Colleyville Heritage used a second-half offensive explosion to dash the hopes of a first-ever unbeaten regular season for Richland as the Panthers beat the Rebels 53-36 Friday in District 8-5A play at the Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex.
Trailing 22-7 at the half Colleyville Heritage (7-3 6-1 in 8-5A) erupted for 46 second-half points and 317 yards to turn the game around.
Panthers quarterback Cam Roane connected with sophomore wideout Kam Brown for three second-half touchdowns to pace the Heritage rally. Senior running back Mario Ortiz had a pair of touchdown runs to squelch any hopes that Richland (9-1, 6-1) might rally. Ortiz finished with 131 yards on the ground and three total touchdowns.
The Heritage defense forced five Richland turnovers and made the Rebels a passing-only team as they were limited to 37 rushing yards.
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Richland dominated the first half, taking a quick 15-0 lead as Shemar Johnson scored on a short touchdown run and hauled in a 31-yard scoring pass from quarterback Trae Self.
Richland, Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine will share the District 8-5A title since each team finished 6-1 in district play.
Richland is the Class 5A Division I playoffs as the second seed in 8-5A and meets 10-0 Fort Worth South Hills at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Saginaw’s Rough Rider Stadium. Colleyville Heritage earns the top seed out of the district in 5A Division I and meets Fort Worth Arlington Heights at 7 p.m. Thursday at Chisholm Trail’s Ranger Stadium.