HS Football: Heritage Slips Past Paloma Valley 41-38 to Win its Eighth Consecutive Sunbelt League Championship.

Sherod White Runs for 245 Yards and Four Touchdowns  for Heritage

Paloma Valley came prepared to knock off the Sunbelt League’s perennial Champion Heritage last night. The Wildcats gave the Patriots the battle of a lifetime but came up a field goal short.

Since joining the Sunbelt League in 2010, the Patriots have been invincible. With Friday night’s victory, Heritage has won 40 consecutive league games. It is the second longest winning streak in the Inland Empire.

But the Wildcats gave the Patriots a scare. In a game that saw both teams excel in a back-and-forth battle, it came down to Heritage’s last possession to win it. James Phillips’ busted loose with 43 yard run with 3:02 left for the winning touchdown and claim title to the Menifee Bowl Title.

There were a lot of heroes Friday night. Heritage’s Sherod White was unstoppable. He carried the ball 25 times for 245 yards and four touchdowns. Phillips gained 142 yards on 10 carries.

Quarterback Devan Freedland completed 9 passes for 112 yards and a score. Rashoud Shelton caught 4 passes for 79 yards.

On the other side of the ball, Paloma Valley quarterback Chance Nolan carried the Wildcats. Nolan went 22 for 33 for 319 yards and a TD. He also ran for 111 yards. Tyrese Tillman ran for 53 yards on 6 carries. Damian Torres scored 3 touchdowns for Paloma Valley.

In the air, Koale Schroeder was sensational, catching 9 passes for 130 yards. Mason Carvalho hauled in 7 passes and gained 89 yards and scored. Andrew Franco would catch 4 passes for 76 yards. The defense was anchored by linebacker Steven Bradshaw.

White got Heritage started with a 4 yard run in the first quarter. The Wildcats came right back as Nolan hit Carvalho with a 24 yard scoring pass. Torres scored his first touchdown on a 3 yard run and then White busted loose with a 64 yard run to make it 14-13 in the first quarter.

Blaine Grillo nailed a 28 yard field goal in the second quarter to make it 17-14 Wildcats. White struck again, this time on a 4 yard TD run to give the Patriots the lead. Heritage blocked Grillo’s field goal attempt as the quarter ended and the Patriots led 20-17.

In the third quarter the two teams traded touchdowns. Shelton scored for Heritage on a 19 yard pass from Freedland. Tillman then took a ball 25 yards into the end zone for the Wildcats.

In the dramatic fourth quarter, Paloma Valley scored on a yard run by Torres. Then White again found a seam and went 43 yards for a score. The Wildcats took the lead with 4 minutes to go in the game when Torres scored from 1 yard out. This set up Phillips’ 43 yard TD run to win it.

Heritage persevered to win it’s eighth consecutive Sunbelt League championship.

Photos by Amber Garcia & David Bradshaw