**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
The Heritage Hawks have had their way early on this season. Heritage has come out to the tune of an offense that has scored 61 points per game in their first two games. They would look to see if they could keep that going in week 3 facing a Grand Blanc Bobcats team that held them to just a touchdown in their meeting in 2021. Grand Blanc would come into this one reeling a bit. The Bobcats were able to pick up their first win on the season last week against Flint Carman Ainsworth, and they were hoping to repeat their 2021 performance against the Hawks.
Heritage was determined to make it be known that this was a new season. They would score on their first drive of the game to grab an early 7-0 lead that would fire up the home crowd. Grand Blanc would bounce right back, however, as JT Webber took one back on the very next kickoff. He would get around the edge and there was no stopping one of the fastest players in the state. Heritage would grab the momentum right back, however, on a Brandon Isom touchdown catch from Ethan Mason. This would give the Hawks a 14-6 lead. They weren’t done in the first, as running back Thomas Churchill would find a seem and give the Hawks a 21-6 lead.
Heritage would put the Bobcats in danger early in the 2nd quarter when they grabbed a 28-6 lead following a Ty Robertson touchdown. The Bobcats would get right back in the game on the ensuing drive. They would put something together on offense that left with Kaden Baker finding the endzone. It was then 28-13, Heritage. Grand Blanc would get the ball back late in the 1st half with a chance to really build some momentum heading into the half. They would be for not when Heritage would recover a fumble. They would capitalize on that on a field goal by Nicholas Champagne. This would give the Hawks a 31-13 lead at the break.
Grand Blanc would put a nice drive together to open the 2nd half. It appeared they would come away with some points until the Hawks defense would stiffen up to stop a 4th and 1 on their own yard line. Instead, it would be Heritage grabbing the first score of the half when they put together a 99-yard drive ending in a touchdown. Heritage would then lead 38-13. Grand Blanc wouldn’t be stopped on their next drive. Owen Szczembara would find Jaylen Johnson in the endzone on an absolute dime. The Bobcats would cut it to 38-20.
Heritage would lead 45-20 early in the 4th, and it appear this one was over. Not so fast, as Grand Blanc would make it a 45-28 game when Szcembara would find Webber on a bubble screen and the speedster would do the rest. Heritage would then have great field possession after they recovered a Grand Blanc onside kick attempt. They would take full advantage building the lead right back when Mason would hook up with Isom on another touchdown pass. It would be 52-28 after a successful PAT. Grand Blanc would put together a drive ending in 6 on their next drive. A failed 2-point attempt would make it a 52-34 game. But they would have new life when they recovered the next onside kick. They would punch it again but it would just be too little too late as Heritage is able to hang on, 52-40.
The Heritage offense continues to roll on the season. This win will move the Hawks to 3-0 overall and now 1-0 in SVL play. They piled up 569 yards of total offense in this one. Thomas Churchill would run for 245 yards and a 1 touchdown. Ty Robertson would pitch in with 122 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also helped the defense with 9 tackles on the night. Ethan Mason finished the night on 9/12 passing for 184 yards, and 2 touchdown passes. Brandon Isom caught both of those, Isom would also finish the night with 5 catches for 96 yards. Wyatt Vondette also help the defense with 7 tackles and a fumble recovery. Heritage will be back at home next week when they play a pivotal game against Davison. The Cardinals open up at 2-1 overall on the year. Grand Blanc was paced by big nights from JT Webber, who had 2 touchdowns. They have problems on the outside for opposing defenses as Jaylen Johnson and Tae Boyd had big nights receiving. They will look to bounce back next week when they head up to Traverse City to take on Traverse City West. West comes in at 1-2 on the year.