Big plays and big players were the key to victory Friday night as the Patriots hung on to beat the Coconut Creek Cougars 41-20 in an important district match-up.
Coming into the game of the week, according to South Florida High School Sports, most people were expecting a tough matchup as the two teams ran different styles of offense. Heritage executes a run-heavy offense centered around dual-threat quarterback Jason Brown, while Coconut Creek focuses on passing the ball with their quarterback Jhakari Harrison, who has been heavily recruited by many division I schools.
Last week, Harrison threw seven touchdowns against Boyd Anderson, and he had a good start Friday night with two touchdowns midway through the second quarter and a tie game at 14 points each. Then there was a shift in the momentum however, as Coconut Creek turned the ball over and gave up two more touchdowns, making it 27-14 at halftime.
At that point, it just got worse for Coconut Creek and better for American Heritage. Jason Brown threw two touchdown passes in the second half and Patrick Surtain Jr. returned an interception for a touchdown, leading the Patriots to an unexpected rout of their athletic opponents.
The game took a scary turn midway through the 3rd quarter as a Coconut Creek receiver was blind-sided by a safety and knocked unconscious near the 25 yard line. The paramedics assisted the injured player for about five minutes before carrying him off the field on a stretcher, as he was showing very little signs of motion.
Then another downturn for the Cougars occurred as the players began exchanging angered words and gestures with their own fans, leading to several fans being escorted off of the bleachers by the police.
A close game at halftime took a dramatic shift during the 3rd quarter, and the Patriots were the main beneficiaries as they were able to hold on for the victory in an important district competition. Next week, Heritage will travel to Norland High School to try to extend their winning streak to three games and keep their state championship hopes alive.