Pats take 38-8 victory over WashingtonOctober 2, 2020
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
LINCOLN CITY — Buoyed by the sounds of the classic Guns N’ Roses tune “Welcome to the Jungle” blaring through the crisp October air, the Heritage Hills Patriots (3-4, 1-3) made an emphatic statement in Friday evening’s contest against Pocket Athletic Conference Large School Division rival Washington Hatchets (3-4, 1-3).
A robust offense and a potent defense carried Heritage Hills to the 38-8 victory on homecoming and senior night.
“It’s big for our seniors,” Heritage Hills head coach Todd Wilkerson said. “I’m always proud of our young men who stick in our program for four years. It’s not easy. It takes a special person to have the commitment that we ask of these young men over their careers. It’s always special for them to get recognized and get a win on a senior night.”
The Pats won the coin toss and elected to defer. From the opening kickoff, a flurry of navy jerseys caused havoc on the gridiron.
Heritage Hills stifled Washington’s first offensive possession. After driving his team down the field, Pats junior quarterback Luke Rickelman struck first with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Neither squad put any points on the scoreboard during the remainder of the first frame, but the Pats raced ahead of the Hatchets in a decisive second quarter.
Junior kicker Austin Hill began the 17-point period with a 29-yard field goal through the uprights. Although Washington limited Heritage Hills to just three points on that particular drive, Pats sophomore running back Skyler Staples staked his claim to pay dirt.
Staples scored two quick touchdowns as the second half came to a close. The rushes from just outside the goal line gave the Pats plenty of breathing room before the intermission.
“We’re not a big team this year,” Wilkerson said. “We have to figure out ways to be creative around the goal line. In the past, we’ve been big enough to get in the wishbone and just smash it in. This year, we have to do it a little bit differently.”
The Pats accumulated 174 yards of offense in the first half, while the Hatchets mustered just 50 yards. At halftime, Heritage Hills nursed a 24-0 advantage.
Defense ruled the roost in the beginning of the third quarter. Washington senior defensive back Damian Garcia snagged an interception in the early stages of the period.
Neither team gained much ground for the majority of the quarter, but Staples did not want to finish the frame without crossing the plane. The speedy running back gave the Pats a 31-0 lead after punching in his third score from a yard out.
As the fourth quarter began, Heritage Hills sophomore running back Brenden Chew wanted in on the fun. Chew dashed through a sizable hole and ripped off a 50-yard rushing touchdown.
After the Pats earned the insurance score, the running clock started. Time ticked down, but the Hatchets put their first points on the board in the final moments.
Washington senior quarterback Trey Reed linked up with fellow senior Jacob Carrico on a 46-yard touchdown pass. The lead proved to be insurmountable, however.
“The kids put in the hard work,” Wilkerson said. “It’s nice to see them enjoy a night, have fun, smile, laugh and get a win.”
Heritage Hills will return Oct. 9 to travel to Southridge, while Washington will host West Washington. Both games are scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
“I’m just proud of them,” Wilkerson said. “The sectional draw is this week, so it’s a big week. We’ve got Southridge ahead of us, so we’ve got to get back to work.”
For more photos from the game, click here.
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