Heights beats Southeast 40-14
Students at Heights High have badgered senior Grant Smallwood, a wide receiver on the football team, about why he has yet to touch the ball this season.
“We’re good at running the ball,” Smallwood recited his usual spiel. “That’s just what we do. We don’t need to pass.”
When the time arrived to pass on Thursday night, against Southeast in a Class 6A-District 6 game at Carpenter Stadium, Smallwood was ready to make an impact.
Smallwood’s first catch of the season went for a 40-yard touchdown and he added two receptions more on the night in a 40-14 victory over Southeast. The Falcons improved to 6-2, 2-0 in Class 6A-District 6.
If Derby defeats East on Friday, Heights and Derby will clinch berths to the 6A playoffs.
“I was so pumped,” said Smallwood, who finished with three catches for 96 yards. “As I was running that route, I was thinking to myself, ‘I’m going to score on this.’ I ran right past the safety and caught it and that’s the best feeling ever.”
In the first seven games of the season, Heights completed three of its 28 attempts to pass.
Smallwood helped the Falcons to a season-best day through the air, as starting quarterback Forlanda Parker found him for the touchdown and also an 11-yard first down catch on fourth down, and backup Garrett Haskins hooked up with him for a 45-yard bomb for a first down on third.
Heights coach Terry Harrison liked the production, but downplayed what it meant moving forward for a team that faces the No. 1 team in 6A in Derby next Friday.
“We do what we need to do to win,” Harrison said. “We don’t have to justify what we do to anybody. It’s proven itself to work over the years. Tonight we needed to make some plays in the passing game and I thought (Parker) did a great job throwing it.”
Southeast injected some drama into the game in the third quarter, when senior running back Tre Griffin caught Heights’ defense crashing to the middle of the field and cut outside for a 74-yard touchdown scamper to cut the Falcons’ lead to 28-6.
Heights proceeded to fumble the ball on consecutive possessions, and Southeast capitalized on the first on another Griffin touchdown, but missed its opportunity to make it a one-score game by turning it over on downs at the Heights 22-yard line.
Griffin, who is the City League’s leading rusher, finished with 181 rushing yards on 28 carries. He has now accumulated 977 yards on the season.
“I think if we score there, the game changes even more dramatically,” Southeast coach Chris Asmussen said. “But what an effort by Tre. He put the team up on his shoulders tonight.”
Griffin also ended the Heights defense’s scoreless streak, which had spanned 13 quarters, with his long touchdown run to start the third quarter.
“He’s a very good back,” said Aderio Ammons, who anchors Heights’ defense. “You can’t keep him contained the whole game because he’s always liable to break one because of his speed and his reaction time.”
Heights scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to extend its lead, as Armond McCray (110 yards), Tre King (97), Parker (49) and Trenton Autry (20) all scored touchdowns.
But now there might be a new dimension to the Falcons’ attack.
“I feel like teams don’t really take us as a passing threat,” Smallwood said. “But I think they definitely should after tonight.”
H—Smallwood 40 pass from Parker (Rodriquez kick)
H—Parker 19 run (Rodriquez kick)
H—King 2 run (Rodriquez kick)
H—Parker 4 run (Rodriquez kick)
SE—King 74 run (kick failed)
SE—King 5 run (King run)
H—McCray 65 run (kick failed)
H—Autry 12 run (run failed)
Rushing—Heights, McCray 7-110, King 14-97, Wiley 5-54, Parker 9-49, Whitten 2-48, Autry 6-20, Haskins 2-8, Brown 1-8, DeShazer 1-3; Southeast, Griffin 28-181, Peters 8-26, Hines 1-(-2), Williamson 8-(-4).
Passing—Heights, Parker 2-3-0-51, Haskins 1-1-0-45; Southeast, Williamson 0-1-0-0.
Receiving—Heights, Smallwood 3-96.
Kapaun 38, Ark City 13 — Kapaun locked up a spot in the Class 5A playoffs with its win. The Crusaders scored the game’s first 38 points and improved to 2-0 in District 6.
Devin Dempsey rushed for 133 yards on six carries and scored two touchdown.
K – Dempsey 20 run (Wells kick)
K — McGrath 37 pass from Monty (Wells kick)
K — FG Wells 29
K — Harp 3 run (Wells kick)
K — Dempsey 65 run (Wells kick)
K — Williams 1 run (Wells kick)
A — Gashier 18 pass from Gurnee (pass failed)
A — Rowe 8 run (Velazquez kick)
Rushing — Kapaun, Dempsey 6-133, Norris 9-60, Harp 7-33, Williams 7-28, Monty 4-20, White 4-8, Nguyen 2-5, O’Neil 1-1, Dolechek 3-0, team 3-(-3). Ark City, Tracy 18-86, Rowe 13-47, Gurnee 6-15, Spencer 1-(-8), team 1-(-19).
Passing — Kapaun, Monty 4-7-0 70. Ark City, Gurnee 6-22-4 99.
Receiving — Kapaun, McGrath 1-37, Dempsey 2-21, Puritty 1-12. Ark City, Gashier 2-43, Spencer 1-25, Headrick 2-18, Tracy 1-3.