Heath opens football season by dominating West Mesquite, 19-7

ROCKWALL – Taking advantage of four West Mesquite fumble recoveries which directly led to points, the Area’s 14th-ranked Rockwall Heath Hawks kicked off their 2011 football season with a dominating 19-7 win over the eighth-ranked Wranglers last night in the first game of the second annual “Ralph Hall Heritage Honor Before Victory Classic” at Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium.

Rockwall opens their season tonight in the second game of the Classic at Wilkerson-Sanders Stadium.

Coach Mickey Moss’ opportunistic Hawks defense stifled the Wranglers offense all night, limiting them to only 140 yards of total offense, half of which was gained on their only touchdown drive of the game in the second quarter.

The Hawks gained 238 yards total offense, including 202 rushing, averaging nearly 5.0 yards per rush.

The Hawks took a 9-0 lead in the first quarter after Mario Henderson recovered a fumble inside the Wranglers’ 15-yard line on their first possession. Two plays later, Jovan Hernandez rushed for an 11 yard TD. Parker Swanson’s extra point kick was good.

With about two minutes left in the first quarter, after the Hawks downed a brilliant Heath punt on about West Mesquite’s one-yard line, the defense slammed Wranglers quarterback Chason Virgil down in the end zone for a safety.

After the Wranglers finally managed some offense in the second quarter and scored on a one-yard plunge by Courtland Smith and a Miquel Garza kick, the Hawks led at halftime, 9-7.

Early in the third quarter, after the Wranglers received the opening kick-off, the Hawks recovered their third fumble just inside West Mesquite’s 30-yard line. Four plays later, when the Hawks were stopped on the 11-yard line, Parker Swanson nailed a 27-yard field goal on fourth down to give Heath a 12-7 lead.

With nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, Hawks defensive end Jay Arnold picked up a bouncing football fumbled by the Wranglers’ Courtland Smith and raced 42 yards to score. After Swanson’s kick, Heath held the rest of the way, earning a much-deserved final score of 19-7.

Statistically, Hawks running back Jeremy Armstrong led Heath rushers with 53 yards on nine carries, quarterback Cody Court ran for 46 yards on six carries and Hernandez gained 40 yards on eight carries.

Court was unfortunately only able to complete four of 16 passes for 36 yards, so he and his receivers will have to work on that part of their game as they prepare for their next game Sept. 2 vs. Frisco Wakeland at Pizza Hut Park at 7:30 pm.

By J.J. Smith




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