If you are a football fan you missed a game for the ages when the Heritage junior varsity traveled to Hendersonville this past Thursday night and came away with a thrilling overtime victory over a very talented Bearcat JV.After the two teams battled to a 38-38 tie in regulation play, the Cougars won the toss and received the football first in the overtime period. On first down from the Hendersonville ten yard line, Cougar QB Avery Austin handed the ball off to Dalton Cannon on a quick hitter up the middle. Cannon sprinted into the end zone untouched thanks to tremendous blocking by the guys up front. Cannon also carried for the two point conversion and the Cougars had an eight point cushion in the extra frame.
Hendersonville scored on third down of their OT possession but the Cougar defense swarmed the Bearcat QB on the two point try and stopped him short of the goal line to win the game 46-44.
The Cougars had grabbed a 38-32 lead on their first possession of the second half when a 54 yard drive was capped by a Jake Robinson 1 yard TD run and two point conversion toss and catch from Austin Avery to EJ Echoa.
The Bearcats responded to knot the score at 38-38 when they scooped up a Cougar fumble and rumbled into the end zone from ten yards out.
The Cougars drew first blood in the exciting league opener for both teams. Heritage used the running of Joey Brown and Josh Meadows to set up a 16 yard touchdown hookup between Austin Avery and Dalton Cannon. Bryson Cooper hauled in the two point pass from Austin and the Cougars led 8-0 on their first offensive possession of the night.
But the lead was short lived as the speedy Bearcats returned the ensuing Cougar kick 75 yards to the house and with a two point conversion run the stage was set for a barn burner.
The two teams did not disappoint. Hendersonville stopped the Cougars short on 4th down and 10 from the Bearcat 19 and after taking over on downs the home team quickly regained the lead 16-8 on a 70 yard touchdown run and 2 point pass.
The back and forth continued as Heritage strung together 11 plays to reach the end zone on a 7 yard QB keeper by Avery Austin who lowered his head at the goal line and muscled his way across the invisible plane at the goal line. Another great catch by Ochoa on the two point conversion pulled the Cougars even with the Bearcats midway through the second quarter.
Hendersonville eased ahead 24-16, but the Cougars closed in on the lead when they took their first possession of the second quarter 60 yards to pay-dirt. Joey Brown got the score on a short run after a catch by Ochoa set the Cougars up at the one yard line.
Trailing 24-22 late in the second quarter, the Heritage defense gave the Cougar offense a chance to grab the lead at the break. Heritage scored following a Larry Peterson fumble recovery gave the Cougars a short field at the HHS 35 yard line.
Cannon carried the rock to the Bearcat 4 yard line where Austin again found the end zone on a keeper. Cannon's two point run allowed Heritage to enjoy a 30-24 lead at the intermission.
As they had done in the first half, the Bearcats busted their first play from scrimmage for a long TD run and added the two point conversion to seize the lead away from the Cougars 32-30.
Heritage (3-1, 1-0) will try and continue their quest to defend their WHC title when they host Polk County on Thursday night in Burnsville. Come out and show your support. You never know what you might miss.