September 12, 2009 11:50:00 PM
MERIDIAN -- Heritage Academy first-year football coach Brad Butler walked up to a fan after Friday night''s game against the Lamar School and said, "Mama said there were going to be days like this."
Friday night was a day Butler would just as soon forget, as the Patriots suffered a 49-12 thrashing at the hands of top-ranked Lamar School at Grey Cobb Field.
Senior quarterback Witt Haggard and wide receiver Bo Bidgood combined for four touchdown passes to hand the Patriots their first loss in four games this season.
"If there is a better quarterback-wide receiver combo in the state, I sure hope they aren''t on our schedule," Butler said. "We knew what they were going to do and still couldn''t stop it. They were just that good. The quarterback was very accurate and moved around well. They sprinted him out a lot and it made him hard to get to. In watching film, we only saw them punt once, so we knew we had our work cut out for us."
Haggard was 20-for-28 for 319 yards. He rushed for 84 yards on 10 carries. Bidgood has 12 catches for 197 yards and four touchdowns, giving him 10 touchdown receptions in the past two weeks.
"The last two weeks those two have really been tearing it up," Lamar School coach Mac Barnes said. "They are on the same page as to what we are doing on offense. Witt knows exactly what Bo is going to do based on what the defense gives them.
"But I think the key for us was how well our defense played. We were really worried about the matchup problems they presented us. They had really ran over some people and we were worried about being able to stop that running game. But I thought our kids did a good job of stopping that early and allowing our offense to get things going."
Lamar School threatened early but came up empty on its first two drives, as Stance Henderson recovered a fumble and the Patriots turned the Raiders over on downs.
Meanwhile, Heritage Academy went through a pair of three-and-outs on offense.
With 1 minute, 41 seconds left in the first quarter, Haggard scrambled for a 23-yard touchdown to make the score 7-0.
After Heritage Academy fumbled on its next play from scrimmage, the Lamar School struck quickly, as Haggard found Bidgood on a 36-yard pass play with 1:24 left in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.
The Raiders then started rolling in the second quarter. Haggard connected on touchdown passes of 39, 48, and 3 yards for a 35-0 lead with 6:55 left in the first half.
"We made too many mistakes in the first half," Butler said. "We fumbled the ball, threw interceptions, and just didn''t cover their guys. That''s a good football team.
"We just have to put this one behind us and start getting ready for MRA. This could be a good thing if we will come back and work to get better. We know the things we have to work on to get better."
The Patriots finally got on the scoreboard thanks to a two-play, 68-yard drive. After Will Swedenburg hit Hunter Brown for a 26-yard gainer, and Chris Uhl broke free on a 42-yard run with 4:21 left in the first half to make it 35-6.
The Lamar School added another score when Haggard hit Bidgood on a 4-yard pass with 2:06 left for a 42-6 halftime lead.
The Raiders added their only score of the second half with 40.2 seconds left in the third quarter on Haggard''s 22-yard pass to Alex Price.
Heritage Academy last score came with 1:16 left in the game, as Henderson scored on a 29-yard scamper.
Uhl led Heritage Academy with 107 yards on 14 carries, while Henderson had 48 yards on eight carries. Brown had 53 yards receiving on two receptions.
Heritage Academy had 216 yards rushing and 75 passing for 291 total yards and 11 first downs.
The Lamar School had 319 yards passing and 141 rushing for 460 total and 23 first downs.
1. Fast starts help prepare Heritage Academy for opener HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Report: Former LSU quarterback enrolls at EMCC COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Eubanks will try to take on 'alpha' role for Bulldogs COLLEGE SPORTS
5. First games will answer questions about prep teams LOCAL COLUMNS