For 10 years, Pinecrest coach Chris Metzger has said the key to success on the football field is to win the turnover battle and don't give up the big play.
Heritage took advantage of the game's only turnover and made some big plays on both sides of the ball to beat the Pinecrest 25-21 Friday in the second round of the state 4AA football playoffs in Southern Pines.
Husky sophomore linebacker Drake Thomas had a 36-yard scoop-and-score after Pinecrest fumbled the ball on its first possession of the game. The Heritage defense added two more points late in the second quarter when Pinecrest quarterback Nik Pry was sacked in the end zone for a safety.
Pry tied the game late in the first on a 6-yard run. The junior gave the Patriots their only lead of the night in the third frame with a 20-yard pass to JD Robinson. Pry would finish the night with 11 carries for 16 yards, and he completed 16-of-26 passing for 140 yards.
Pinecrest's Malyke Justice had a game-high 116 yards rushing on 15 carries. Jeremiah Anderson gained 65 yards on 11 carries and had a 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Heritage quarterback and Duke recruit Gunnar Holmberg completed 15-of-20 passes for 196 yards. Five of those passes were for 10 or more yards. He connected with Jalen Pittman who made an acrobatic catch for a 39-yard gain that led to a 3-yard Ricky Person score early in the second. Person had another 3-yard score in the first minute of the fourth quarter to put the Huskies (11-2) up 22-21.
Heritage kicker Parker George tacked on a 29-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Pinecrest had one final drive that ended when Pry was tackled on a 4th and 5 run inside the Husky 20.
Pinecrest finishes the season 10-3; 3-2. #goPinecrest