Going into Friday’s game, Heritage had never beaten Pittsburg. The Pirates continued that trend, topping Heritage 20-13.
The loss also spoiled Heritage’s homecoming night, especially for senior defensive back and kicker Hugo Salazar, who was named homecoming king.
“We didn’t come out and execute,” said Heritage senior running back Kruger Story Jr., who scored the lone Patriot touchdown on a seven-yard first quarter run. “We thought we came out ready to play but once again, we have got to go back to the drawing board.”
The loss dropped Heritage to 1-1 in league, with a 5-2 overall record. On Friday, they travel to Oakley to play Freedom (4-3, 1-1), which is coming off of a tight home loss to Deer Valley.
After Heritage scored on its opening possession, Pittsburg put together two scoring drives to open a 13-7 lead on one-yard runs by senior quarterback Julius Mozee and junior fullback Feao Vunipola. The Patriots evened the game with two Will Pedrotti field goals of 36 and 41 yards going into the half. While the field goals were impressive, they were disappointing for Heritage, as nice drives were halted and points were left on the board.
The second half started well for Heritage, when senior running back Shai Kobayashi had a good return, taking the ball to his own 39-yard line. That drive stalled at the Pittsburg 39-yard line when Heritage failed to convert a fourth and two. After their opening possession second half possession, the Patriots never got past their own 40-yard line.
Pittsburg took advantage of the good field position given to them after Heritage’s opening second half drive stalled. They went on a five minute scoring drive that was capped off by Vunipola five-yard run, giving the Pirates a 20-13 lead, which stood as the final.
While Pittsburg did not score after the lead, they did control the clock and field position for the entire second half. Vunipola rushed for 66 yards in the second half and 108 overall. Senior running back Deon Turner’s speed running complimented Vunipola’s power game nicely as turner rushed for 65. In total, Pittsburg gained 361 yards from scrimmage, 330 which came on the ground.
“We had a lot of mental mistakes and a lot of unnecessary penalties. These are things that we could have improved on,” said Heritage senior quarterback Brent Eikanas. As for what the Patriots need to do to improve, he said: “Practice, practice, practice, we need to work on catching, we need to work on a lot of things.”
The game also had a scary moment when Pittsburg senior running back Arthur Brown appeared to suffer a serious leg injury after being bent back while being tackled. He was helped off of the field, putting no weight on his injured leg and didn’t return. Brown rushed for 95 yards in less than one half of football.
After an 0-5 preseason, Pittsburg (2-5, 2-0) has beaten two of the stronger Bay Valley Athletic League teams, Deer Valley and Heritage, with both wins coming on the road. After only two weeks, the Pirates are the only undefeated team in league play. On Friday, they are set to play a Liberty (3-4, 1-1) team that won its first league game since 2005, beating Antioch 37-27.
Heritage’s junior varsity team fared no better than the varsity team, as they fell to Pittsburg 35-15.