After two straight disappointing losses, Heritage is hungry to get back on the winning track, especially coming off a heartbreaking 40-38 loss to Rockdale last week.
"They're fine," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said of his team. "These kids just want to play and show everyone that we are better than our record indicates."
Equally hungry are the Winder-Barrow Bulldoggs (0-2), who are seeking their first win of the year today when they visit the Patriots (1-2) at 7:30 p.m. in Evans Memorial Stadium.
"We've been very upbeat," Winder-Barrow coach Ben Corley said. "We had a real nice week and are hoping to get out there (today) and play well. I know we've got a tough challenge ahead of us. We want to put what we've done this week in practice to the field (today) and hopefully things will work out for us."
Despite the crushing loss to Rockdale, Heritage did several positive things on both sides of the ball, hoping to put that to use tonight.
"We had over 400 yards of offense and gave up about half of that from our defense," Frazier said. "(Practice) has been great this week. These kids are hungry."
In three games, the Patriots have scored a combined 66 points and have allowed 59 points (19.7 average per game).
Against Rockdale, Heritage quarterback Garry Peters accounted for 415 total yards of offense - 103 yards rushing and 312 yards passing.
Heritage has team speed on both sides of the ball, which is a big concern for Corley.
"They can really run," Corley said, "and we've got some concerns taking away their big-play capability on either side of the ball."
According to Frazier, three factors should contribute to whether the Patriots can even their record tonight.
"Special teams play, eliminating the big play on defense and a reduction of penalties have been more of a focus this week," Frazier said.
Meanwhile, the Bulldoggs have scored just 14 points in two games, and are coming off a 29-7 loss to Cedar Shoals.
Defensively, Winder has allowed 73 points (36.5 per game).
"We need to control the football, move the chains and get some first downs," Corley said. "We have to keep their offense off the field. They can score a bunch and they can score in a hurry. If we can control the ball and keep their offense off the field, obviously that will inhibit their opportunity to do that."
The last time the Bulldoggs and Patriots met came on Sept. 19, 2003, when Winder won 23-8. In 2002, Heritage was victorious 23-11.
Jason Murdock can be reached at email@example.com.
SideBar: Winder-Barrow at Heritage
· When: Today, 7:30 p.m.
· Where: Evans Memorial Stadium
· Series: Tied at 1-1
· Last meeting: Winder-Barrow won 23-8 in 2003