The message Heights football coach Rick Wheeler gave his team at halftime Thursday against West was simple.
“We aren’t making any adjustments,” he said. “We aren’t doing anything different. We are going to run our plays and we are going to run them better.”
And the lack of adjustments paid off when the Falcons scored the game’s final 30 points in a 30-7 victory over the Pioneers at Northwest.
The teams went into halftime without a point, but each had their chances to score.
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West (2-3) drove the ball to the Falcons’ 14-yard line on its first possession, but was stopped short on a fourth-down attempt.
West again managed to drive the ball deep into Heights territory in the second quarter. Facing a fourth down from the Falcons’ 1-yard line, West quarterback DJ Jones failed to get any push.
“We gave up some yards, gave up some first downs — they would bend but didn’t break,” Wheeler said of his defense. “The defense actually played really well.”
Heights (4-1) didn’t click as well on offense. The Falcons saw three first-half drives end in punts and had the game clock run out on them for the other.
Mistakes, especially penalties, crippled the Falcons offense in the first half.
“When we didn’t do that (have penalties) we were putting a pitch on the ground, or something like that,” Wheeler said. “We are an option offense and that is a risk we take, but we should be good at it. We should be able to execute pitches.”
West struck quickly to open the third quarter when Jones found Marcus Malcolme for a 35-yard touchdown to give the Pioneers’ a brief lead.
Heights responded with a five play, 58-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard Tre King touchdown run.
King led the Falcons with 92 yards on 13 carries.
“We started off kind of slow. But the offense picked it up; defense made good stops,” King said. “It was kind of quiet until we got motivated and started working as a team.”
From that point on, the wheels simply came off for West.
“We came out in the second half and played much better on offense, which then fed to our special teams and our defense,” Wheeler said. “You like to see your team respond. They score; we go right down and score. That’s a positive thing.”
W—Malcolme 35 pass from DJ Jones (Daignault kick)
H—King 7 run (Moreland run conversion)
H—Whitten 6 run (King run conversion)
H—Byrd 17 run (Whitten run conversion)
H—Wiley 22 run (Kick fail)
Rushing—Heights, King 13-92, Wiley 6-54, Whitten 13-35, Byrd 5-27, Garrett 4-17, Parker 2-2; West, Patrick 21-55, Mitchell 7-50, DJ Jones 13-27, Do. Jones 1-(-4), Malcolme 1-(-4), Capps 2-(-17)
Passing—Heights, Parker 1-7-14-0; West, DJ Jones 4-5-99-1, Capps 0-1-0-0
Receiving—Heights, Singleton 1-14; West, Mitchell 3-64, Malcolme 1-35