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Bateman shines as Heritage defeats E.C. Glass in Jug Bowl

Oct 03, 2023

Heritage quarterback Hov Bateman runs the ball as E.C. Glass’ Kenneth Smith (right) and Ma’quwan Farmer (left) try to secure the tackle in the Jug Bowl on Friday at Lynchburg City Stadium.

E.C. Glass players run onto the field at City Stadium last week. Glass looks to bounce back from its loss to Heritage last week with a win over Liberty on Friday.

E.C. Glass’ Mike Thomas tries to pick up additional yardage against Heritage's Dmitri Jones during the Jug Bowl in September at Lynchburg City Stadium.

Heritage running back Rajan Booker runs the ball up field after breaking through a tackle attempt by E.C. Glass’ Kason Brehm at Lynchburg City Stadium on Sept. 16.

E.C. Glass' Chris Walker-Wells ties to bring in the pass as Heritage's Tavion Clark defends at Lynchburg City Stadium on Sept. 16.

Heritage's Tavion Clark catches a pass against E.C. Glass at Lynchburg City Stadium on Sept. 16, 2022.

Heritage sophomore wide receiver Tavion Clark (left) crosses the goal line to finish off a 16-yard touchdown reception with 37.7 seconds left in the first half of a Sept. 16 game against E.C. Glass at City Stadium.

E.C. Glass' cheerleaders put painted hand prints on fans at Lynchburg City Stadium on Sept. 16, 2022.

E.C. Glass student Dai’Dieon Colmore puts face paint on at Lynchburg City Stadium on Sept. 16. 2022.

Heritage coach Brad Bradley holds up the little brown jug as his team celebrates with fans after the Pioneers defeated E.C. Glass on Friday night at Lynchburg City Stadium.

E.C. Glass quarterback George White lets loose a pass during the Jug Bowl in September at Lynchburg City Stadium. White and the Hilltoppers will take on Jefferson Forest on Friday night.

Heritage coach Brad Bradley addresses his team during a postgame huddle on Sept. 17.

Heritage's Jacari Alexander poses with the little brown jug on Friday.

Heritage's Marquis White (12) and teammates celebrate defeating E.C. Glass on Friday night.

Hov Bateman (9) smiles in Heritage's post-game huddle while holding the little brown jug, given annually to the winner of the Heritage vs. E.C. Glass game.

Hov Bateman wore a wide smile Friday night as he stood on the turf at Lynchburg City Stadium. His Heritage Pioneers had just wrapped a thrilling 12-0 victory over E.C. Glass, and Bateman was soaking in the moment.

He cradled the little brown jug. Talked about his team's defensive performance. And then he looked to the E.C. Glass side of the field.

He used to be a Hilltopper. But Bateman wears orange and white now. And Friday's game, his first Jug Bowl as a starting quarterback, was personal.

"My freshman year, I just believe they didn't believe in my playing quarterback," said Bateman, who spent his first two high school years at Glass and was the starting JV quarterback his sophomore season. "So now they have another quarterback. I think I proved myself, that I'm better than him now."

Bateman completed 12 of 24 passes, threw for 155 yards and added 54 rushing yards. He accounted for both of the game's touchdowns — a 16-yard strike to Tavion Clark 37.7 seconds before halftime and a 30-yard scamper that sealed the deal with less than two minutes remaining — to lead the Pioneers to a 12-0 triumph in the lowest-scoring Jug Bowl game since 2012.

Bateman was, as teammate Rajan Booker said, "something else."

"He's not human! He's not human!" Booker said as the pair walked off the field late Friday night, following the Pioneers' fifth straight victory in the series and 13th in the last 14 meetings.

Heritage (3-1) struggled to run the ball against E.C. Glass' defensive front, so it was important that Bateman have a strong night in the passing department. And that's just what the senior provided. He spread the wealth among his receivers, racking up 126 yards through the air by halftime.

Fifty-five of of those yards came on a quick, one-minute drive in the second quarter that opened the scoring. After failing to take advantage of a Glass fumble and interception earlier in the half, Bateman made sure his group capitalized on another gift just before intermission. Following another interception, Bateman found three different teammates for first-down yardage on four consecutive passes, the last of which went to Clark for the score and 6-0 lead.

"For him, this game was way personal," Booker said of Bateman. "So I knew when Hov was in the locker room, he was hype. In school, he was hype. He was just locked in. He was ready to do anything, any time, any place. And he showed up tonight. We gotta give it to him. He stepped up."

