Owen loses third-straight with home loss to Mountain Heritage
BLACK MOUNTAIN - Returning home wasn't enough.
Owen High School lost its third-straight game on the season with a 34-14 defeat to Mountain Heritage High School. The Cougars finished with 388 rushing yards on 52 attempts.
A 7.5 yards-per-rush average by Mountain Heritage contrasts Owen's rushing totals, as the Warhorses had 15 yards on 19 attempts for an average of 1.3 yards per rush.
Head coach Nathan Padgett told his team to maintain confidence despite its record falling to 2-3.
"Hold your heads up," Padgett said. "This is why we practice. If you're embarrassed by this, get yourself to practice and get back to it."
Athletic director and offensive coordinator Anthony Lee echoed Padgett's comments, adding that he expects all players at practice.
"This is how you move forward," Lee said. "Get in the weight room. Get yourself bigger and stronger."
Shavoy Harding finished with a career-high 114 receiving yards on three catches in addition to two touchdowns. Caleb Scott completed nine of 20 pass attempts for 156 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
This is Harding's second two-touchdown game on the season and the third of his career.
Despite Mountain Heritage's success on the ground, Owen forced three fumbles, including one on the Cougar's opening drive.
Padgett said he noticed his team's energy lessen after Mountain Heritage's touchdown in the first quarter.
"You all were ready to go once you ran out here," he said. "Then you put your heads down. You have to be able to keep your heads up."
Mountain Heritage opted to throw just four attempts on the night, completing three. To complement its offensive success, the Cougars punted once.
Sam Gray finished with a team-high 13 tackles.
Owen is still without running back Dequan Boyce, who has been sidelined with an arm injury since a loss at Mitchell March 12. Despite being out for the last two games, Boyce still leads the team in rushing with 146 yards and is third in receiving with 137 yards.
Now 0-3 in the Western Highlands Conference, Owen looks ahead to another home matchup against Avery County High School. Avery County is 2-1 on the season after a 42-20 loss to Polk County High School.
Owen defeated Avery County on the road last season 54-32. Prior to that win, Owen had lost to Mountain Heritage the previous week.
Looking ahead, Padgett repeated his sentiments to his team.
"If you're embarrassed, make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.
Lee added on.
"There's only one champion each season," he said. "We still have a chance to be that. That is still our goal."