Nay’quan Wright made American Heritage know early that the Carol City Chiefs weren’t going to be the 29th victim of the Patriots’ winning streak.
The running back blasted through the Patriots’ defensive line on the second snap of the game for an 80-yard touchdown, sparking a 34-16 rout of the two-time defending state champions Friday at American Heritage. Wright had 163 yards and a score on 22 carries in the win.
“I saw the crease and I hit it,” Wright said. “I wanted to hear the cannon but they only do it for those guys when they score.
“We wanted to blow those guys out, but we’ll take that to the next game and fix our mistakes.”
The Patriots (0-1) answered back with 6:49 remaining in the first frame when quarterback Edwin Rhodes sprinted in for a 16-yard touchdown. Heritage took its first lead on a 45-yard field goal from Jimmy Lowery at the end of the first quarter.
Then the Chiefs (1-0) defense got hungry. Carol City’s defensive line haunted Rhodes into errant throws and eventually got the ball back. Amari Johnson made the Patriots pay with a 25-yard touchdown catch from Daniel Richardson.
The Patriots fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and the Chiefs capitalized when Richardson found Thaiu Jones-Bell for a 14-yard touchdown. That score gave the visitors a 20-10 lead.
Carol City added to its lead with a Katravis Geter scoring run in the third quarter and got a two-point conversion to go up 28-10. Greg Reddick added another score on a 35-yard interception return. The Patriots got a late touchdown reception from Jacolby Spells but it was not enough to spark a comeback.
Richardson completed 12 of 24 passes for 122 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the victory.
“This definitely set the tone for the season and set the tone for the rest of the state of Florida,” Chiefs coach Benedict Hyppolite said. “Understanding that this program is serious about what we are trying to do and what we are trying to accomplish. We understood it mean a lot coming here into someone else’s backyard and what was on the line here. A two-year win streak, 28-0 and being the team to come here and snap it.”
Heritage faces St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.) on Sept 1. Carol City battles Columbus on Sept. 7.
“What do you do? Do you hang your head the whole time or pick yourself up? Get up in the morning and go to work,” Patriots coach Pat Surtain said. “That’s what we are going to do. That’s all we need to do. This winning streak got the message wrong. But I think the message is more valuable in a loss. Tonight just wasn’t our night.”
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