Javon Hernandez scores 3 TDs, has long kickoff return as Heath defeats Naaman Forest, 35-28

By J.J. Smith. Class 4A Area Baseball Player-of-the-Year Javon Hernandez scored three touchdowns on short runs and set up another with a 67-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter to lead the Rockwall-Heath Hawks to a 35-28 non-district victory over former Rockwall ISD Athletic Director Mark Elam’s Garland Naaman Forest Rangers last night at Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium in both teams’ opening game of the season.

After Ranger running back Tank Williams scored on a seven-yard run to tie the score, 21-21, with 7:25 left in the game, Hernandez  then electrified the crowd with his long return. On the very next play, Hawk running back Dorian Lawry raced 25 yards to the end zone, giving the Hawks the lead for good.

After Heath’s defense held, Hernandez scored again soon after on a two-yard plunge, giving the Hawks a 35-21 lead.

Rangers quarterback Justin Torres scored with under a minute to play for Naaman Forest’s last TD.

Although Naaman Forest won the statistics battle, piling up 355 total yards and 15 first downs to the Hawks 211 total yards and 12 first downs, Heath’s defense and offense were opportunistic.

After a scoreless first quarter, Hawk Tyler McLaughlin returned a blocked field goal 78 yards for the game’s opening touchdown. Heath scored again soon after on Hernandez first TD, a one-yard plunge, giving the Hawks a 14-0 lead.

The Rangers then scored their first touchdown when Williams, the game’s leading rusher with 172 yards on 18 carries, electrified Naaman Forest’s fans with an 87-yard run.

Hernandez scored again from the one  giving the Hawks a 21-7 halftime lead.

New senior Hawk quarterback Ross Hudson had an efficient passing night connecting on 7 of 11 passes for 74 yards in his first game as a starter. Lawry rushed for 65 yards on 12 carries and Hernandez had 18 yards on eight carries.

Wide receiver Clark Pope caught four passes for 39 yards, Amaris Fields caught two for 12 yards and McLoughlin snagged one for 23 yards.

The Hawks lost one fumble and had six penalties for 43 yards. The Rangers lost two of five fumbles and had 3 penalties for 2o yards.

Scoring summary
RKHTH — Tyler McLoughlin 78-yard blocked field goal return (Trevor Pinkston kick).
RKHTH — Javon Hernandez 1-yard run (Trevor Pinkston kick).
GNF — Tank Mitchell 87-yard run (Demarcus Horton kick).
RKHTH — Javon Hernandez 1-yard run (Trevor Pinkston kick).
GNF — Tank Mitchell 20-yard run (Darren Wicker from Justin Torris).
GNF — Tank Mitchell 7-yard pat blocked kick return.
RKHTH — Dorian Lawry 25-yard run (Trevor Pinkston kick).
RKHTH — Javon Hernandez 2-yard run (Trevor Pinkston kick).
GNF — Justin Torris 6-yard run (Trent Bergeron kick).

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