Heights’ defense has been one of the its mainstays over the past eight seasons, building a 69-22 record and three trips to the Class 6A title game.
The Falcons gave up two of fewer touchdowns five times in 2014, one touchdown or less five times in 2013, had four shutouts in 2011 and five in 2010.
“We play great defense at Heights, and it’s been that way for a long time,” Falcons coach Terry Harrison said. “We don’t anticipate that to change, even though there are different names and numbers.”
Heights returns three defensive starters — three-year starting defensive back Creighton Sanders, defensive lineman Javon Bembry and linebacker Chris Huffman.
“I think we’ll fare pretty well on defense,” Sanders said. “We’re solid at each position, but we don’t have the experience.… I believe when the season comes around, we’ll have it on lockdown and know what coverages to call.”
Sanders is critical defensively.
“He’s a physical, physical kid,” Harrison said. “When he hits people, he tackles people hard. Creighton squares them up every time he tackles them.”
The Falcons’ offense should be dynamic with a healthy Garrett Haskins returning at quarterback. Haskins, who broke an ankle in a win over Andover on Oct. 17, is a threat to throw and run.
He’ll be joined in the backfield by sophomore Dajuan Scott and junior Myles Garner, both fullbacks, and tailbacks Andre Brown and Rodney Murphy, who Harrison says is a big play waiting to happen.
“Rodney could take it to the house from anywhere,” Harrison said. “He’s extremely fast.”