MANSFIELD — Midlothian Heritage had an 11th-consecutive win well in hand before the first quarter buzzer ever sounded Thursday at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield.
The Jaguars soundly defeated the (2-9) Lake Worth Frogs 74-12 behind 593 yards of total offense for the 4A Division I Region II bi-district championship title. Heritage is still the sixth-ranked team in the Associated Press 4A poll.
“It was a big win tonight," said Heritage head football coach Lee Wiginton. "We jumped out to an early lead. We were able to get a lot of guys out there and do a lot of things. Playoff football in Texas is a great thing."
"For some of the kids to be able to get out there on the field and play, that was great. Now we know next week we are going to have a very tough opponent. We have to decide to get a win. The guys have worked so hard this year, and I’m very proud of them and excited about the way they have played so far.”
One of the more interesting stats from the bi-district win was that Heritage scored 11 times during the game on just 10 offensive possessions. In fact, the Jaguars scored on all of their drives on offense. Brayden Wright intercepted a Frog pass and returned the football 22 yards for the 11th Heritage score of the game.
"The defense played a role in tonight’s win," complemented Wiginton of the Jaguars. "They contained the Lake Worth team all night. Lake Worth is a very well coached team. Their coach does a great job. Our defense did a great job from the get-go."
Heritage scored three times in the first quarter on touchdown runs of 3, 4, and 55 yards by Dre Washington, Christian Elliot and Raja Banks, respectively. The Jaguars then added three more touchdowns in the second quarter on 6-yard Elliot run, 1-yard Washington scamper and 80-yard completion from quarterback Landon Ledbetter to Jay Wilkerson.
Matt Stanton added a 25-yard field goal for a 46-6 Jaguar lead at the half.
Ledbetter finished the game 11-of-14 for 312 yards and one touchdown before giving way to Cade Sumbler (10-of-12, 83 yards) and Blake Wilhoite (2-of-2, 5 yards). Sumbler tossed a pair of touchdowns.
With the starters long removed, Heritage scored a pair of touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.
Haydon Wiginton caught a 5-yard Sumbler pass to go with the Wright interception return in the third quarter, while Dustin Brasher and Key Brooks each ran in from nine yards out in the fourth.
“For those kids, the experience was priceless — who knows what they will do if they will ever become a starter on the varsity level," Wiginton added. "They got out on the field tonight, and that is something they will remember forever. For the backup players to get out there and play is a tribute to the starters. Those guys that got out there and started the game did a great job."
Heritage remained a perfect 11-0 on the season with the win and will face familiar foe Crandall in the 4A Division I Region II area championship Friday, Nov, 24 at Kincaide Stadium.
The Jaguars defeated the Pirates 39-21 in week two at Midlothian ISD Multipurpose Stadium. Ledbetter finished the game 11-of-15 for 172 yards and three touchdowns while the Jaguars ran 25 times for 122 yards as a team. Talon Berg (2 sacks) led the defense on a day when the Jaguars recorded five tackles for loss.
Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.
*Additional reporting by Mike Sackett/Mirror