Heights (6-2, 5-1) was limited to 30 offensive plays, in contrast. Outside of its two touchdowns, a 57-yard pass from Monte Reed to Grant Weatherford in the first half and a 54-yard run by Conner Faulkner in the second half, the Huskies managed 87 yards of offense.
“[Western] puts you in so many gaps you have to defend,” Heights coach Mitch Street said. “You have to be very disciplined. We’ve had issues up front at times this year in stopping the run, and it showed. Western was more physical than us [Friday] night, at least. We didn’t answer the bell very well when we kept getting hit in the mouth. We just didn’t get enough stops, and when we did, we turned the ball over. You can’t do that against a team like Western, or the score ends up like it did [Friday] night.”
TD runs from running back Ben Lenahan (27-yarder) and quarterback Drew Bellus (two-yarder) gave Western a 14-7 halftime lead.
Kendal McDonald intercepted Reed on HH’s first possession of the second half, while Corey Hinkle recovered a fumble after sacking Reed on the Huskies’ next possession.
Lenahan cashed in McDonald’s interception with an eight-yard TD run to put Western up 21-7 with 10:44 to play in the third.
Bellus later capped an 11-play, 65-yard drive with a two-yard TD plunge to put the Panthers in front 28-14 with 9:00 to play.
Lenahan intercepted Reed on the next play from scrimmage, and Bellus cashed in again, capping an eight-play, 64-yard march with a five-yard TD run with 4:25 to play.
Bellus ran the option well, finishing the night with 72 yards and three TDs on 21 carries. Ryan Alexander added 75 yards on 18 carries.
Lenahan led the ground attack with 150 yards and two TDs on 22 carries, and added the interception to prevent Heights from developing any momentum in the second half.
“This means so much to me and my team,” Lenahan said. “I couldn’t do any of this without them, especially our offensive line. Our defensive line stopped the run and our secondary stopped the pass. It was great. To come here on their field and to play how we did, I’m pumped.”