ATHENS — As strong as its offense has been at times, Heritage High School’s football team may have posted its strongest performance to date.
Heritage took a 27-0 lead after one quarter, added 35 more points in the second quarter alone, then opened the third quarter with a quick TD drive before yielding to the team’s reserves. When the dust had settled, HHS had rolled to a 75- 42 final score over Athens at Bruce Field.
The emphatic road victory leaves Heritage (4-3, 2-0) tied with Crandall atop the District 9-4A (I) standings, with those two teams set to collide this Friday at MISD Multipurpose Stadium with the driver’s seat on the line.
For such a high point total, Heritage had a relatively modest 544 total offensive yards.
Quarterback Cade Sumbler was efficient once again, with 13 completions in 17 attempts for 315 yards and four touchdowns. Hayden Wiginton caught five passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, and Jay Wilkerson had five catches for 116 yard and two scores. Daelin Raeder had two catches for 77 yards and a TD as well.
On the ground, Latray Miller carried the ball 14 times for 91 yards and three touchdowns. Sumbler and Cullen Stone each found pay dirt as well one time.
A failed onside kick attempt by Athens set the tone from the get-go as Heritage needed just 50 yards to open the scoring, on Miller’s 2-yard run. Sumbler then hit Wilkerson and Wiginton on big plays of 52 and 59 yards respectively, and Stone burst up the middle for an 18-yard scoring scamper after HHS had recovered an onside kick attempt of its own.
Athens’ Jerquindon Taylor scored the first of his three second-quarter touchdowns to put his team on the scoreboard, but Sumbler and Miller each rushed for scores, Sumbler hit Rader from 66 yards out on a one-play drive, and Wilkerson caught a 29-yard pass from Sumbler. Just for good measure, Heritage’s Konnor Jones returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half to make the score 62-21.
After Heritage executed another successful onside kick to open the second half, Miller added his third and final TD just 1:11 later for a 69-21 lead, and at that point HHS finally let off the gas. Rader added a late TD run to round out the total.