by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
WAKE FOREST — Junior quarterback Blake Walters directed an offense that accounted for 563 yards as Heritage exploded for a 56-33 Cap 8 Conference victory over pesky Broughton Friday night.
Walters scored three of the Huskies eight touchdowns on runs of 63, 67 and 7 yards. He also threw for two scores.
“Fortunately, our offensive line played a great game and we were able to run the ball very well,” Walters said.
“As an offense, we always go into the game wanting to score a lot of points,” he added. ‘As the game went on, we knew we had to keep scoring and we just took it on a drive to drive basis, trying to score a touchdown each time.”
The game shaped up as a shootout and the Huskies had a greater supply of ammunition, most of which came from their running game.
Walters accounted 154 yards on the ground but Abdul Sesay was the major workhorse, carrying the ball 28 times and chalking up 217 yards, including touchdown runs of 75 and 29 yards.
“We have always been a run team first and nothing had changed going into this game,” Walters said. “It was a great end to the season and we hope to carry the momentum into the playoffs.”
Broughton, however, out passed Heritage with 394 of its total 461 yards coming in the air. Walters threw just 17 passes and competed nine of those for 97 yards.
Together both teams generated over 1,000 yards in a game where there was very little defense.
“I think we played great offensively and struggled just a little defensively,” said Heritage football coach Jason McGeorge. “Offensively we ran the ball extremely well and we were able to complete passes to keep drives going.”
“Defensively, Broughton throws the ball a lot and they have a bound to make a big play or two and this is what happened,” McGeorge added. “They completed a couple of long passes for quick scores.”
With a mindset of having to beat Broughton to make the 4A state playoffs, the Huskies had the upper hand from the opening kick-off after recognizing its 2014 senior players.
“I wanted them to enjoy the moment, especially the seniors, who have done a lot for our program,” McGeorge said. “I did not want them to be stressed about the playoffs.”
Heritage scored four touchdowns in the first quarter while the Caps only found the end zone once.
By halftime, the Huskies had extended their lead to 42-27 and added another one in the third quarter.
“I think the major turning point in the game was the beginning of the second half,” McGeorge said.
Broughton completed a very long pass to start the second half and ended up inside Heritage’s ten-yard line with a first and goal.
The Huskies defense was able to hold strong and Greg Clifton got an interception on fourth down to give Heritage’s offense the ball on the 20-yard line.
The Huskies controlled the ball and the clock and ten minutes later scored a touchdown.
“Our kids played with a lot of emotion and played fast,” McGeorge said. “It was a great team win for us.”
Josh Jenkins had 75 of Heritage’s rushing yardage on five carries and Clifton returned an interception into a 34-yard Husky touchdown and caught one of Walters passes for another score.
Josh McCaffity also scored on a pass from Walters.
Defensively, Heritage was led by Matt Baker and Gershom Ejoni, with six tackles each.
After losing its last three games, McGeorge said he was happy overall with the way his team responded.
“We were in our last two games with Millbrook and Wakefield until the end,” he said. “We threw an interception against Millbrook with less than a minute to go in the game and against Wakefield; we had the lead in the third quarter, before the interception return for a touchdown.”
“We were in those games, so we still had confidence and knew we were close to a win,” he added.
The Huskies, making their second trip to the state playoffs, will travel to Laurinburg to play undefeated Scotland High School.
“We are going to have a great week of practice and we are going to go fight our hearts out against them,” McGeorge said. “I’m very proud of these young men.”