It was a game that tested Heritage in so many ways.
And the Timberwolves learned a lot about themselves Friday in a 38-28 win over Hudson’s Bay in Week 2 of the high school football season.
Heritage learned it can strike quickly, with big plays on offense and defense. The Timberwolves led 23-0 early in the second quarter, thanks to two long touchdown passes, a pick six and another interception that set up a field goal.
Heritage learned that it can’t afford to relax. Hudson’s Bay stormed back, pulling within 31-28 late in the third quarter at Kiggins Bowl.
Finally, Heritage learned its backup quarterback can get the job done. After Nikki Scott injured his knee early in the fourth quarter, Skyler Scoggins led a touchdown drive that put the game out of reach.
The Timberwolves are 2-0 in a season they hope includes a breakthrough into the postseason.
It won’t be easy. But when the going got tough on Friday, Heritage had the moxie to emerge with a victory.
“It’s something we’ve been working on in practice all summer, just not stopping,” said senior lineman Kenyon Webster. “Grind it out and never give up. Give 100 percent every play until you make something happen.”
Heritage made a lot happen early in the game.
For the second straight week, Daniel Barrera caught a first-quarter touchdown pass, this time a 45-yarder less than two minutes into the game.
On Bay’s next drive, Barrera returned an interception 60 yards to the Eagles’ 5-yard-line. That set up a Heritage field goal.
On it next drive, Heritage pushed the lead to 17-0 when Scott found Kahai Umiamaka for a 43-yard touchdown pass.
Umiamaka then added a defensive touchdown, returning an interception 31 yards 12 seconds into the second quarter.
Heritage had a 23-0 lead and all the momentum.
“It transitioned into putting more points on the board because it put our confidence up,” Barrera said of the fast start.
But Hudson’s Bay (0-2) didn’t give up.
The Eagles started relying on its physical run game. Akilotoa Kaumatule, Bay’s 215-pound running back, started grinding out tough yards. He eventually finished with 128 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
“Once you control the clock, you control the energy of the game,” said Hudson’s Bay coach Ray Lions. “Those five-yards hits, the eight yard hits, you start to change the morale and the tone of the game.”
Quarterback Parker Marsh, who missed Bay’s opener with an injured ankle, started finding his rhythm. He developed a connection with Carter Morse, who caught seven passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
From the early second quarter to the late third, four of Hudson’s Bay’s five drives resulted in touchdowns. Kaumatule’s second TD, a five-yard run that saw he and his linemen push a large scrum over the goal line, pulled the Eagles within 31-28 with 4:09 left in the third quarter.
Heritage was on its heels. And early in the fourth quarter, Scott left the game with a knee injury suffered on a 15-yard run. The freshman was able to jog on the sidelines and coaches are optimistic the injury isn’t serious.
Enter Scoggins. After he was sacked by Derek Barnes, the junior backup faced fourth and 19 from Bay’s 29 yard line.
Scoggins came through with a 26-yard pass to Jorden Oliveras.
“I know Jorden, he’s an athlete,” Scoggins said. “I knew somehow he would get it. The line gave me time and he made the play. I threw the ball and he made the play.”
Scoggins finished the drive with a five-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper. Heritage led 38-28 with 6:38 left. More importantly, it had reclaimed the momentum.
“It speaks a lot to him and his character, to be able to come in at a moment’s notice and be able to help us win that game,” Webster said of Scoggins.
Heritage has two wins under its belt. But more importantly, the Timberwolves learned a few lessons to help them reach their higher goals.
“That’s great, but we haven’t proved anything,” Umiamaka said. “We’re trying to be a playoff team. That’s the goal, to win league games.”
The Eagles also learned about themselves Friday, mostly that they can be resilient.
“No question we’re proud of what we did,” Lions said. “But the big thing is having the focus to finish. We’re doing some good things, but there were breakdowns. But ultimately we’ll take pride that we fought back and didn’t give up.”
HERITAGE 38, HUDSON’S BAY 28
Heritage 17 14 0 7–38
Hudson’s Bay 0 13 15 0–28
H — Daniel Barrera 45 pass from Nikki Scott (Israel Gonzales kick)
H — Gonzales 22 FG
H – Kahai Umiamaka 43 pass from Scott (Gonzales kick)
H – Umiamaka 31 interception return (kick failed)
HB – Carter Morse 7 pass from Parker Marsh (Alfonso Barajas kick)
H – Jordan Oliveras 10 pass from Scott (Jacob Zapeda pass from Andrew Thom)
HB – Morse 13 pass from Marsh (kick failed)
HB – Akilotoa Kaumatule 1 run (Barajas kick)
HB – Kaumatule 5 run (Joshua McDonald pass from Marsh)
H – Skyler Scoggins 5 run (Gonzales kick)
RUSHING – Heritage: Nikki Scott 3-34, Antonio Mata 2-10, Anthony Kee 5-29, Skyler Scoggins 4-1, Kahai Umiamaka 2-22, Isaac Roa 7-23, Jacky Ha 4-24. Hudson’s Bay: Treyce Teague 9-11, Akilotoa Kaumatule 17-128, Carter Morse 6-41, Parker Marsh 4-8.
PASSING – Heritage: Nikki Scott 7-15-0-141, Skyler Scoggins 1-2-0-26. Hudson’s Bay: Parker Marsh 15-28-2-158.
RECEIVING – Heritage: Daniel Barrera 2-63, Kahai Umiamaka 4-68, Jorden Oliveras 2-36. Hudson’s Bay: Treyce Teague 3-12, Carter Morse 7-79, Trent Palen 4-55, Joshua McDonald 1-12.