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Heritage football makes a statement with win over Rolesville

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WAKE FOREST ⁠— Heritage's football team scored two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter to hand Rolesville their second loss in a row with a 42-28 victory at home Friday. The big win over their NAC 6 conference rival keeps the Huskies undefeated in conference play. The 42 points is the most Rolesville has given up since Heritage beat them 55-6 Oct. 27, 2017. Heritage head coach Wallace Clark said the key to success against Rolesville was a balanced offense. He praised the depth of his team for getting it done in all facets of the game. "The guys did a good job of focusing tonight," Clark said. "Our offensive line picked up a lot of blitzes, which gave Walker Harris the opportunity to do some things that he does best. We have a lot of good skill guys. Joshua Crabtree, Whit Kane, Jonah Portugal and Brodrick Gooch all did an excellent job catching the ball. Most people feel like we can't run the ball, but we did a good job sustaining the drives with Trey Holloway and Jalen Campbell. We're going to enjoy this one." Heritage built up a 20-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to three touchdown passes from Harris. Two of them were to Crabtree and the other was to Kane. In the second quarter, Rolesville finally got on the scoreboard off a 25-yard touchdown pass from Byrum Brown to Jashaun Patterson. Then Rolesville running back Josh Pullen plowed through for a 4-yard touchdown run five minutes later to cut the deficit to 20-14. Heritage responded less than two minutes later on a 13-yard touchdown pass to Gooch to go up 27-14. With 22 seconds left until halftime, Pullen added one more touchdown run for Rolesville to make it 27-21. In the third quarter, Pullen scored his third rushing touchdown of the game to give the Rams their first lead of the game at 28-27.

It wasn't until late in the fourth quarter that Heritage took back the advantage. The Huskies scored on another touchdown pass, this time a 14-yard reception to Gooch. That made it 35-28 after the successful two-point conversion. On the first play of Rolesville's offensive drive, the Rams fumbled the ball and Savionne Rogers recovered it for Heritage. The Huskies extended their lead to 42-28 after another touchdown to Gooch. Then Heritage put the nail in the coffin when Marques Roper intercepted the Brown pass with 28 seconds left in the game. One kneel down later and the Huskies walked off the field victorious. "These kids have been through a lot of ups and downs this season," Clark said. "We have to compete with each other. The kids dug deep in their hearts tonight and found a way to get it done tonight." Rolesville played great football in the second and third quarter, but had a tough time opening the game and an even rougher time finishing the game. Rams head coach Martin Samek said it's hard to play against a high-powered offense like Heritage and expect to slow them down. "Heritage has a fantastic passing game," Samek said. "Anytime you face a team like that, they always have a chance to come back and score points and win." With the loss, Rolesville dropped to 8-2 overall and 2-2 in NAC 6 conference play. The Rams lost last week to Wake Forest, taking them out of contention for a conference title. Rolesville will try to finish the regular season on a high note with senior night against Corinth Holders Friday at 7 p.m. at home. "We've got to beat Corinth Holders and worry about them," Samek said. "There are a lot of teams in the area that would like to have our record right now. We have to worry about what we can control." With the win, Heritage improved to 7-3 overall and 4-0 in NAC 6 conference play. After a shaky start to the season, the Huskies have won five in a row. Heritage will have a rivalry showdown with Wake Forest on the road Friday at 7 p.m. to determine the NAC 6 conference champion. "We're going to be doing our homework leading up to Wake Forest," Clark said. "Coach Reggie Lucas and his group do a great job of preparing for us. We're going to evaluate ourselves and see what we do best. We're going to have a lot of community support with this game. We're going to see if we can get the job done. Hopefully, we'll come out with the victory this year."

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