Pride QB Offsets Bishop’s Big Night In 55-21 Win Over Wood

Posted: August 29, 2015
Special to The Winchester Star
LEESBURG — The Friday night lights were shining bright at Heritage High School as the James Wood Colonels traveled to take on the Pride in a rematch of last year’s season opener that resulted in a 24-12 victory for Heritage.
The result was no different this year for coach Mark McHale’s Colonels as the Pride jumped out of the gate and took advantage of one big play after another en route to a 55-21 victory.
Junior quarterback Alex Carlin threw for 327 yards and five touchdown passes in the first half and ran 30 yards for a score in the second half for Heritage.
Despite the strong effort from senior running back Tyler Bishop who rushed for a game high 282 yards and two touchdowns, the Colonels’ defense was no match for the explosiveness of Heritage’s attack.
“The offense played really well today,” Bishop said. “The defense didn’t play its part. It doesn’t matter how many yards you pick up, if you aren’t winning the game at the end of the day, stats don’t matter.”
Heritage coach Reed Prosser was pleased with his offense and special teams. The offense scored three times on plays over 75 yards and the kickoff unit recovered two onside kicks to start the game.
The Pride hit the gas and never looked back scoring on its first play from scrimmage to start the game. Carlin took the snap and rolled out of the pocket finding senior wide receiver Cole Miller for a 76-yard score to give Heritage the early 6-0 lead.
Heritage caught the Colonels by surprise on the ensuing kickoff as the Pride recovered the onside kick to give the ball back to its offense. Senior running back Mitchell Westbrook (165 total yards and three touchdowns) wasted no time, as he would score two plays later on a 44-yard run one minute into the game.
“We knew we were going to be pretty good on offense,” Prosser said. “We wanted to see if we could get an onside kick early. We liked the formation and the look and it enabled our offense to get out to the start that we did.”
The Colonels would respond as their workhorse Bishop carried the ball seven times on the opening drive for 61 yards breaking tackle after tackle.
Bishop capped off the march on an eight-yard rumble into the end zone for his first of two touchdowns on the night as he broke three tackles on the way making the score 13-8.
“Tyler lived up to what we expected of him coming into the season,” McHale said. “Our offensive line did a good job blocking for him. We were able to take a positive thing away from the night that we are able to run the ball effectively. We just need to straighten out our defense on the big plays.”
The special teams of Heritage came up big again on the next series for the Pride. Senior punter Andres Villalon executed a fake punt on a fourth-and-eight running the ball just past the marker to keep the drive alive. The Pride would later score on the drive on a 15-yard pass from Carlin to senior wide receiver Andrew Sylvain.
After the first of three interceptions thrown by the Colonels came at the end of the first quarter, the Pride would increase its lead to 27-8 on Westbrook’s second touchdown of the night from five yards out to open the second quarter.
James Wood would score to cut the score to 27-15 on a one-yard touchdown run by junior Keegan DeHaven before Heritage blew the game open.
Carlin went to work to close out the half, throwing three of his five touchdowns in the last seven minutes of the second quarter. Carlin threw two passes for 85 yards that resulted in scores (one a screen to Westbrook and the other to Tyrique Moss) and then a 20-yard pass to Miller with 40 seconds left to make the score 49-15 at halftime.
“Big plays happen because big players make big plays,” Carlin said. “Our game plan throughout the week was to get the ball down the field and into the end zone as quick as possible. We have solid players who competed and got the job done tonight.”
Heritage would go up by as much as 40 points as Carlin scored on a 30-yard keeper up the middle to make the score 55-15.
Bishop wouldn’t go down without a fight though as he finally managed to bust open the big run that seemed to have been eluding him all night. Bishop took a carry and bounced out left, racing down the sideline for 85 yards to start the fourth quarter in hopes of a rally that fell short.