Heritage’s offense was clicking early in the game Friday night as the Huskies defeated a younger, inexperienced Sanderson squad, 35-13.
The win pushed Heritage’s record to 2-0 in the Cap Eight and 5-1 overall, while the Spartans, who have also been plagued by injuries, are 0-2 and 1-5.
The Huskies were helped by the return of senior running back Matt Baker, a 6-foot, 208-pounder, who rushed for 116 yards on 17 carries, including touchdown runs of 4 and 15 yards.
“We struggled last week against Leesville, so we wanted to come out and make a statement,” Huskies senior quarterback Blake Walters said. “I thought we got the running game going pretty well early and that worked out well. Matt’s a great guy, committed to Elon, and he was running hard tonight, happy to get him back on the field.”
Walters also helped his team to a 27-0 lead by completing 8 of 12 passes for 173 yards in the first half, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Gershom Ejoni.
“My guys were doing a great job getting open and my offensive line was blocking great, really well tonight,” Walters said.
Sanderson scored a touchdown late in the half on a 30-yard run by Michael Markland and then notched another score in the fourth quarter, a 3-yard run by Cole Nigro, to make things interesting.
Heritage led 27-13 with almost eight minutes to play.
The Spartans appeared ready to get the ball back with over two minutes to play, but instead of punting, Bod Davis took the short snap and raced 50 yards for another score that gave the Huskies a 35-13 lead and some breathing room.
“Sanderson was still in it and we knew we couldn’t just keep handing the ball off right there and had to make a play so we called a fake punt and it worked out,” Heritage coach Jason McGeorge said.
It was also another strong game by his defensive front.
“We’ve got a lot of seniors up there and they don’t want to let each other down, it’s great to have that senior leadership,” McGeorge said.
“We muffed a punt early, gave them a short field and a score,” Sanderson coach Ben Kolstad said. “Our goal tonight was to be physical upfront and run the ball, run the clock, but they got up 21-0 and that kind of went out the window. But the kids fought hard.”