MIDLOTHIAN — Four minutes into their District 4-4A opener Friday night at MISD Multipurpose Stadium, the Midlothian Heritage Jaguars had all the points they needed to defeat Dallas Pinkston. The Jaguars scored seven times in the first half on their way to the 64-6 win.
Yet, the true lesson was learned just after halftime.
With the win, Heritage improved to a perfect 6-0 on the season and 1-0 in district play. The Jaguars entered Friday as the No. 7-ranked team in the Associated Press Texas High School 4A poll.
“Every aspect of the game was good. The defense played wonderfully, the offense played great, and the special teams went out there and played really, really, hard the entire game,” Heritage head football coach Lee Wiginton said. “The whole game effort was outstanding.”
“[…] I’m really just so proud of all of them. We came out there and, to be quite honest, the bottom line is they did what they were supposed to do. Sometimes you worry how they are going to play on any given night. Tonight they came out and played incredibly hard. It was exciting to see them play that way.”
Heritage jumped out to a 21-point lead after Nathan Gaskamp scored the first of his two touchdowns, Brayden Wright returned an interception 70 yards, and Jay Wilkerson pulled in a 16-yard Landon Ledbetter pass for a touchdown. The latter came with 3:30 to play in the first quarter.
Pinkston’s Jamare Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for the lone Vikings score on the evening.
Gaskamp scored for the second time, this one from two yards out, to push the Jaguars ahead 28-6 with 1:34 to play in the first quarter.
“Tonight was awesome. The win we got tonight was just awesome,” Gaskamp said. “Tonight’s win was a whole team effort. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without the offensive line. But we all need to focus on Alvarado for next week. They were a powerhouse last year and are this year also. I’m looking forward to next week’s game.”
Heritage forced four turnovers in the quarter, which, in addition to the Wright interception, included fumble recoveries by Noah Parker and Trip Purdy.
The Jaguars added three more scores in the second quarter — a 10-yard run by Raja Banks, Wilkerson’s second 16-yard touchdown catch, and 50-yard Ledbetter pass to Reggie Adams — for a 50-6 halftime lead.
Sometimes, there are more important things than the score on the board — yes, even when it comes to Texas high school football. The Jaguars, along with their coaching staff and faithful, proved just that.
When Dallas Pinkston entered the field for the first half of Friday’s football game, the Vikings did just that — walked onto the field. There was smoke. Nor was there an air horn or inflatable helmet.
After the half, though?
“I’ve never been more proud to be a Jag,” posted Heather Blackwell, wife of Heritage head baseball coach Justin Blackwell, on Facebook. “We are playing a team that doesn’t have all the great, fancy stuff our team has. Our Jags invited Dallas Pinkston’s kids to run through our ‘H’ after Halftime…and our awesome crowd cheered for both team! Sometimes football is about so much more than winning games!”
The Jaguars and Vikings ran out of the red, white and blue inflatable Heritage “H” to a roar from the Jaguar faithful in what quickly turned into a social media frenzy of praise for the Jaguars and Wiginton.
It is all much deserved.
Heritage added two more scores in the second half on a pair of Key Brooks touchdown runs. Brooks finished the game with 99 rushing yards on five carries to lead a Jaguar ground attack that accounted for 297 yards on 31 carries.
As a team, the Jaguars amassed 478 yards of total offense.
Ledbetter finished 7-of-12 through the air for 109 yards and three touchdowns. Wilkerson led all receivers with 56 yards on four catches, while Reggie Adams had one catch for 50 yards, Langston had two grabs for 40 yards and Kerrion Fields finished with 2 catches for 35 yards.
On the defensive side of the football, Preston Godfrey recorded a team-high seven tackles, while James Vang and Dustin Brasher added five, each.
Andrew Lynch accounted for the lone Heritage sack, Wright and Sumbler each had an interception, and Vang and Purdy forced two fumbles. Parker and Brasher recovered those two fumbles.
“I feel like we did good. The defense came out and executed well,” Parker said.
Matt Stanton went a perfect 8-for-8 on point after attempts. Nathan Medrano ran in the lone Jaguar two-point conversion.
Heritage returns to District 4-4A action Friday on the road against Alvarado. The Indians are 1-5 on the season and 1-0 in district play after defeating Carrollton Ranchview 42-17 last Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
*Additional reporting by Mike Sackett/Mirror