Dennis Moody said the first five weeks of the season have taken an emotional toll on his defensive coaches.
But after Heritage got its first win of the season, the Timberwolves head coach put this hand over his face as he walked off the field at McKenzie Stadium to hide his emotions.
“They’ve grown; they’re starting to compete,” Moody said after Heritage’s 16-13 win over Evergreen. “The fact that they want to compete, it’s where we want to go. Through COVID and injuries the first three games, we were without nine games, and we’re starting to get out guys back. And we’re pretty good when we have our guys.”
Junior LaDaimien McCord had a huge game. His pass deflection on defense led to a interception by Aiden Miller in the end zone in the second quarter.
On Heritage’s next play, McCord went 80 yards on a pass from Khalil McCord to give the Timberwolves (1-5, 1-1 3A Greater St. Helens League) an 8-0 lead they would take into halftime.
“Back in the Mountain View game, we lost it in the second half,” McCord said of Heritage’s 49-20 loss to the Thunder on Sept. 24 when the Timberwolves led 12-7 at half. “So this week, we were focusing on going hard in the second half, keeping our form to make sure they can’t come back.”
Evergreen (3-3, 0-1) did come back on a 73-yard touchdown pass from Jayden Crace to Shane Newell, but Heritage got the stop on the two-point conversion to keep it 8-6.
McCord then broke free for a 40-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter to put Heritage up 16-6.
“The QB was making the right reads, and he put the ball on the money,” McCord said of Osborn.
Evergreen answered with 75-yard drive capped by Jordan Peters’ 41-yard TD pass from Crace to make 16-13.
A Heritage fumble gave Evergreen the ball back on its 32 yard line with 5:30 to play. But the Timberwolves forced a 3-and-out to get the ball back.
“We constantly talk about facing adversity and you never know when it’s going to come,” Moody said. “It’s part of the game. Nobody was mad. Nobody was upset. We just knew what we had to do. And then our staff just went right back to Kedyn (Bolds), and on the very next play, he popped a big run. We believe in each other.”
Bolds went for 13 on the first play of the next possession. He later added a 30-yard run to put Heritage inside the Mountain View 15.
From there, the Timberwolves could run out the clock. Bolds finished with 157 yards on 27 carries.
Meanwhile, Evergreen running back Kyle Norton, the region’s leading rusher, was held to a season-low 42 yards on 17 carries.
Heritage’s defense was led by Dillion Alexander, Jack Warren and Noah Green.
“I feel our defense played the best game they’ve played all year,” Moody said. “We tackled so much better today. Our defensive coaches have kind of worn the last four, five weeks on their sleeves, and it’s good for them too. They came up with a great plan. I’m super proud of our guys.”
HERITAGE 16, EVERGREEN 13
RECEIVING — Evergreen: Newell 7-135, Peters 3-57, Arthur Ban 1-13, Logan Trotter 1-4, Norton 2-17. Heritage: McCord 3-130, Miller 2-10.