Patriots eye 1-0 record this week

CONYERS - For the Heritage football team, the final weeks of the season are proving to be a lesson in mathematics.

The number the Patriots are focusing on is one - as in being 1-0 this week.

Heritage (3-4) looks to keep its Region 8-AAAA playoff hopes alive when it hosts Apalachee (5-2) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Evans Memorial Stadium.

"This game is the biggest on our schedule. We are focused on going 1-0 this week. After that, we'll get ready for the next one," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said. "We are in week-to-week mode. Yes, mathematically we are still in contention for the playoffs. We're just working to be 1-0 against Apalachee this week."

Being 1-0 against Apalachee on Friday might be a tough challenge.

The Wildcats are coming off a 17-12 loss to Loganville. In their first season in 8-AAAA, after moving up from Class AAA, they are making some noise in the region, sitting third in the standings at 5-2.

"They are very good all the way around and only a few plays from being undefeated. They are a fast, physical bunch," Frazier said. "They have great speed on defense and play a cover one and load the box. Their defensive backs play extremely well and all 11 run to the ball."

Heritage ended a two-game slide with a 7-0 victory over Madison County on Friday in Danielsville.

The Patriots changed the look of their offense last week by putting their

quarterback under center more.

"We played a very conservative style of offense last week. We went back under center a good bit and slowed things down," Frazier said. "With as many turnovers and mishaps in ball-handling as we've had, I felt we needed a change-up."

Last week, the Patriots ran for 216 yards against Madison County.

Frazier sees three things as important for his squad in Friday's matchup with Apalachee.

"The keys for us will be field position, solid play on special teams and handling the football," he said. "This game is a battle of strengths between a good running team and our solid run defense."

SideBar: Apalachee at Heritage

· When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

· Where: Evans Memorial Stadium

· Series: First meeting