firstname.lastname@example.orgWith a balanced offensive attack, led by the running of Maleek Smith and Josh Meadows and the passing combo of Bryson Cooper and AJ Hensley, and a stingy defense the Cougar JV rolled past the visiting Smoky Mountain Mustangs 36-6 Thursday night in non-conference action at E.L.Briggs Stadium.
The Cougars scored early and often, reaching the end zone on their first drive to help them construct a 24-0 lead by halftime.
After stuffing the Mustangs first drive and forcing a punt, the Cougars set out on a time consuming 14 play 70 yard march that gave Smoky Mountain a good dose of the slashing running style of sophomore Maleek Smith.
A 16 yard run by Smith set the Cougars up inside the Mustang 10 yard line and Josh Meadows then followed his blocking 8 yards for the score and together with a two point run by Justin Keener Heritage held an early 8-0 lead.
Back to back to back turnovers worked in the Cougars favor and led to another Heritage score in the first quarter. First, Adam Shuford recovered a loose football on the ensuing Mustang drive giving the Cougars excellent field position at the Mustang 18. But the Cougars fumbled away the opportunity on the next play giving the ball back to SM on the 16. On first down following the fumble, Cougar DB Michael Bingham picked off a Mustang pass and returned the ball to the Smoky Mountain 41 where on the next play Bryson Cooper made a great play fake and lofted a perfect pass to a streaking AJ Hensley who found himself wide open at about the 15. He made the catch and ran untouched into the end zone. Maleek Smith carried for the two point conversion and the Cougars led 16-0 with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
The Cougars scored just before the half on their longest drive of the evening to grad a 24-0 advantage at the intermission.
Starting from their own 16, Heritage funneled the football to Maleek Smith and Josh Meadows who shared the load as the Cougars moved into Mustang territory. The Cougars set themselves up inside the Smoky red zone when AJ Hensley snared another long bomb from Bryson Cooper on a play that covered 47 yards and gave Heritage a first and goal at the Mustang 3 yard line.
Two plays later Josh Meadows picked his way to the end zone and following a two point pas from Cooper to Michael Austin Heritage enjoyed a big lead at the break.
After fumbling away their first possession of the second half Heritage forced a Mustang punt when Corey Presnell sacked the Smoky Mountain QB on 3rd and long to force a punt.
After taking possession at the Cougar 22, Maleek Smith put an exclamation point on the Heritage victory when he broke loose through a gaping hole provided by his offensive line and out ran everyone 68 yards to pay dirt and a 30-0 Cougar lead.
Heritgae (3-1) finished off their scoring late in the third quarter with a 7 play 50 yard drive that ended with a one yard Bryson Cooper keeper.
Smoky Mountain avoided a shutout with a 55 yard scoring drive early in the final stanza.
The Cougars hope to keep the train rolling this week on a road trip to West Henderson on Thursday. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m.