The hook-and-lateral play has been in the Heights football team’s playbook for years, but it hasn’t lost its effectiveness. This became obvious when the Falcons ran it against Northwest on Friday, which helped lead to a 28-7 victory over the Grizzlies.
“It’s been a good play for us for a long time, we’ve been running it for a long time,” Heights coach Rick Wheeler said. “The ball gets thrown, and everyone’s attention is on the ball, they all break on the ball to where the ball is intended, and then you just flip it out to the guy. It’s an old, old play.”
Heights took an early lead, when on its fourth play of the game Chris Whitten ran 53 yards for a touchdown with 10:18 remaining in the first quarter.
“On most of the carries the linemen got really good blocks, and I was just following behind them,” Whitten said. “It really all came out and worked really fast in the beginning.”
Northwest quarterback Chris Hughes answered Heights’ quick start, running in a one-yard touchdown with 6:51 left in the first quarter.
“I don’t know that you can adjust to (Thompson),” Wheeler said. “What you’ve got to do is not let him get going, because he’s the fastest guy on the field so when he gets going you’re in trouble.”
With 2:28 in the first quarter, Heights’ Kyle Martin intercepted Hughes’ first attempted pass of the game. Four plays later, Chris Reed ran in a nine-yard touchdown for the Falcons.
The hook-and-lateral touchdown came in the final 38 seconds for the first half, when Forlanda Parker passed the ball to Myron Singleton for a seven yard gain, and Singleton pitched it to Tre King, who ran in for the touchdown from 40 yards out.
Prentice Byrd scored one more time for Heights on a 15-yard touchdown with 6:10 remaining in the fourth quarter, and Justis Moreland grabbed Heights’ third interception to seal the win.
“(Heights’ defense) saved us in so many games, this game in particular. They had multiple interceptions, a lot of sacks, and they stopped the run game,” Whitten said.
Heights finished with seven players totaling 357 rushing yards, and Northwest with three players for 177 rushing yards.
“It’s our system, that’s what we do. It’s a three-back offense, and we play five guys in those three backs, plus the quarterback can carry the ball some,” Wheeler said. “It’s the beauty of the offense because only one of them can carry the ball at a time, so when they’re not carrying they’re blocking for each other.”
H—Whitten 53 run (Hoyer kick)
NW—Hughes 1 run (Stevens kick)
H—Reed 9 run (Hoyer kick)
H—King 40 run off pitch from Singleton, 7 pass from Parker (Hoyer kick)
H—Byrd 15 run (Hoyer kick)
Rushing—Northwest, Thompson 24-92, Hughes 22-64, Thurman 3-21. Heights, Whitten 12-154, Byrd 12-91, King 6-67, Wiley 3-17, Garrett 2-21, Reed 1-9, Parker 4-(-2).
Passing—Northwest, Hughes 0-10-0-3. Heights, Parker 2-7-18-0, Reed 0-1-0-0.
Receiving—Heights, Looney 1-11, Singleton 1-7.