[Chloe Workman | WOUB]

Despite first half adversity, Heath offense erupts after halftime to topple Indian Valley

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HEATH, Ohio (WOUB) — It was a chilly kickoff to November for the Heath Bulldogs, who took on the Indian Valley Braves this past Friday Night. It didn’t look good for the Bulldogs in the first half, but they completely turned it around to secure a hard fought win.

The two teams came out with heat, going back and forth in the first eight minutes. The defensive strength Heath showed in the slow moments allowed them to keep getting the ball back on offense. Their efforts were rewarded with the first touchdown of the night which was rushed in by Reece Huber. This put the score to 7-0 Bulldogs with 4:57 left in the first quarter.

This would be the last score from Heath until the third quarter. In the meantime, the Braves owned the field. The first run was a 20 yard rush made by Indian Valley’s running back Kolton Thomas. The second was a reach into the end zone by Cole Lancaster. The score was then 13-7 in favor of the Braves, giving them the halftime lead.

The momentum from the first two quarters carried the Indian Valley team into the third, allowing them to score their last touchdown of the night. It was a long pass followed by a 40-yard run by Trevor Myers. It got heated between the two teams, which also meant more physical. After two personal fouls, the Bulldogs’ running back Ar’Moni McCrae got ejected. This appeared to be the last straw for McCrae’s team as they spiraled into a scoring storm.

They ended the drought in the third quarter with a 20-yard pass by quarterback Brayden Bayles, to wide receiver Mitchell McClain, for the touchdown. The score with 6:41 left in the third was 20-14, Indian Valley. A few moments later, Heath changed the narrative with a fantastic catch by Keylan Williams that made the score 21-20, Bulldogs lead.

As the fourth quarter kicked off, Heath’s intentions were evident — extend the lead. They did just that, scoring another touchdown within a minute of the quarter starting, a rush by Bayles. The Braves followed up this momentum with some runs of their own, and intense defense. This however was not enough as the Bulldogs went on to score two more TDs in the fourth quarter — the last being a pick-six by Williams.

The final score was 41-20, a Heath victory. This means that the Bulldogs will advance into the regional semifinals, and take on Bloom-Carroll next week.