Day After Report: Heritage 9, Evergreen 0
Our game story highlighted the defense. As it should have. After all, it’s not every day the Heritage Timberwolves get a shutout.
But the Timberwolves had plenty of highlights on offense, too. Well, except for that whole scoring touchdowns thing. They only got one of those.
If the Timberwolves figure out a red zone offense, this team could get on a roll.
Tashiem Hurse rushed for 194 yards on 23 carries. Jalynnee McGee added 77 yards on the ground.
Red zone dynamics: OK, so was it bad red zone offense, or really good red zone defense? Both coaches would probably say yes. Give credit to Evergreen. The Plainsmen did the whole bend-but-not break defense much of the night.
Consider: Heritage got into the red zone (the opponent’s 20-yard line or beyond) seven times yet scored only one touchdown. Evergreen got one interception from Antoine Archer and the Plainsmen forced a fumble that rolled out of bounds in the end zone for another turnover.
Of course, it turned out, the Timberwolves did not need more than one TD. Their defense was solid all night, from just about every “zone” of the field.
Heritage defense saved me, too: So a little “inside baseball” talk here. We journalists love deadline. Really, we do. It’s adrenaline. Still, covering two football games can be tough. If at all possible, we really, really want to write the first game before the second game starts. Trust me, it’s difficult to wait for both games to finish before we write both stories. My mind is usually threatening to walk out on me after all the numbers I chart.
Friday at McKenzie Stadium, I started writing my story before the game had concluded. My story noted the shutout, a first for Heritage over an Evergreen team. I had the first few paragraphs in the system. And then … and then …
Evergreen almost ruined that whole shutout angle. Evergreen almost scored and would have had a chance at an onside kick to really change my story. Perhaps to a Plainsmen miracle victory? Quarterback Payton Monda broke free for a 60-yard run and was chased down on the 5-yard line with less than a minute to play.
The Heritage defense, though, came through again. Back-to-back sacks preserved the shutout.
And preserved my story.