Jags tune up with romp at Alvarado
QB Brown accounts for four touchdowns as HHS eyes Benbrook meeting in bi-district round
ALVARADO — With a challenging regular season behind them, the Heritage Jaguars now can look ahead to something they have historically had great success in: the playoffs.
The Jags couldn’t have asked for a better tune-up for the postseason. Junior quarterback Kaden Brown completed 15 of 16 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns and added two more scores on the ground as HHS rolled to a 55-14 victory over Alvarado at Charles Head Stadium to bring down the curtain on the regular season.
The Jags (7-3, 3-2) are the No. 3 seed out of District 5-4A in the Class 4A Division I bracket and will make the short trip to Mansfield’s Vernon Newsom Stadium on Thursday night to take on Benbrook. The winner will face either Melissa or North Dallas, which could mean a rematch of a regular-season meeting for HHS in the area round.
T.J. Pride caught eight passes for 124 yards and two TDs, Greg Johnson and Xavier Moten each caught a TD pass, and Mason O’Neal and Jason Barela each rushed for a score for HHS.
The Jags also got an early look at the future, as freshman Carter Rutenbar passed for two second-half touchdowns in his first varsity action.
Defensively, Ben Eskins finished with seven tackles and Johnson added six as the Jags had a team effort overall. Brandon Thomas and Major Vaughn each came up with fumble recoveries.
HHS scored on its first four possessions and totaled 285 yards of offense in the first half en route to a 27-7 lead. Barela opened the scoring at the 4:51 mark of the first quarter on a 1-yard run, then an Alvarado fumble was immediately cashed in on the next play from scrimmage as Brown scampered 35 yards for a 14-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Brown found Pride on a 43-yard strike; then after the HHS defense put up a stand at their own 1-yard line, Brown threw to Johnson for a 92-yard score with 3:52 left in the half for Heritage's longest touchdown of the season.
Despite conceding a TD to the Indians before halftime on a 9-yard Jayden Bridgewater run, the Jags picked up where they left off in the second half, scoring on a 1-yard run with Brown to cap off a 10-play, 60-yard drive. A 3-yard run by O’Neal with just over two minutes left in the third quarter ended the night for Brown calling signals.
Rutenbar got to run the offense the rest of the way and threw TD passes to Pride and Moten each in the waning moments.