Orange Lutheran quarterback Ryan Hilinski passed for five touchdowns in Friday’s 35-16 victory over Heritage.
Even so, Lancers’ coach JP Presley liked his team’s offensive balance as the team continued its march through a brutal nonleague schedule to improve to 3-1.
Hilinski, a highly-touted senior, now has 14 touchdown passes on the season and was able to pick apart the Heritage defense to finish 15 of 19 for 206 yards. The running game was efficient enough to keep the Patriots (2-2) defenders on their toes, and the defense kept Heritage’s grind-it-out offense out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.
“I think the biggest thing for us was just being really consistent,” Presley said. “Have some balance on offense, which we showed. Going into a game with Heritage we know it’s going to be a physical matchup for us which helps us prepare for Mission Viejo (next week) and the Trinity League. That’s why we schedule it … this is a great challenge for us.”
Orange Lutheran scored on its first three possessions, with Hilinski connecting with Elijah Mojarro for a short score on a fourth-down play. Hilinski found Logan Loya for 30-yard touchdowns on consecutive drives.
The Patriots had a chance to cut into the lead right before the half, but a fumble inside the 10-yard line with 17 seconds left spoiled their drive. Orange Lutheran put the game away in the third quarter when Hilinski found Loya for another score and threw an 8-yard strike to Kyle Ford with 2:07 left in the quarter to put the Lancers up 35-3.
“They have a lot of talent on the field in a lot of different areas that they’re able to bring together,” Heritage coach Kraig Broach said. “They kind of expand your defense both vertically and horizontally … I’m happy with the way the kids played today and that’s something to build on.”
Heritage put together a couple of impressive drives late in the game, with quarterback Trey Goodlow scrambling for a 15-yard touchdown with 9:12 left. Goodlow tossed a 28-yard scoring pass to Brandon Smith on the next series, with Smith outjumping two defenders to haul in the pass.
“We’re figuring this thing out,” Broach said. “It’s neat to see something start to click with the guys.”
Loya finished with five catches for 100 yards. Kenny Teter led Heritage with 85 yards rushing.
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