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TELL CITY—Three long plays by David Maldonado helped Heritage Hills defeat Tell City 63-13 in PAC football Friday.
Maldonado scored the game’s first touchdown on a 24-yard pass from Cody Schmitt.
Tell City tied the score 7-7, though, on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Nick Kleaving to Kyle Osborne on the first play of the second quarter.
The Marksmen still trailed only 21-7 at halftime. But Maldonado returned the third-quarter kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
Three plays later he made a 33-yard punt return to the Tell City 9-yard line.
That set up a 9-yard touchdown run by Taylor Nord with 10:53 left in the third quarter, effectively sealing the outcome.
Heritage Hills never punted in the game. But the Patriots threw an interception early that helped the Marksmen keep the game close the first half.
On their second offensive series, the Patriots advanced to the Tell City 8-yard line before a holding penalty backed them up to the 21.
Schmitt then threw a pass that Tell City sophomore Trent Nelson intercepted at the 11 and returned 43 yards to the Heritage Hills 46.
“I had just told (assistant) coach (Ronnie) Robinson that they’re going to try to pick on him (Nelson), so make sure he watches the two route (for quick passes),” said Tell City Coach Don Hitz. “And he stepped right in front of it.”
That was the Marksmen’s biggest play of the night, as they completed only 7 of 18 passes for 74 yards and rushed for only 55 yards on 28 carries.
Hitz said the Marksmen’s passing game is still a work in progress. “Our quarterback really has to start reading his progressions. He likes to pick a receiver and throw to him, and that’s not always what we want.”
A 19-yard run by Trent Gunn in the second quarter was the Marksmen’s only rushing play longer than 10 yards.
Osborne scored the Marksmen’s second touchdown on a 5-yard power run up the middle with 6:59 left in the third quarter.
Gunn led the Marksmen with 41 yards rushing on 10 carries.
He sat out the fourth quarter with an injury, which also hurt the Marksmen on defense.
“We got banged up a little bit,” noted Hitz. “We lost Gunn in the second half. Any time you lose a kid like that, they’re going to pick on his backup.”
Matt Leistner also got hurt early in the fourth quarter. Hitz noted that Leistner and Jordan Keown “made some really nice hits tonight.”
The Patriots rushed for 203 yards on 36 carries. Their only rush for more than 11 yards was a 22-yard run by Ethan Coghill in the second quarter.
Coghill led their balanced rushing attack with 60 yards on seven carries.
The Marksmen fell to 0-2 while Heritage Hills improved to 2-0.
Tell City will visit South Spencer Friday at 7 p.m.