N&O No. 23 Green Hope looked for a strong start in front of a strong crowd at home Friday night, but the Falcons were never able to take flight as No. 16 Heritage had the first four scores of the game en route to a seamless 51-6 opening night victory.
“It was sloppy in a lot of ways, but we had more points than the other team and at the end of the day that’s all that matters,” Heritage coach Dewayne Washington said.
The Huskies, who led 22-0 at the end of the first quarter, dominated time of possession with a mixed attack between the passing of Gunnar Holmberg and the legs of Ricky Person.
Holmberg called his own number on the first touchdown of the night, scrambling 10 yards to give the Huskies a 6-0 lead.
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Just over four minutes later, Holmberg hit a streaking Jalen Pittman for a 32-yard score to go up 15-0.
With 1:35 to go in the third period, Colby Muldrow punched in a 5-yard run, the final score of the night.
Green Hope, which finished 7-4 last season, has had the difficult task of replacing all its starters on offense.
“We were playing hard but we were shooting ourselves in the foot,” Green Hope coach Kwame Dixon said. “We need to find some consistency. It’s not going to get easier … we’re 0-11 getting off the bus every week.
Pittman’s punt return that opened the second half zigged and zagged all over the gridiron, shaking off countless defenders and ensured the Huskies kept their momentum going.
“Honestly, I don’t know what happened, I just saw my blockers and did what I had to do to score,” Pittman said.
THREE TO KNOW
Ricky Person, Heritage: Person ran the ball 14 times for 103 yards and scored two touchdowns – one of which was a high-flying dive over the pile.
Blake Watson, Green Hope: Watson caught eight passes for 123 yards. As a team, Green Hope only completed 11 passes for 195 yards.
Joe Kane, Heritage: At 250 pounds, Kane is the third largest player on the Huskies’ roster, but he had the strength make his size count. Kane consistently disrupted the Falcons’ passing game, either evading his way past the right tackle or plowing him into the backfield.
BY THE NUMBERS
minus-41: Rushing yards for Green Hope after 21 attempts.
1: Plays that Heritage ran through the first six minutes of the third quarter, still amassing 19 points during that span.
THEY SAID IT
“We’re all a family,” Pittman said. “Last year we weren’t all together, but this year we came together and we’re doing what we have to do to get past week one, get on to week two and take it week by week.”