Heritage shuts out Apalachee, secures region's No. 3 seed

— The Heritage football team knows exactly what it will be doing when the Class AAAAA state playoffs begin in two weeks: traveling to Paulding County.

Five different players scored touchdowns and the defense was dominant as the Patriots cruised to a 35-0 victory over Apalachee in the regular season finale.

Heritage, which finished 8-2 and 6-2 in Region 8-AAAAA , is locked into the No. 3 seed and will play the loser of next week's Region 5-AAAAA title game between two 9-0 teams in East Paulding and Allatoona. Since Heritage's bye comes on the final day of the regular season, coach Chad Frazier and his staff will get to scout each team next week at Raider Stadium in Dallas.

"(The bye week) does help because East Paulding and Allatoona they play next week, we’ll be scouting both teams," Frazier said. "As far as our health goes, I’m glad (for the bye), we need a little rest. There’s two starters we’ll get back during this bye week. It’s kind of mixed emotions-on one hand you don’t to lose any sharpness, on the other hand, you want this rest."

The Heritage defense was in no mood to rest Friday. The host Wildcats, who are clinging to slim playoff hopes of their own and came in riding a three-game winning streak, were held to 86 total yards in the first half as Heritage went into the locker room up 21-0. Steven Everson had an interception return for a touchdown, quarterback Ryan Sutton threw for one touchdown to Obe Fortune and had a quarterback sneak for another score, and Mercer Bradley and Dominique Packer added rushing touchdowns. Meanwhile, Apalachee crossed midfield just twice all night.

"They were smothering," Frazier said of the defense. "It goes back to our d-line and our linebackers, they just smothered the run. "I’m just proud of our guys, they came out and blocked extremely well, there was a surge every time. We threw the ball, caught the ball well."