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by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
CARY — It took Panther Creek just one quarter to get things up and going against visiting Heritage Friday night and they walked away with their first shutout of the season with a 44-0 win over the Huskies.
The Catamounts were hungry after losing 28-14 to Wake Forest last week and never allowed the game to become competitive for Heritage, which was coming off a big win over Holly Springs.
“I knew they were a very good football team and very well coached,” said Heritage coach Jason McGeorge. “They have tremendous size and are also very physical.”
Panther Creek jumped out to an early 21-0 lead and never felt the pressure from a beleaguered Huskies squad.
Panther Creek’s defense was strong across the board and surrendered just 88 yards.
In addition to the consistent play, the Catamounts intercepted passes from Heritage quarterback Blake Walters twice, blocked a Husky punt and took advantage of several Heritage penalties during the evening.
“We started out fast on offense and got some early stops on defense,” said Panther Creek coach Sean Crocker. “It was a good combination for us, because it’s hard to play from behind with their offense sometimes. We got a couple of scores and made every possession critical for them early.”
The Huskies started off moving the ball but as the game went on, they became impatient in trying to play catch-up.
“It was a tough night,” McGeorge said. “We started changing some of the things we normally do and we wanted to make up the score on each play and that is not possible.”
“We have to stay focused to get ourselves back into a game,” he added.
McGeorge said too many big offensive plays by Panther Creek along with penalties and turnovers by his squad helped spell doom for the Huskies.
“We were undisciplined,” he said.
Crocker said he expected Heritage to come into the game confident after their win over Holly Springs.
“They are a good football team and McGeorge does a great job,” he said. “What concerned us the most was their explosive potential on offense. Their option game, combined with their ability to play action-pass was a real concern.”
Crocker went on to say that he believes Heritage will have a good season. “They have good players and the coaches have done a great job,” he said. “I suspect they will regroup and give teams a fit this season.”
Heritage will travel to undefeated Knightdale High tomorrow (Friday) at 7 p.m.
“We have to get back on course,” McGeorge said. “We will focus on correcting mistakes and becoming more mentally focused.”