Football

Cougars outlast Falcons in physical affair

Junior Denton (3) carries the ball for Mountain Heritage in Friday's win at West Henderson.

Junior Denton (3) carries the ball for Mountain Heritage in Friday’s win at West Henderson.

HENDERSONVILLE – Friday’s much-anticipated matchup between Mountain Heritage and West Henderson didn’t disappoint as the teams combined for over 900 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns in a shootout.

The Cougars came away with the 62-48 victory at Johnson Field.

Both teams looked to use the old-school approach of running the ball behind two strong offensive lines, as there was only one passing attempt the entire night from Mountain Heritage.

Mountain Heritage head coach Joey Robinson knew coming into the game that his team had a target on their backs as the Cougars were one of seven undefeated teams in Western North Carolina.

The Cougars (5-0) are the No. 1 team in the Citizen-Times Best of the West rankings.

“When you’re at the top you have a huge responsibility, you’re going to get everyone’s best effort,” Robinson said. “I thought coach Whitaker and his staff did an unbelievable job tonight, preparing his football team.”

The Cougars were able to find the open running lanes all game as they totaled 509 rushing yards on 53 carries. Seniors Justin Keener (82 yards total) and Junior Denton (226 rushing yards) led the team with three touchdowns each. Junior quarterback Trey Robinson was also able to rush for 172 yards and a touchdown, along with completing one pass of 18 yards for a touchdown to Keener. Senior Cole Burleson was also able to rush for a touchdown in the second half. Keener credits the coaching staff for preparing the team for this tough matchup this week.

“The coaches broke down film with us and showed how what we had to do to win tonight and that really helped us tonight,” Keener said.

The Falcons (2-2) were able to keep pace with the Cougars rushing for a total of 408 yards on 56 carries. However, their defense couldn’t stop the Cougars strong offense. Senior quarterback Brandon Whitaker rushed for 107 yards and added a rushing touchdown for the Falcons. However, it was senior Peyton Frisbee who was able to help carry his team with a monster game of 304 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. Frisbee said the Falcons were motivated and determined to prove everyone wrong this week and show that they could compete with top-level teams. He also credits his teammates for his career game Friday night.

“Our line did awesome tonight, they really stepped up their game tonight. I couldn’t do this without them,” Frisbee said.

Whitaker was very proud of the way his team played Friday and he believes his team will only get better.

“They played hard tonight,” Whitaker said.

“There was the chance at halftime that our kids could have hung their heads and not play, but they didn’t, those guys stepped up to the challenge tonight.

West Henderson and Mountain Heritage will both look to improve their game as conference schedules begin next week. The Falcons will play at home again against North Henderson. Mountain Heritage will look to continue its undefeated season at home against Hendersonville.

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