NEW HAVEN – Heritage couldnt stop Jordan Hogue.
Then, it couldnt stop anyone.
Hogue, a New Haven senior wide receiver, juked, outran and overpowered Heritage defenders en route to 158 yards and three touchdowns on seven catches in a 61-21 win for the Bulldogs in the season opener Friday.
Heritage is a good football team, New Haven coach Jim Rowland said.
Offensively, we got the pace of the game going in our favor. I felt like we dictated the pace. We kept them on their heels, and we continued turning the screws and putting pressure on them.
Ultimately, they relented.
Hogue had touchdown scores of 13, 60 and 33 yards in the first half to help put New Haven up 42-21 at the break.
The offense was clicking like it should be, and (quarterback) Vance (Shearer) was getting the ball where it needed to be – great accuracy, said Hogue, who has interest from Indiana and Michigan State. I just turned small plays into big plays like I know I can.
When Hogue wasnt burning the Patriots, New Havens backfield options were.
Senior fullback Ariest Vasquez had two 1-yard runs for scores, and senior running back DAndre Smith scored from 27 yards in the second quarter.
Patriots quarterback Branson Dossen did his best to keep his team in the game but had to take some risks to do so. That resulted in four interceptions for the junior to go with 340 yards and one touchdown.
Bulldogs linebacker Adam Hoffer had three interceptions before being hobbled with a leg injury in the middle of the third quarter.
Rowland said the injury was a tweak of a hamstring that was tight during pregame Thursday.
He was dehydrating a little bit, Rowland said. Hell be fine next week.
Heritage made it 24-21 with 10:41 to go in the second quarter on a 4-yard run from Justyn Hart, but New Haven scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter to pull away.
We were able to establish our ground game, Rowland said. Once we were able to establish the run game, we just wanted to finish it off that way.
The onslaught continued in the second half.
New Haven stuck to the run, and Vasquez benefited. He brushed off defenders for scoring runs of 31 and 52 yards in the third quarter.
Backup Nishawn Jones got his share, too, with a 51-yard touchdown carry in the third quarter that gave New Haven a 40-point advantage.
The Bulldogs put in their second-string personnel with just more than three minutes left in the third quarter.
New Haven scored 37 unanswered points to close the game and didnt throw the ball in the second half.
The Bulldogs racked up more than 300 yards on the ground, and only one player other than Hogue caught a pass for New Haven. That was more because New Haven didnt have to throw it than any lack of options.
Weve got a lot of athletes, Rowland said. Since Ive been here, theres been a lot of years weve had good football teams but weve had one superstar. Obviously Jordans a superstar, but weve got five or six guys we can spread the ball to and feel comfortable.