Hawks learn tough lesson on Homecoming
Too many turnovers will cost any football team a game, a lesson that is sometimes learned the hard way.
Unfortunately for The Heritage School, those lessons came in a turnover-plagued 45-7 loss to Mount de Sales on Homecoming night Friday at Hawk Field in both teams' Region 2-AAA openers.
The win was the first of the season for the Cavaliers (1-5) following a rough non-region schedule. The loss dropped the Hawks to 2-4 and 0-2 against Class AAA opponents a year after losing 16 players from last year's state runner-up team.
'When you start 16 freshmen, sophomores or underclassmen against a team with this kind of athleticism, it's just not an easy road,' Heritage School head coach Kevin Prisant said. 'But I'm hoping these guys can take the pops and take the hits down the road and keep working hard.'
The game quickly turned in favor of the Cavaliers after holding the Hawks to two yards on their first possession. An ensuing punt snap was mishandled and a short punt resulted in Mount de Sales getting the ball at the Heritage 9 to set up a 31-yard field goal.
The Cavaliers, who held the Hawks offense scoreless for the game, pushed the lead to 10-0 on their next possession on a 32-yard pass from Reed Ely to Jared Braddy.
Heritage's next possession resulted in another botched punt attempt, this time with the snap sailing over David Barber's head into the end zone. Mount de Sales sophomore Xavier Kind fell on the ball during a frantic scramble to give the team a 17-0 advantage after just one quarter.
'When you spot them two touchdowns on a bad snap and one on a punt that was just dropped, things like that can turn a game,' Prisant said. 'If that doesn't happen, who knows what the score would be. They end up feeding off that type of momentum swing.'
In all, Heritage turned the ball over three times in the first-two quarters, with Mount de Sales cashing in with touchdowns in all three occasions to grab a 31-0 lead by halftime.
The first fumble resulted in a 2-yard touchdown run by Aubrey Evins. The second was immediately turned into a 36-yard run by Will Jones.
Freshman Hamp Smith and sophomore Matthew Burns tried their best to help get Heritage's offense moving after halftime with a seven-play drive over 55 yards, with Burns accounting for 40 of them on four carries. The drive stalled out, however, at the Mount de Sales 25-yard line where the Hawks turned it over on downs.
'We hit the holes and we were running pretty hard,' Prisant said. 'There were some pretty dumb calls by me. But we have a bunch of young guys who I feel like if they do the same thing over and over they are going to get it and they are going to learn how to run the football.'
The Hawks managed get on the board midway through the fourth quarter with a defensive stop when senior Dalton Trammell knocked the ball loose and it was scooped up by Burns at the Cavaliers 45 for a touchdown to pull within 38-7. 'It wasn't all negative,' Prisant said. 'We saw some positive things out there. Every day we step on the field for a practice of a game it's going to be a learning experience for us. They just need to keep their heads up and to stay focused. We are thankful we get another chance in two weeks.'
Cavaliers 45, Hawks 7
Mount de Sales 17 14 7 7 - 45 Heritage School 0 0 0 7- 7
MDS - Ryan Murphy 31 field goal, 7:35 MDS - Reed Ely 32 pass to Jared Braddy (Murphy kick), 4:10 MDS - Xavier Kind fumble recovery (Murphy kick), 1:35 2nd Quarter
MDS - Aubrey Evins 2 run (Murphy kick), 5:15 MDS - Will Jones 36 run (Murphy kick), 1:28
MDS - Ely 45 run (Murphy kick), 6:15
HS - Matthew Burns 45 fumble return (David Barber kick), 6:55 MDS - Nick Allman 38 run (Murphy kick), 4:09