Rangers, Pats stumble on road

From Herald Staff Reports

In a season in which Heritage Hills thumped its opponents with such regularity that it was an aberration when the Patriots allowed a team to reach double-digits, the regular-season finale represented a troubling conclusion.

Class 3A No. 5 Heritage Hills entered Reo on Friday night and left with its first shutout loss in three years, a 14-0 defeat to Pocket Athletic Conference and Spencer County rival South Spencer after the Patriots (7-2, 5-2) amassed only 64 yards of offense and completed only 3-of-16 passes.

South Spencer (5-4, 4-3), which hadn’t beaten Heritage Hills since 1991, scored its touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters. Each time, Walker Franklin connected with receiver Tyler Hermann for a red-zone score — a 12-yard strike in the third and an 11-yard score in the fourth.

Friday was the first time Heritage Hills suffered a shutout since an 18-0 defeat to Jasper in 2008. It was the first time since a 28-0 loss to South Spencer in 1990 that the Patriots were shut out in a PAC contest.

Ben Hawkins returned from an injury to lead the Patriots with 40 rushing yards on seven carries. Ben Smith added 29 yards on seven carries, as Jack Woolems, Cole Burroughs and Zach Lubbehusen each caught one pass for the Patriots, who had outscored their previous three opponents 86-18.

Franklin finished 15-for-22 for 186 yards and an interception. Damon Wahl pocketed the pick, his sixth of the season, which is tops in the area. Heritage Hills, which entered the game allowing only 8.5 points per game, also recovered two fumbles.

Marksmen 24, Rangers 14: Forest Park concluded an injury-ravaged season with a road loss to Pocket Athletic Conference adversary Tell City, a team the Rangers beat twice last season by a combined score of 70-34.

Friday night, Forest Park (4-5, 2-5) and Tell City (2-7, 2-5) were knotted at 14-all after two quarters. Then came halftime — the Rangers’ nemesis for the past two games. In the last two weeks, South Spencer and Heritage Hills outscored Forest Park 47-0. The last post-intermission score the Rangers have recorded was a third-quarter touchdown against North Posey on Sept. 23.

No individual statistics or other game information were provided by The Herald’s deadline.

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