If the saying is true that defense wins championships, then Heights should feel good about its chances.
And its offense isn't too shabby, either.
On Friday, the Falcons had both units at the top of their game against West at Carpenter Stadium, rolling to a 69-0 win. The shutout was the third straight for Heights.
"We played a ton of kids tonight and they all played well," Heights coach Rick Wheeler said. "Underclassmen were in early and they stopped them. On offense they played well. So, that helps knowing you have some quality depth and helping develop that tonight was a big thing for us."
The Falcons, who scored on 10 of their 11 possessions, did most of their damage on the ground. In the first quarter alone, Heights had 239 yards on the ground.
"We knew coming in we wanted to take it right at them," running back Dreamius Smith said. "It's just like another opponent, we were going to come out and play hard. We came together as a team, we got the win. The offense, defense came together as one family."
Smith led the Falcons charge early. He had 117 yards on his first three carries, which included touchdown runs of 51 and 45 yards, to put Heights up 14-0 almost six minutes into the game. His third and final touchdown came on the Falcons' first possession of the second half, a 10-yard run that gave him 199 yards on 12 carries.
"I'm just running hard and following my line," Smith said. "Without my line I wouldn't be able to do any of this."
Smith was far from the only Falcon to score off big plays. Daniel Deshazer scored on a 54-yard pass from quarterback Matt Reed in the first quarter. Deshazer also returned a punt 51 yards in the third quarter that came two yards shy of a touchdown.
Junior tight end Gabriel Lynch scored on a 42-yard pass from John Moreland, and Marquel Moore had touchdown runs of 40 and 58 yards.
"I don't know how many touches Dreamius had, he didn't have many, but he certainly took advantage of his opportunities," Wheeler said. "We really wanted to run inside and be tough."
While the offense was more than doing its part, the defense showed why they've pitched three shutouts. West quarterback Dorian Flournoy was able to complete two passes on the Pioneers' first possession, but completed just two more the rest of the half and threw three interceptions before halftime. West finished with 156 yards of total offense.
"We just went out there and did our thing," said Heights defensive end Zerrance Brickhouse, who had two sacks. "We just go out there, do our job."
Heights finished the night with 515 yards rushing and 611 yards of offense.
Heights (3-0, 3-0) 21 20 21 7 —69 West (1-2, 1-2) 0 0 0 0 — 0
H—Smith 51 run (Hoyer kick)
H—Smith 45 run (Hoyer kick)
H—Deshazer 54 pass from Reed (Hoyer kick)
H—Jones 2 run (Hoyer kick)
H—Lynch 42 pass from Moreland (kick blocked)
H—Moore 40 run (Hoyer kick)
H—Smith 10 run (Hoyer kick)
H—Reed 6 run (Hoyer kick)
H—Moore 58 run (Hoyer kick)
H—Wilcoxson 10 run (Hoyer kick)
Rushing — Heights, Smith 12-199, M. Moore 5-106, Deshazer 4-57, Jones 7-42,Wilcoxson 3-31, Reed 4-27, Jo. Moore 1-23, J. Moreland 2-18, Iheme 3-14, Packer 1-4, McGinnis 1-4, Ju. Moreland 2-0. West, Flournoy 18-55, Epps 8-18, Griffin 1-16, Hardy 4-3, Banks 3-1.
Passing — Heights, Reed 1-2-54-0; Jo. Moreland 1-1-42-0. West, Flournoy 8-17-67-3.
Receiving — Heights, Deshazer 1-54, Lynch 1-42. West, Hil 4-39, Banks 2-25, Epps 1-3.