The American Heritage Patriots had the look of a championship contender in their 55-12 blowout win over Fort Pierce Westwood in a 5A regional quarterfinal matchup on Friday night.
The Patriots got on the board first with a 22-yard touchdown run by junior Jordan Johnson, who scored twice in the game. Westwood answered with a methodical drive that drained more than five minutes off the clock and was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by junior running back Marques Burgess, but the extra point was missed.
It was the Patriots’ show from that point on.
For a game that got chippy at times, American Heritage coach Patrick Surtain was pleased with how his team kept its composure.
“We always tell them that penalties are the only thing that will keep us from our goal,” Surtain said. “These unsportsmanlike penalties carry over to the next week if you get two of them, so we can’t afford to lose anybody.”
Heritage quarterback Darnell Fleury connected with Dontavious Butler for a score and then Jordan Johnson punched it in from a yard out to extend the Patriots’ lead to 20-7. The ground game continued to power the Heritage offense as Abraham Alce punched it in from 2 yards out and Fleury scored on a 15-yard keeper.
Just before halftime, junior defensive end Andrew Chatfield forced a fumble that was picked up and taken the distance by Heritage corner Marco Wilson, putting the Patriots up 41-6 after a successful two-point conversion.
Then on the Patriots’ first possession of the second half, Alce busted out for a 71-yard run to put his team up 48-6. With a running clock in effect, Heritage used the ground game to run out the time. Sophomore Tyler Jones had a 6-yard touchdown run, which gave Heritage a 55-6 lead.
Fort Pierce Westwood’s one bright spot in the second half came on a 50-yard touchdown connection between senior QB Keionte Blackwood and senior wide receiver Tarek Reaves with under two minutes remaining, which made it 55-13.
“The offensive line prepared throughout the week,” Heritage’s Jordan Johnson said. “I give it to them because they made huge holes for us.”
American Heritage remained undefeated with the win (9-0 regular season) and will face Cardinal Gibbons next week in the regional semifinal game.