BY BRIAN HAMILTON
MARYVILLE – Heritage faced a tough task on Friday night, as Knox West came to town. The Mountaineers faced the task of getting their first win of the season against a team that could very well still be undefeated, and a team who was chomping at the bit to get back on the field after a heartbreaking Thursday Night Rivals loss to Alcoa in double-overtime. The result was not in favor of Heritage, however, as the Rebels came in and handed the Mountaineers a 56-6 loss.
“Teams like West have enough skill players to make you really work,” Heritage head coach Tim Hammontree said. “Physically, up front, we couldn’t get it done and we could not control their speed.”
West began the route early with a 17-yard touchdown by Syxx Hoard, putting the Rebels in front 7-0 with 8:20 left in the first quarter, capping an 8-play, 74 yard drive.
On the next West drive, Tre’von Barfield scored on a 3-yard touchdown, followed by a 2-yard run by Zion Mattress with under a minute left in the first, giving the Rebels a 21-0 advantage.
West would continue to pour it on in the second quarter, as Hunter Dance scored on an 11-yard touchdown run to put the Rebels in front 28-0.
This was followed by a 2-yard run by Alex Gilmer to increase West’s lead to 35-0 with 6:48 left in the first half.
Heritage’s Wesley Deck was intercepted on the next Mountaineers possession, as Anderson Smith scooped the ball out of the air and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown and a 42-0 West lead.
Barfield went into the end zone once more with 1:48 remaining until halftime on a 3-yard run for a 49-0 Rebels lead. If October is to Halloween, then the first half was a trail of terror for the Mountaineers.
Heritage finally scored with 3:45 left in the third quarter when sophomore Wesley Deck ran for a 14-yard score, making the score 49-6.
Brayden Latham would pick up a Mountaineer fumble and return it 28 yards for a score for a 56-6 lead with under one minute left in the third.
Neither team would reach the end zone in the final period, as West went on to win by 50 points.
West finished with 239 yard rushing and running back Tre’von Barfield accounted for 80 of those yards and two touchdowns.
Heritage (0-7, 0-3 Class 5A Region 2) was all but eliminated from postseason play on Friday night and will have the week off before traveling to Sevier County (4-2, 1-2) on October 15. West (6-1, 3-0 Class 5A Region 2) will also take the week off before traveling to Cocke County (1-6, 1-2) in two weeks.