Eagles drop heart-breaker at Austin Hill Country
Football has often been called a game of inches, but unfortunately for the Heritage Eagles, they found out it is also a game of seconds — either too many or not enough.
Twice in the second half of Friday’s six-man game at Austin Hill Country Christian School, the hosts scored touchdowns as time ticked off the scoreboard clock when the host Knights came from behind to win, 44-43, over Heritage in TAPPS non-district action.
The Eagles (1-1) will try to return to the winning track this Friday when they host Castle Hills First Baptist School from San Antonio at 7:30 p.m.
Austin Hill Country 44,
Heritage School 43
Friday, Sept. 2
Heritage had just retaken the lead, 43-36, on a Jacob Huser three-yard touchdown run with only 5:51 left in what turned out to be a back-and-forth contest.
But, Austin Hill Country still had one more surprise left in its bag of tricks when quarterback Grant Ficklin fired a 17-yard scoring pass to receiver Hayden Stewart as the scoreboard clock reached triple zeros, pulling the host Knights to within a single point, 43-42.
The actual game-winning points came when Hill Country’s Daniel Belloni calmly booted the two-point conversion place kick, giving the decision to the hosts, 44-43.
“Both teams fought extremely hard,” said Heritage head coach Tim Shipman. “There is no doubt we left it all out on the field. Unfortunately, we came up a few plays short.”
Noting that Friday’s setback was an especially hard loss, Shipman admitted that “there are no moral victories; however, we will learn so much from this game.”
Huser, who ran for three Eagle touchdowns on the night, got his team off to a good start when he carried the ball over the goal line less than five minutes into the game. He also tacked on the two-point kick to give Heritage an early 8-0 lead.
But less than four minutes later, the Knights tied the game when Nathaniel Neumann powered the ball to the end zone on a five-yard run.
The Eagles, however, returned the momentum to their side with a Dillon Roberts TD run from his own 20-yard line, giving Heritage a 16-8 margin.
Hill Country closed the gap with a field goal, 16-12, early in the second quarter. But within minutes, the hosts then took the lead at 20-16 with 5:52 left in the half as Neumann scampered 35 yards through the Eagle defense.
Roberts, however, got busy in the final few minutes of the second period, scoring on runs of seven, then eight, yards out, giving the Eagles a 28-20 advantage at intermission.
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