CONYERS - Monroe Area is hoping to put a scare into Heritage come Friday on Halloween.
But it certainly will be difficult, considering the Purple Hurricanes (0-8) have yet to win a game this year.
Still, Heritage coach Chad Frazier is quick to praise his winless adversary.
"Monroe Area is very dangerous," Frazier said. "They have been very close against some good teams and just come up short. We have emphasized to our players that they will line up and play very hard against us, (so) we must hit them early and not let up. We need to take the momentum early and play relentless football for four quarters."
Defensively, Heritage (4-4) has done just that over the last two weeks by not allowing a single point. On Oct. 17, Heritage edged Madison County 7-0 and upset Apalachee last week 20-0.
"On defense, (linebacker) Corey Alford is playing great," Frazier said. "There are a few others getting it done as well - (defensive tackle) Melvin Jones, (linebacker) Travis Martin and (defensive back) Chris Polascik."
Meanwhile, Monroe Area is allowing 29.3 points per game, including 100 points in the last three games.
Overall, the Patriots are averaging 21.8 points per game, nearly two touchdowns more than the Purple Hurricanes.
"Offensively, (running backs) Reggie Juin and Devon Holmes have run the ball well behind an offensive line that played really well against Apalachee," Frazier said.
The win over Apalachee could not have come at a better time of the season, considering it was a must-win situation for Heritage to remain in the playoff hunt.
Furthermore, it was one of Heritage's best performances of the season.
"I thought we played as close to a complete game since the opening week against Salem," Frazier said. "We committed only a handful of penalties, which gave Apalachee a couple of extra opportunities, but we were able to recover. We handled the football better with no turnovers and forced some turnovers. Also, our kicking game made a huge difference in field position, which is critical in games against solid opponents."
Everything is clicking for the multi-talented Patriots, whose record is not indicative of their team identity.
"Our kicking game has improved a lot with Clark Jennings producing perfect long snaps, Garrett Gaches punting for no returns and Tyler Peoples pinning opponents deep on the kickoffs," Frazier said.
Still, according to Frazier there is always room for improvement.
"We're still not tackling as well as we'd like," he said. "We've got to get all 11 guys to the ball faster and do better with our tackling form."
Jason Murdock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: Heritage at Monroe Area
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Purple Pit
Series: First meeting