Pittsburg running back Harris Ross entered Friday's game against Heritage with a respectable 339 yards and two touchdowns on 38 carries for the season. He left the game as future star in the making.
The junior tailback exploded for 237 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 carries in a 34-18 win over the Patriots.
"It feels nice," Ross said after his career-high effort.
The Pirates leading rusher Jamal Lockett (846 yards and 10 TDs on the season) was held to 53 yards on 12 carries, but the Pirates didn't have much to worry about with Ross slicing up the Patriots defense.
"It is good (to have depth at running back)," Ross said. "If one goes down we have another one to step up."
Pittsburg (6-3, 3-1) won for the second consecutive game after losing a 49-48 thriller to Freedom on Oct. 12. Freedom clinched at least a tie for the league title, and holds the tie-breakers, with a win over Deer Valley Friday. Ross said the Pirates need to keep practicing hard and improve as they prepare for their regular season finale against Antioch and the playoffs.
A win for the Patriots (2-7, 2-2) would have made them playoff eligible, and Heritage could still qualify for a spot with a win over Deer Valley next week.
Heritage started off quickly against Pitt, recovering an onside kick to open the game and then capitalizing on a 7-yard run by Mason Sargent to take a 6-0 lead. The point-after attempt was blocked.
Heritage attempted another onside kick, but this time Pittsburg recovered it's own 48-yardline. Ross made the Patriots pay for the good field position on the Pirates first play from scrimmage, taking the ball to the right and cutting back up the middle for a 52-yard touchdown run.
Heritage fumbled the snap on its next play from scrimmage, and this time Lockett went to work on the short field. The Pirates started at the Heritage 28, and Lockett raced 16 yards on the first play, six on the second and the cruised in for a 6-yard score on the third play to make it 13-6.
Craijon Menefee scored the next two touchdowns for Pittsburg to make it 27-6.
Tyler Barrios hit the first of two 27-yard field goals for Heritage with 50.1 seconds left in the half to make it 27-9.
The closest Heritage would come was 27-15 in the third quarter on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Carter to Travon Covington-Zeno. Carter was 17-for-25 for 188 yards for the game.
Pitt quarterback Lorenzo Renteria was an efficient 6-of-9 passing for 84 yards, while the offense racked up 304 yards rushing on 38 carries. The team finished with 400 yards of total offense.
Pittsburg 34, Heritage 18
Pittsburg 20 7 0 7-- 34
Heritage 6 3 6 3-- 18
H -- Sargent 7 run (kick blocked)
P -- Ross 52 run (Iniquez kick)
P -- Lockett 6 run (kick blocked)
P -- Menefee 10 run (Iniquez kick)
P -- Menefee 1 run (Iniquez kick)
H -- Barrios 27 FG
H -- Covington 41 pass from Carter (pass failed)
P -- Ross 2 run (Iniquez kick)
H --Barrios 27 FG
Rushing: P -- Ross 14-237, Lockett 12-53, Menefee 3-18, Crawford 1-12, Huey 1-2, Underwood 1-1, Ozuna 2-(-1), Renteria 1-(-8), Murphy 3-(-9). Totals 38-304. H -- Carter 10-54, Johnson 10-35, Sargent 4-20, Cleverly 5-13, Zalec 3-10, Edwards 1-2. Totals 33-134. Passing: P -- Renteria 6-9-84-0, Ozuna 1-1-12-0. Totals 7-10-96. H -- Carter 17-25-188-1. Receiving: P -- Alexander 4-60, Maile 1-21, Lassair 1-12, Moore 1-3. Totals 7-96. H -- Cleverly 5-18, Covington-Zeno 4-81, Calegari 3-55, Sargent 2-18, Edwards 2-14, Briseno 1-2. Totals 17-188. Fumbles/lost: Pittsburg 2/2; Heritage 2/2. Records: Pittsburg 6-3, 3-1 BVAL; Heritage 2-6, 2-2.