The American Heritage Patriots came to win, as they showed on their first two plays of the Region 4-5A semifinals matchup against the visiting Bishop Moore Hornets.
The domination continued all the way through the fourth quarter, with the Patriots managing to stay at least two scores ahead the rival Hornets throughout the game for a 56-21 victory.
After the Hornets (9-3) elected to defer the opening kickoff, the Patriots (12-0) started the game with a 96-yard return touchdown from senior Miles Jones.
Heritage’s defense forced the Hornets into a three-and-out. With the ball back, the Patriots’ offense scored again on their first play. Quarterback Cameron Smith tossed a shovel pass to Jones, who ran 52 yards for the Patriots’ second touchdown of the game. The score was 14-0 with 10:36 left in the first quarter.
The playoff was fraught with penalties, mostly against the Patriots, who ended the game with 13, the majority of which were personal foul calls. But not even the penalty yardage could stop the Patriots from barreling down the field for eight touchdowns, three of which came off the skilled hands of Jones.
Despite the huge win, coach Patrick Surtain said, “There were definitely things we can improve on. … We’ll come back with a stronger performance next week.”
Heritage’s offense was not the only bright spot of Friday evening, however. The defense came up strong with an interception that ultimately led to a touchdown, a pair of sacks, as well as several key stops on third and fourth downs.
Next week, the Patriots look to continue their winning ways against district rival Cardinal Gibbons in the regional final.