Leesburg, Va. (November 7, 2014) – Heritage High School won 35-32 in what was a great back and forth scoring affair. This marked the second straight year that the Pride took the “Battle of Leesburg” trophy home. Last year, the Pride shockingly defeated the Raiders 21-7 at Heritage. The Pride knew that they were facing a tough Raider team, who just came off an upset win over Loudoun Valley, 28-24, last week. Both student sections were loud during the whole game. The Heritage “Chaos Crew” provided some excitement at the start of the second half by doing a powder toss.
The Raiders were lead by the two Jackson’s (unrelated), senior Antonio and junior John, who together combined for over 280 yards of offense and scored all 5 of Loudoun County’s touchdowns. But County’s special teams was their worst enemy, missing 2 PAT attempts, fumbling a punt return in own territory, and fumbling punt attempt at own 3 giving the pride great field position with they would turn into 2 touchdowns.
The Pride were lead by running backs, senior, Daniel Adigun and, junior, Mitchell Westbrook combined for 302 of the team’s 320 total yards and 4 of 5 touchdowns.
“Like I said at the beginning of the year [Adigun and Westbrook] our our two horses,” Pride Coach Prosser said. “We’ve [had our] struggles running the ball at times this year, but tonight they ran the ball extremely well.”
Daniel Adigun, who played in his final game, really showed poise and leadership in his last 3 games running for over 250 yards in that span.
“I really tried to turn it on at the end of the year,” said Adigun. “I tried to put the team on my back. I knew I only had a couple games left, so I just gave it all I had.”
Mitchell Westbrook, in his junior season, really showed that he was a leader this season even though the stat sheet did not always show it. And next year he will take an even bigger role as a leader both on off the field.
“We came in thinking it was going to be a tough game from the start,” said Westbrook,”We just stuck with [our game plan] and just grinded and we go the win. I feel we could have won some games we lost. I feel like as the season went on we progressed really well, relationships grew out of this season, and it was just a great season.
Pride senior quarterback Cameron Knight was rushed into the starting role after sophomore starter got injured and he progressively got better in different aspects of his game as the weeks progressed. He only threw 4 times in this game because they really didn’t need the passing game as much. But he came up big in the running game late in the fourth quarter, on 4th and goal from the 4 yard line he took the snap and faked it to the back on a boot leg and no one was open and everyone bit on the boot, so he enough running room to go in for a touchdown and put the Pride up by nine with just over 3 minutes left.
“It was a miracle tonight,” said Knight. “God really came through tonight. We played really well as a team, it was awesome. We just really deserved it we worked so hard [in practice this week and the game.]”
The Pride are now 2-0 against cross town rival Loudoun County since Coach Prosser has taken over the program at Heritage. Even though the Pride finished 3-7 and missed the playoffs, he has seen consistent growth in all aspects of the team.
“We’ve played hard all year, we just weren’t able to put things together for one reason or another ,” Prosser said. “The kids believe in each other, we believe in them and they believe in us. Tonight was a special night, a lot of kids made plays, offensive line played well, we ran the ball well and we played really timely defense. What a great effort. Our seniors deserved to turn this thing around, they are the bridge builders to our program. They deserve to say they beat Loudoun County two years in a row.”
Heritage (3-7) 7 7 7 14 = 35
Loudoun County (4-6) 14 6 0 12 = 32
1/4:12 Loudoun County TD (John Jackson 15-yd run; Neil Petersen missed PAT)
1/3:44 Heritage TD (Daniel Adigun 14-yd run; Andres Villalon PAT)
1/3:00 Loudoun County TD (John Jackson 31-yd run; John Jackson run 2-pts)
2/10:19 Heritage TD (Mitchell Westbrook 20-yd run; Andres Villalon PAT)
2/8:04 Loudoun County TD (Antonio Jackson 17-yd run; Neil Petersen PAT attempt is blocked)
3/2:03 Heritage TD (Daniel Adigun 2-yd run; Andres Villalon PAT)
4/11:16 Heritage TD (Daniel Adigun 4-yd run; Andres Villalon PAT)
4/10:20 Loudoun County TD (Antonio Jackson 75-yd pass from Tae Crews-Naylor; John Jackson run 2-pt attempt fails)
4/3:15 Heritage TD (Cameron Knight 4-yd run; Andres Villalon PAT)
4/1:14 Loudoun County TD (John Jackson 1-yd pass from Tae Crews-Naylor; Crews-Naylor pass 2-pt attempt fails)
Heritage Pride Stats:
Cam Knight 2-4, 24 yards
Mitch Westbrook 28 carries, 201 yards, 1 TD
Daniel Adigun 15 carries, 86 yards, 3 TDs
Christian Pelenda 3 carries, 5 yards
Cameron Knight 6 carries, 4 yards, 1 TD
Daniel Adigun 1 catch, 15 yards
Christian Pelenda 1 catch, 9 yards
Loudoun County, ranked 15th in 4A North, will travel to, 2nd ranked, Jefferson Forest on Friday, November 14th for the first round on the 4A North playoffs. The Pride finished ranked 21st and have a 3-7 record for the second consecutive year.