By Clint Parker
Burnsville – The Erwin Warriors descended into the Mountain Heritage Cougars’ “pit” Friday night (Aug. 30th) looking for a win after losing to Patton High the week before. However, for the Warriors, it would be the “pit” of despair when the game ended and the Cougars secured a 24-3 win over the winless Warriors.
The sign over the entrance to the Cougars’ football field said “Welcome to the Pit,” but Mountain Heritage’s 2A team was anything but hospitable to allowing the 3A Warriors to get inside their endzones which they guarded with tough defense.
While Erwin won the right to receive the ball first, they would soon give it back as they failed to get a first down. Erwin was able to down the punt at the Cougars’ 29-yard line where Mountain Heritage started their drive but also was unable to get a first down.
While both teams would have varying amounts of success in moving the ball neither team would score in the first quarter, with Erwin turning over the ball once in the period. Erwin scored first at the 7:51 mark in the second quarter. The Warriors had to settle for a field goal after suffering a loss of yards when Quarterback Jared Penland missed a snapped ball after getting within 15 yards of the end zone. It would be Erwin’s only points of the game.
While the Erwin defense looked strong during the first half of the game, its offensive line looked bewildered at times with rookie mistakes like the missed snap which was not the only one of the night.
The Cougars answered Erwin’s field goal on their next drive. Between a huge pass, which got Mountain Heritage down to the Erwin 18-yard line and a Warrior penalty that gave up another nine yards, the Cougars would score off a handoff and with a good two-point conversion it would be 8-3 Cougars with 4:49 left in the first half.
Erwin would come oh-so-close to a touchdown right before the half after putting together a drive that was their best effort of the night. With two incomplete pass attempts to receivers in the end zone (one wide-open, but could not hang on to the pass from Penland) the result at the end of the first half of play was the score was unchanged.
When halftime ended, Mountain Heritage received the kick-off, but couldn’t do anything with it as would be the story for both teams during the third quarter. It would be Mountain Heritage adding the only points to the scoreboard for the rest of the evening. Two more Cougar touchdowns and two-point conversions would cap off the night with the final score being 24-3 Cougars. Erwin plays Robbinsville Friday night at home.