MIDLOTHIAN — At this point in the high school football season there is no denying the talent on either side of the football for the Midlothian Heritage Jaguar football team. Entering as the sixth-ranked team in the Associated Press 4A poll, Heritage flexed its defensive muscles against Dallas Carter on Friday at Midlothian ISD Multipurpose Stadium.
The Jaguars shutout the Carter Cowboys through the first three quarters of the football and ended the night with a 33-12 win. The victory moved Heritage to 8-0 on the season and 3-0 in District 6-4A.
“It was a lot like what I expected," said Heritage head football coach Lee Wiginton. "That was an unbelievable football team. Defensively, they put so much pressure on us and their defensive line is incredibly physical, fast to the ball, relentless and their linebackers are so athletic. They did a great job of coverage. It’s hard to get an open. It’s hard to create space. Every inch you try to get is going to be hard fought against a team like that. We knew what we were going to face defensively.”
Noah Parker got the Jaguars on the board first with a 78-yard interception return for a touchdown on the Cowboys’ opening drive. Later in the first half, Alex Carrizal blocked a Carter punt to continue the defensive dominance. The Jaguars entered the locker room with a 19-0 lead at the half.
Heritage outgained the Cowboys 216 yards to 167 in the first half, despite both teams gaining 11 first downs.
“Defensively, the coaches put together a great game plan, and the kids are playing hard," Wiginton said. "They are playing so hard and playing for each other. They played for a lot of people here tonight. Tonight, was a special night for these boys. They played for a man of influence in their life; it was a special night.”
Raja Banks led the Jaguar rushing game with 62 yards on four carries through two quarters, while Nathan Gaskamp ran the football six times for 55 yards. The Jaguars rushed for 143 yards on 13 carries as a team in the opening half.
After Heritage quarter Landon Ledbetter went 10-of-13 for 73 yards in the first half, the junior signal caller completed 3-of-5 in the second half to finish with 128 yards and two touchdowns. Langston Anderson caught both touchdown tosses and finished with four catches for 41 yards.
Justise Wade-Harris led all Cowboy ball carriers with 68 yards on 12 carries in the first half and finished with 17 carries for 100 yards and one touchdown. Detron Hall also scored a Cowboy touchdown on one of his 14 carries for six yards.
Heritage outgained the Cowboy offense 368-307 in the ball game with 240 of those yards coming on the ground.
“We did some good things offensively. I was happy the way the guys executed again. It was tough playing that defense. I thought they did a really good job of stepping up to the task," Wiginton said. "We put together some really good drives and made some big-time plays. We had a big-time fourth down conversion early on that was a clutch play. I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Jaguars will travel to Carrollton to face the Carrollton Ranchview on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
*Additional reporting by Mike Sackett/Daily Light