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Patriots in a must-win situation
Heritage needs victory, help from Salem to make playoffs

CONYERS - Typically, special teams play a significant, yet non-glamorous, role in a football game.

However, that could very well change when Cedar Shoals (5-4) visits Heritage (5-4) in the regular season finale for both squads Friday night at Evans Memorial Stadium.

"(Cedar Shoals) has good speed and athleticism," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said. "They run the ball well, but the one thing they do best is their special teams. They have the ability to return kicks for a touchdown. They've shown a number of fake punts that they've converted, and their kicker can kick it a mile."

Besides executing on special teams, a victory for either squad is imperative for a playoff berth. They both need a win and some help for their seasons to continue.

Not only does Heritage have to win in order to wrap up the No. 4 seed in Region 8-AAAA - Salem must also beat Apalachee. On the other hand, Cedar Shoals needs to beat Heritage and have Apalachee beat Salem.

For the Patriots, the bottom line is they must take care of business against the Jaguars, and Frazier is extremely confident.

"We feel that we have a great game plan going into this Cedar game," he said. "We have begun to click better in all phases and are looking forward to the challenge Cedar will bring."

Lately, Heritage has been cruising, winning three consecutive games by a combined score of 67-12. Also, three of its four losses have come by a mere 15 points.

"I stated at the beginning of the season I thought most of the teams in this region were pretty much on the same level," Frazier said. "So every week each team will be able to compete with any other. Looking at the scores and the records throughout the season proves it. This game will be a great one between two very competitive teams."

While Heritage has been moving forward, Cedar Shoals has been unable to finish lately. The Jaguars have lost two straight by only three points.

Jason Murdock can be reached at jason.murdock@rockdalecitizen.com.

SideBar: Cedar Shoals at Heritage

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Evans Memorial Stadium

Series: Cedar Shoals leads 10-5

Last meeting: Cedar Shoals won 27-24 in 2007