ATLANTA - The Heritage boys were ousted from the Class AAAA state playoffs Tuesday, dropping a 2-0 decision to Lakeside-DeKalb at Adams Stadium.
Both teams had scoring chances in the first 15 minutes, but thanks to a couple of impressive saves by Heritage goalkeeper John Barnes, the game remained scoreless.
It wasn't until 23:15 remained until halftime that the Vikings finally broke through Heritage's last line of defense.
Taylor Cardwell's header just squeaked by the diving efforts of Barnes and put the Vikings up 1-0.
Cardwell had a hand in the Vikings other score as well, finding Amadu Ndaiye on a corner kick to make it 2-0 with 15:41 left until the break.
Heritage's defense never faltered after that, holding the Vikings scoreless until halftime and throughout the second half.
Heritage almost made it a game again with six minutes left, but the shot was deflected by the Lakeside goalkeeper.
The Patriots scattered several other scoring opportunities throughout the game, but Heritage was never able to break through the Lakeside defense and the game ended in a 2-0 defeat.
Although it was the end of the road for some at Heritage, it was a new beginning for most as Heritage boys coach Mike Beshiri opted to start and play many of his underclassmen.
"I put our guys in a bad situation because it was the first start of the season for a lot of these guys - and it just happened to be in the first of the state playoffs against the No. 1 team in the state. Still, I would rather play them than play people who don't show up to practice," Beshiri said. "I was very proud of the way they played. They held their own for about 70 minutes of the game. If they come back next year and play as hard as they played today, we'll certainly be a team that will be on people's radar."
Brandon Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.