The drive took barely more than a minute and consisted of only five plays. But in that quick possession late in the first half of Heritage's 28-6 season-opening victory over visiting Millbrook on Friday night, the Pride offense showed why it could be dangerous this season.
Senior running back Chris Smith started with runs of six and 11 yards. His backfield mate, Matt Lucas, bounced right for another seven on the next play before Smith broke free on a delayed handoff, ripping off 36 more yards.
The drive was capped with senior quarterback Bryan Brosnan lofting a 25-yard touchdown pass into the outstretched arms of wide receiver Quinn Tibbs that extended the Pride lead to 21-6 going into halftime.
"We want to be able to mix it up and both run and pass," said second-year coach Wes Driskill about the wide-open offense he has implemented this season. "Sometimes we can score like that, but sometimes we need to be able to generate first downs. We've got some talent that we need to fine-tune, but these guys deserve this success."
The game didn't start nearly as smoothly as it ended for the Pride. Pioneers defensive end Calvin Rodney sacked Brosnan on Heritage's opening drive, causing a fumble that was recovered by Millbrook. The Pioneers took advantage, going 53 yards in eight plays, culminating in a five-yard run by running back J.J. Casagranda, giving Millbrook a 6-0 lead after a blocked extra point.
The Pride responded quickly. Wide receiver Dale Taylor took the ensuing kickoff at his 18-yard line and went 82 yards untouched up the right sideline, giving Heritage its first lead of the season after the extra point.
"Our defense, offense and special teams all came up big at times, but we were a little ragged, doing some of those things you do in a first game," said Driskill, pointing most notably at the Pride's 10 penalties.
Apart from the penalties, Heritage players found little reason for criticism in their dismantling of the Pioneers.
Four players scored touchdowns. Wide receiver Pierce Bullock hauled in a Brosnan pass in the second quarter, and Smith carried for the final touchdown in the fourth quarter. Four players carried the ball for a total of 183 yards, and Brosnan went 8 for 11 with 111 yards.
A Dark Beginning
It was easy to tell what type of night it was for the Potomac Falls football team when one of the loudest cheers from the crowd came with six minutes left in the second quarter against Prince William County's Manassas Park. That was when the scoreboard went blank.
At that point, the Panthers trailed by 28 to the Class A state champions and would go on to lose, 42-12. Manassas Park (1-0) held Potomac Falls (0-1) to 209 yards of total offense, a number eclipsed by Manassas Park senior quarterback Jay Terrell. Terrell rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
"They were a better team," Potomac Falls Coach Casey Childs said. "They had a few more athletes than we did, and we didn't do nearly enough to win. We didn't play well, period."
Special correspondent Liam Dillon contributed to this report.