson was without: leading rusher Jordan Logan and Sam Vines.
8/12: Number of minutes Sanderson had the ball in the first half and the second half out of 48-minute game. The Spartans finished with only 16 net yards rushing and 49 passing for 65 total yards.