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Patriots host Clarke in key league game

CONYERS -- Last season, the Heritage football team used a stirring 21-14 home victory over Clarke Central in Week 2 as a springboard to a 7-0 start and a region championship. There's a good chance the Gladiators are headed back to Conyers this weekend with revenge on their minds.

The teams will meet for the 16th time at Evans Memorial Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and, like last season, plenty is at stake.

Clarke, a perennial state power, is playing some of its best football heading into this weekend's showdown. The Athens school, which started 0-2 in non-region play, trounced Salem 37-0 a week ago and has won its first three Region 8-AAAAA games by a combined score of 112-18.

"I have not seen them at all, hadn't crossed paths yet, so I don't know what they look like," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said. "I know they'll be athletic."

Though Clarke leads the all-time series 11-4 and had won four straight before last year's loss, nearly all of the most-recent games have been tight. Only in the 2010 game, which Clarke won 34-14, has any of the last six meetings been decided by more than eight points.

"I know it's going to be a great, competitive ballgame," Frazier said. "We're looking forward to it."