Bateman also had the game's longest run, by far, on his TD scamper. Glass (3-1) had allowed just 52 yards rushing to that point, but when Heritage did finally find a weakness, Bateman was the one to slide through, high-stepping it into the end zone for some extra cushion on the scoreboard.

"I came into this game with a feeling that I had to beat them," Bateman said.

It was a fitting end to the night for the 6-foot-2 QB, who also played another especially important role Friday night for HHS: punter. Bateman punted a total of eight times (averaging 38 yards per boot). His last of the evening came less than two minutes before his touchdown run, but with plenty of time left for Glass' offense to get to work.

With about 3½ minutes left, Bateman received the snap in Heritage territory and then sent a booming kick 44 yards (his second-longest punt of the night) to the 6-yard line.

Down 6-0 at that point, Glass had a chance still to tie things up, thanks to its own passing game. But backed up to their own end zone, the Hilltoppers' attempts to cover significant ground via the arm of George White resulted in three straight incompletions.

White's second pass in the series was just out of the reach of Jonathan Wood. His next was even closer, nearly finding Vari Gilbert on the left sideline. Clark, a sophomore, was there to get a hand on the pass just in time.

"I just played my game, played my key," Clark said.

White, for most of the night, couldn't seem to solve Clark and the Heritage defense. In the Jug Bowl matchup a year before, he'd thrown for Glass' single-game record of nearly 450 yards. On Friday, the Pioneers held him to less than half that total (201 yards). More important than the yardage, though, was the number of interceptions Heritage made sure White had by night's end.

The senior tallied four picks, the most he's thrown in any game in his career.

"I played the worst football game of my life," White said. "I can't turn the ball over that many times in a close game like that one. I just had to find ways to take care of the ball, and I didn't. I [said] before the game I couldn't throw picks, and I threw like 15 of them. It starts with me."

Two of those interceptions came in the second quarter, in which Glass gave the ball away three times.

First, the Hilltoppers lost a fumble after driving into the red zone. Two interceptions followed on their next two drives.

In the third quarter, Glass chewed up 3½ minutes and churned up 56 yards before a pick derailed another promising opportunity.

The 'Toppers later came up empty on a trip into the red zone as part of a drive that spanned the third and fourth frames. After gaining 52 yards, Heritage gobbled up Taeon Mosby for a 6-yard loss on third-and-2. Glass reached into its bag of tricks when it sent White to line up wide and put Gilbert at the QB spot. Gilbert took the snap and gained 5 yards, but it wasn't enough.

"We didn't take advantage of our opportunities," said Glass coach Jeff Woody, whose team was held scoreless for the first time since the spring 2020 season (staged in 2021), despite recording 296 yards of total offense to Heritage's 237. Friday also marked the first time HHS has recorded a shutout in the series since 2012.

Woody's group had plenty of chances, thanks to its defense, which forced five three-and-outs. Glass held Heritage to just 99 yards in the second half, and didn't give up a single first down in the third quarter. But then there was Bateman, who was responsible for all three first downs in the fourth.

Twice he ran for enough yardage to move the chains. The other time, he found his sixth different receiver of the night.

"They knew we could run the ball," Bateman said, "so I had to let them know we can throw the ball, too. Keep them on their toes."

E.C. Glass;0;0;0;0;—;0


H — Tavion Clark 16 pass from Hov Bateman (kick blocked)

H — Bateman 30 run (run failed)


Rushing — E.C Glass: Mike Thomas 13-65, Vari Gilbert 2-8, Taeon Mosby 3-1, Brayden Morgan 1-2, Jaren Paige 1-0, Taveon Carter 7-16. Heritage: Bateman 17-54, Rajan Booker 10-24, Zach Steel 2-(minus 1), Tavion Clark 2-7, Markus White 1-(minus 2).

Passing — E.C. Glass: George White 13-25-4 (201). Heritage: Bateman 12-24-0 (155).

Receiving — E.C. Glass: Gilbert 2-39, Thomas 1-10, Mosby 4-36, Jonathan Wood 2-41, Samuel Treacy 2-51, Jamar Smith 2-24. Heritage: Booker 1-19, Steel 2-23, Clark 4-57, White 3-32, Johnson 1-14, Terrell Washington 1-10.

Records: E.C. Glass 3-1. Heritage 3-1.

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