As both teams marched onto the Heritage field Sept. 2 with a winning streak, it was inevitable that one team would return to school after the Labor Day weekend with a loss – and it wasn’t going to be Heritage. The Lake Gibson Braves traveled down to Plantation to take on the Heritage Patriots but were sent back home on a low note: a 28-point loss.
Lake Gibson had previously defeated East Lake High School from Tarpon Springs (Fla.), while Heritage had wins over Lownes (Ga.) and Los Alamitos (Calif.) under their belt.
Despite the game starting off with a loss on the coin toss, the Patriots were able to reach the end zone within the first few minutes after a pass from senior quarterback Blake Murphy. The Patriots kicked off to the Braves, but the Heritage defense was too strong and the Braves only made it 30 yards down the field. Lake Gibson resorted to kicking it back to the Heritage offense. With two minutes left in the first quarter, senior Damari Brown caught a pass for the Patriots’ second touchdown.
While the football team was giving their all on the field, the fans were equally enthusiastic. Heritage students cheered on their team – dressed from head to toe in black for the blackout game theme – by chanting “Let’s go Patriots, let’s go” and throwing baby powder after every touchdown.
“Cheering in the student section was so much fun. I left the game covered in baby powder and my ears ringing, but it was definitely worth it,” junior Courtney Lesser said.
Lake Gibson sent their offense out to start the second quarter, but defensive plays such as a sack from senior Jamarcus Smith kept them from scoring for the majority of the first half. Eventually, the Braves ran it in for a touchdown but missed the extra-point kick. Once they punted it, senior Brandon Inniss returned the ball 90 yards for another touchdown. This started a chain reaction of touchdowns for the Patriots, and halftime began with the score 35-6. The Heritage band, dancers and cheerleaders put on an incredible halftime performance.
During the second half, the Braves intercepted a pass from the Patriots, but the Patriots returned the act by running for another touchdown. Going into the fourth quarter, the score was still in favor of the Patriots, 42-6.
The Braves got in one more touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the gap between the two team’s scores was just too large to overcome. The game ended with the final score 42-14. The Heritage football players will return to school Tuesday feeling good about tonight’s victory and their 3-0 record as they prepare for next Friday’s game against Glades Central.