East quarterback Dominic Webb spent the first three quarters against Heights terrorizing the Falcons’ defense. The senior slipped tackles, eluded potential sacks and chucked a couple of touchdown passes, to boot.
Heights defensive back D’Aunte McPhaul put a stop to that in one play.
The senior’s second interception set up the second of Rodney Murphy’s two rushing touchdowns with 2:24 left to play, pushing Heights past upset-minded East 23-13 at Heights Field.
“We just went into halftime and talked about how we needed to step up in the second half,” said McPhaul. “I was just playing the coverage I was taught.”
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If only getting the win was as simple as that.
After a quick 7-0 lead, courtesy of a 25-yard rushing touchdown from Murphy and outgaining the Blue Aces 109 yards to 28 in the first quarter, Webb and East flipped the script in the second quarter.
Webb threw 74 yards in the quarter on 7-of-9 passing, managing to tie the game at 7 with an impressive 11-play, 69-yard drive. It ended with a 5-yard throw tight end Isaac Fralin.
After retaking the lead on a Garrett Haskins quarterback keeper from a yard, Heights’ offense sputtered for large portions of the second half without leading rusher Tre King, who dressed but did not play. To make matters worse, Heights fumbled twice on the goal line, leaving the door open for East to capitalize in the fourth.
Webb hit Jaylen Dixon on a 65-yard bomb with 8:46 left to play, giving the Blue Aces a chance to even the score at 14. But an excessive celebration penalty following the touchdown proved costly, with East missing the extra-point try from a longer distance.
From there, it was Trenton Autry’s game to lose.
King’s replacement rushed for a game high 177 yards on 22 carries, including picking up a crucial third down late in the game to keep Webb and the East offense off the field.
“It feels great,” said Autry. “We can’t let up. We just need to keep going.”
H – Murphy 25 run ( Rodriquez kick)
E – Fralin 5 pass from Webb (Thomas kick)
H – Haskins 4 run (Rodriquez kick)
E – Dixon 65 pass (Extra point no good)
H – Murphy 12 run ( Rodriquez kick)
H – Garrison Freeman safety
Rushing – East: Webb 14-(-2), Burnett 4-10. Heights: Haskins 14-43, Autry 22-177, Murphy 15-93, McCray 9-52, Deshazer 1-9.
Passing – East: Webb, 10-20-157. Heights: Haskins 0-4-9.
Receiving – East: Williams 1-14, Brown 2-11, Fralin 3-29, Martinez 1-21, Kaufman 1-13, Burnett 1-4, Dixon 1-65.