FRISCO – All week long, The Colony head coach Rudy Rangel was concerned about Frisco Heritage's offense.
The Coyotes had scored at least 21 points in each game and put up 61 in their season opener against first-year school Prosper Rock Hill.
Turns out, it was the Cougar defense that gave the Coyotes fits.
The Colony sacked Heritage junior quarterback Easton Swetnam five times and forced five turnovers in a 42-3 District 5-5A Division I victory at The Ford Center at The Star.
“I was extremely excited about how we performed defensively,” Rangel said. “They have one of the most explosive offenses in the area. We did some really good things. A lot of kids stepped up. We got enough pressure on them to get them out of their rhythm, and we tackled well tonight. That was one of our best tackling games tonight.”
Heritage trailed 7-0 after junior Kione Roberson ran behind his left guard on an 8-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter, capping off a 10-play drive that consumed 5:12 of game block.
On the ensuing Coyotes drive, Heritage marched down to The Colony 10. But, that’s where things broke down for the Coyotes. Sophomore Bryce Gilchrist fumbled a backwards pass from Swetnam. Trevor Surgeson picked up the fumble and the Cougars never looked back.
Heritage (3-5 overall, 1-5 district) was held scoreless until Bailey Stewart booted a 29-yard field goal with 9:01 left in the fourth quarter. But, by that time, the damage had already been done. The Colony (4-3, 3-2) built a 35-3 lead behind five touchdowns from four different players.
After scoring on their opening drive, the Cougars didn’t score again until late in the second quarter. Junior Shafiq Taylor caught a pass near the sideline and maneuvered past a Heritage defender for a 50-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 3:57 left in the first half.
Taylor caught three passes for 73 yards. Senior quarterback Jonathan Roberson completed 7-of-13 passes for 137 yards with two touchdowns. Junior Kione Roberson grinded out a game-high 106 rushing yards on 17 totes.
Taylor came through on defense as well, intercepting an underthrown pass by Swetnam on the very next Heritage drive that was intended for Gilchrist. Senior Hudson Duong picked off a Hail Mary attempt by Swetnam on the final play of the first half.
Those two turnovers helped to keep The Colony’s 14-0 lead intact going into the locker room.
“We were very, very active on the ball defensively tonight,” Rangel said.
Swetnam was harassed by the Cougar defense throughout the game. The Colony broke past Heritage’s line several times and stymied multiple plays before they had a chance to develop. Junior defensive end Colby Cox set the tone for a huge night for the Cougar defense with two first-half quarterback sacks.
Swetnam passed for 196 yards on 15-of-33 through the air but threw four interceptions, and his lone scoring drive of the game came against the Cougars’ second-string defense. Gilchrist had five receptions for 68 yards. Junior Shawn Wara rushed 12 times for 72 yards.
Heritage finished with 251 total yards of offense, well below their average of 463 yards per game. The Colony, meanwhile, churned out 462 yards. The Cougars were balanced, throwing for 202 yards and rushing for 260 yards.
The Cougars used a 28-point second half to put away the Coyotes.
The Colony scored on four straight possessions after losing a fumble on their first possession of the third quarter.
Senior Kyle Taylor took the direct snap for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Cougars ahead by three scores. Roberson found the end zone for the second time in the game on a 9-yard burst with 2:01 left in the third quarter. Senior Benji Nelson stretched the ball across the goal line on a 25-yard catch-and-run touchdown for a 35-0 lead with 11:50 left in the game.
Even the Cougar backups found pay dirt. On his first snap under center, junior quarterback Dylan Corbin completed a 65-yard touchdown pass to Davonta Dunn. Corbin’s pass to Dunn proved to be the game’s final score.
“We felt like we left some points on the board early,” Rangel said. “That was from some unfortunate penalties. But, we responded well in the second half. We had a big turnover early in the third quarter, but we overcame it. Once we overcame it, we went to work on offense.”
The win keeps The Colony a half game behind Frisco Independence (3-3, 3-1) for the district’s final playoff spot. The Cougars and Knights meet next week at Tommy Briggs Stadium. The Coyotes fell four losses behind Independence.