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Prep Football: Heritage Wins Semifinals Game vs Colony, 57-31

Patriots Face Mustangs for First Division Title

Friday, December 6th, 2013
Issue 49, Volume 17.
Paul Bandong
Sports Editor

The Heritage Patriots (13-1) proved to be dangerous on both sides of the ball outscoring semifinals opponent Colony Titans (9-3) 57-31 to advance to the Central Division CIF Southern Section-Ford Football Championship Finals next Friday.

The ground-and-pound Patriot offense rushed for 476 yards and five touchdowns on the night. In the fourth quarter alone, the defense racked up 195 yards and two touchdowns.

Colony scored first on a 26-yd field goal after a fake punt play and a 4th down encroachment penalty kept their 14-play opening drive alive. Fourteen plays later, Sione Takitaki scored from one yard out to give Heritage a 7-3 lead.

Colony took advantage of field position after an interception and scored again on a 12-yd field goal. Limahai Hifo went 32 yards on a power sweep left to score, 14-6, capping a five-play 70-yd drive. It only took five plays to cover 77 yards when Patriots QB Brett Virgil faked a toss to Hifo and kept the ball for a nine-yard score, 21-6. Titans QB Josh Thompson took to the air with 1:08 left in the half; five plays later, he connected with James Smith for the score and then with Tommie Dorsey for the two-point conversion, 21-14 at half.

A Colony interception by Ryan Kinard coupled with a face mask penalty by Heritage gave Colony the ball on the 27-yd line. A three-yd run by Devan Imbach tied the game at 21 with less than three minutes elapsed in the third quarter. Four plays later, Hifo ripped off a 58-yard score to give Heritage a 28-21 lead. Colony’s 4th-and-1 trick play gained them a first down; a Heritage personal foul put them in field position and they kicked a 42-yd field goal, 28-24. A 90-yd kick-off return by Jalen Glover and a horse collar penalty by Colony set up Hifo’s three-yard jog into the endzone. Hifo passed to Evan Rodriguez for the two-point conversion, 36-24.

The Titans pulled another trick play out of their bag: wide receiver Kyle Curry took the ball on a reverse, pulled up and threw a pass to wide open Zachary Fields for a 51-yd score, 36-31.

Hifo fumbled on a dive play at the twenty and teammate/cousin Takitaki scooped it up and rambled eighty yards for the score. Hifo made the two-point conversion on a sweep, 44-31.

The defenses stiffened and Heritage forced Colony into two turnover-on-downs; Colony forced Heritage to punt twice.

Colony was threatening to score from the Heritage 12 with just under two minutes in the game. Hifo intercepted Thompson’s pass at the goal line and raced 100 yards for the score, 51-31.

Thompson started with the ball at his own 47 with 1:42 left and marched his team down the field to the Heritage 26 with 32.7 seconds left. Isaiah Morrow’s 95-yard walk-off pick six ended the game.

Heritage will travel to Moreno Valley to face the Rancho Verde Mustangs (11-2) for the Central Division Championship. Rancho Verde dominated Kaiser 35-3. The two teams have had three common opponents: Great Oak, JW North, and Arlington. Both lost to Great Oak: Rancho Verde 42-43 and Heritage 40-43. Both beat JW North: Rancho Verde 42-0 and Heritage 38-12. Both beat Arlington: Rancho Verde 49-14 and Heritage 21-7 in the first round of playoffs.

Game time is 7 pm.



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