RALEIGH — Heritage football coach Jason McGeorge constantly preaches to his team about the importance of having a short memory. Still, it’s hard to believe either he or his team will forget their 28-7 win at Millbrook on Friday.
“It was a great win. Both sides of the ball played well,” McGeorge said. “Very proud of it, but we got another game. You enjoy them, but you can’t bask in them.”
Heritage took control from the start of the game and refused to ease up. After taking the opening kickoff, Heritage put together a 12 play, 80 yard drive that culminated in nine yard shovel pass from Blake Walters to Greg Clifton to take the lead.
Heritage struck again later in the first quarter with a 10 play, 81 yard drive that ended in a three yard run by Abdul Sesay. Heritage held on to that 14-0 lead through halftime.
“We ran our offense, and that’s what we wanted to do," McGeorge said of his team’s fast start. “We got into a couple of formations we felt good about and they helped us get down the field.”
Things got off to a rough start in the second half for Millbrook, as Marcus Harris’ pass was intercepted by Nathan Casico and returned 10 yards for a touchdown and give his team a 21-0 lead after the extra point. Both coaches pointed to the play as a turning point in the game.
“That was huge,” said Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore. “We get pinned inside the two yard-line, throw a pick six and we’re down 21-0 and haven’t been on the field defensively.”
Heritage concentrated on pounding the ball against Millbrook’s defense in the second half as their offensive line dominated the line off scrimmage all night as Sesay, Clifton and Walters combined for 240 yards rushing.
“Our offensive line did a phenomenal job,” McGeorge said. “They work very well together, they communicate, and that’s very important for a successful football team.
Heritage appeared to be position to record a shutout before it fumbled in its own territory with just over two minutes remaining.
“The kids fought hard,” Inscore said. “We have to clean up our mistakes, get consistent and stop having so many three-and-outs.”
The win gives Heritage a 5-3 record as it heads into the stretch run of its second season of varsity football. McGeorge was cautiously optimistic at any mention of the playoffs, but he did acknowledge his team is starting to see the fruits of its labor.
“Obviously they’re seeing the success,” McGeorge said. “It’s a lot easier to show them the way when they’re believing and they see the success.”