Blount Press Row

The 200 Club

Mountaineers’ Ambagis becomes first (and only) entrant this season

Heritage running back James Ambagis turns upfield in a game earlier this season. Photo by Wallace Bowden

By Stefan Cooper
Editor
Blount Press Row

This didn’t take long.

Heritage junior James Ambagis, the Barley’s/Blount Press Row Player of the Week, joined an exclusive club — one growing more exclusive with each passing season — in the Mountaineers’ 35-0 shutout at Clinton on Friday.

Putting the Mountaineers (5-4) in position for their first winning season in 15 years, Ambagis carried 30 times for 268 yards and three touchdowns in becoming the only Blount County footballer to rush for 200 yards this season. The 1999 Mountaineers went 7-4, falling to 5-5 the following season.

The shutout was the first for the Mountaineers since Heritage shutout Seymour, 19-0, to open the 2008 season.

Tyler Thomas (37-yard run) and Jesse Ewing (1 yard) lit the powder keg as Heritage blanked the Dragons, 20-0, in the opening quarter. Ambagis roared home from 30 yards for the third score by the close of the period, adding a 2-yard run with seconds to play in the half for a 28-0 Mountaineer lead at intermission.

His 1-yard run with nine minutes to play in the fourth activated the running clock.

Playing some of its best football at the right time, Heritage (2-2 Region 2-5A) travels to Halls (6-3, 2-2) on Friday to close the 2016 regular season. With a win or a West loss to region champion Gibbs, the Mountaineers secure the region’s fourth and final spot in the Class 5A playoffs.

Congratulations, James.

Go Mountaineers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *