The Patriots needed an onside kick, a last-minute touchdown, and a missed Wolverine field goal attempt, but the breaks fell their way and Heritage (5-5, 3-2 BVAL) escaped Deer Valley (4-6, 2-3 BVAL) with a 21-20 win. A fourth-and-one two-yard touchdown plow from junior halfback Devin Hope gave the Patriots the final lead with about 15 seconds left.
On that key play, senior quarterback Carson Cleverly took the snap, turned around and faced multiple options for the handoff. It was Hope’s number that was called.
“At first, I didn’t think it was coming to me,” Hope said. “But when I saw (Cleverly) turn around, I knew I was getting it. So I got the ball, found a hole and ran through it as fast as I could.”
Deer Valley scored on the first play of the fourth quarter off a three-yard run from junior back Davonte Boyd. Sophomore quarterback Nsimba Webster scored on the Wolverines’ next possession to open up a 20-9 lead.
A 14-yard touchdown run on a reverse from Heritage senior receiver Kejhan Clayton cut the lead to 20-15 with only five minutes to go. It was Clayton’s second score of the night. Heritage was set to kick the ball of to Deer Valley but was unable to stop the clock. Senior kicker Jordan Fovel executed a sneak onside kick, which fooled the Wolverines and allowed Heritage to keep the ball.
“It’s how I’ve always done it,” Fovel said. “I’m more comfortable pushing it right then going left across my body. Plus, we have faster guys on that side.”
A short kick, nice return and 15-yard facemask penalty put Deer Valley in position to attempt a field goal from outside 40 yards. But Sophomore Christian Quintanilla’s boot was too low from the beginning. When it fell short, Heritage had beaten Deer Valley for the second consecutive season.
“I think they got tired,” Heritage head coach Jeff Haagenson said of Deer Valley’s defense. “I don’t want to say that they quit. I don’t think they did. But they got tired from the same plays going at them. Our guys tightened up some shots. But we were running the same plays.”
Heritage took advantage of early mistakes to beat Deer Valley 14-6. The Patriots wrapped up their season at 8-2, while the Wolverines finished 4-5-1.