After methodically driving down the field on an eight-play, 77-yard opening drive, which culminated in a 2-yard Devin Le'Gall touchdown run to put the Wolverines (2-2, 0-2 BVAL) on top 7-0, the offense went flat, managing only 101 yards the rest of the game.
"I don't have much to say," said Deer Valley defensive back Kevin Hom. "People have to come out with something to play for."
Leading rusher Sonni Woods torched the Patriots (3-1, 2-1) defense for 119 yards rushing in the first half, but struggled in the final two quarters, picking up only six yards. The Heritage defense stifled quarterback Cruz Castillo, who went 1-for-8, his only completion going for just five yards.
Despite the lackluster performance by the Deer Valley offense, the Wolverines remained in excellent position to win the ball game, holding the lead for all but nine and a half minutes in the game.
Hom intercepted Heritage quarterback Kyle Golinveaux on the Patriots' opening drive, which appeared to give the Wolverines complete control early, but the offense punted just three plays later.
The Deer Valley defense, led by senior Damar Gaines, helped the Wolverine offense account for its only score of the second half by blocking a Patriot punt on the 12-yard line. Two plays later, Le'Gall put Deer Valley back on top 14-10 on a 5-yard touchdown with 5:04 to go in the third quarter.
However, the Wolverine defense couldn't shoulder the burden of shutting down the Patriot offense for four quarters, and allowed 14 second-half points. Heritage took a 10-7 lead on a 42-yard touchdown dash by Jeremy Beasley on the first drive of the half; then went ahead for good, 17-14, on a 5-yard touchdown reception by Anthony Carral with 5:40 to play.
The duo of Beasley (130 yards) and Anthony Jackson (55 yards) ran well, making it difficult for Deer Valley to slow down the Patriot offense, and quarterback Kyle Golinveaux threw for 146 yards, completing 13 of 26 attempts and leading the Patriots on scoring drives of 57, 60 and 65 yards.
Heritage tight end Greg Howard, who came in with only six receptions on the season, doubled that number, racking up 59 yards on six catches. The 6-foot, 4-inch receiving threat simply overmatched the Deer Valley defense.
"We'll try to win the next game or two - that is about all we can do," said Deer Valley head coach Rich Woods. "We have to play better in the trenches, and play better overall as a team."
The loss drops Deer Valley to 0-2 in league play and frames this Friday's match-up against Liberty (1-3, 0-2) as a must-win game for the Wolverines if they hope to contend for a second BVAL crown. Liberty is coming off a huge win over Hogan High School of Vallejo, 60-20, its first win since Nov. 10, 2005.
Deer Valley hosts Liberty for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday, Oct. 5.