|Heritage High senior Jamal Morrow fires up the crowd late in Friday night's game. The Patriots beat Rancho Verde, 35-13.|
Using his explosive speed and ability to find holes opened up by the aggressive Heritage offensive line, Morrow averaged more than 13 yards per carry. That performance was part of a Patriots rushing attack that accounted for 435 yards against last year's CIF-SS Central Division champions, who are 0-2 this season.
Heritage is now 2-0 heading into its home opener next Friday against Beaumont.
"The offensive line did a terrific job tonight. I just tried to take the holes they gave me. The first week of practice, coach told me I was going to run the ball a lot this year. I took it to heart."
Rancho Verde opened the scoring when Keyshawn Slaughter scored on a 1-yard run with 6:23 left in the first quarter. Heritage came right back on the next drive, however, marching downfield to tie the score with a 2-yard TD run by Limihai Hifo and Logan Netter's PAT kick, 7-7.
Although plagued by penalties throughout the game, Heritage pretty much dominated from that point on. The Patriots took the lead for good when Morrow broke free on the left side and raced 23 yards into the end zone. Netter's PAT kick gave Heritage a 14-7 lead, which it held at halftime.
The Patriots began to break the game open when Morrow raced 53 yards into the end zone midway through the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth period he was at it again, running 19 yards for a TD. Following Darius Allensworth's interception of a Rancho Verde pass, Heritage was headed for the end zone again, this time on a 4-yard run by Morrow for a 35-7 lead.
Limihai Hifo finished with 81 yards rushing on 15 carries.
"We made some mistakes early on, but the guys played with energy," Patriots coach Kraig Broach said. "We need to clean up a lot of stuff; I'm concerned about the penalties. But on the positive side, I loved how fast we played and the energy we showed."
|Running back Limihai Hifo takes on a Rancho Verde defender in Friday night's victory.|