Heritage spotted Castle View six points then roared back to score a 14-6 victory in the Oct. 18 Prairie League game.
“We are a very young team but we are learning and getting better every week,” Mike Griebel, Eagles coach, said of his team. “We have improved so much since the start of the season and our kids battle hard every game. They don't quit. They just keep battling no matter the score.”
Heritage is now 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the Prairie Conference. On Oct. 24, they are at home to face Fountain-Fort Carson, a team that is also 4-4 overall but is 4-1 in conference and one of the teams tied for first place.
The teams prefer to run the football, and they have similar season rushing statistics. Heritage is averaging 234.1 yards rushing a game, while the Trojans are averaging 238.9 yards a game.
Eagle senior Rob Sublette is the No. 2 rusher in the league, as he has gained 881 yards, while Fountain-Fort Carson's Drue Harris in No. 3 in rushing, gaining 748 yards. Heritage quarterback Mikey Griebel is the fourth-leading rusher, as he has gained 566 yards carrying the ball.
The Oct. 18 Heritage-Castle View game was a back-and-forth contest early as neither team was able to mount a sustained attack. Castle View came into the game with a balanced attack, rushing for about 144 yards a game and passing for an average of 128 yards a game. Christopher Linnin came into the game as the team rushing leader, averaging 84.4 yards a game, while Bennett Howland is the tackle leader, averaging seven a game.
The Sabercats got on the scoreboard late in the first period when quarterback Trevor Smeeton completed a 55-yard pass to Charles Sims for the touchdown. The extra point failed and Castle View led 6-0 at the end of the quarter.
The score remained unchanged until there was about two minutes left in the second period, when Andrew Shaffer ran the ball into the end zone from two yards out for a Heritage touchdown. Will Herzl kicked the extra point so the Eagles led 7-6.
The seesaw battle continued through the entire third quarter, with each team seeking unsuccessfully to mount a successful scoring attack.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles got a drive going and pushed deep into Sabercat territory, and with about 11 minutes left in the game, Griebel scored for the Eagles on a one-yard quarterback sneak. The extra point was good. Castle View did get inside the Eagles 20 late in the game but were kept out of the end zone as Heritage won, 14-6.
The Eagles rolled up 148 yards rushing. Sublette was the rushing leader as he carried 18 times for 61 yards. Heritage passed for 96 yards. Dalton Thorpe was the leading receiver as he made three catches for 54 yards.
Defensively, the Eagles were tough. They sacked the Castle View quarterback seven times. Steven Gray was the tackle leader as he brought down runners solo and made six assists. His tackles included two sacks that cost the Sabercats 30 yards. Teammate Conner Cain had a pair of sacks for a minus 14 yards.