Patriots close reagular season at Apalachee

CONYERS -- Ryan Sutton had been the starter at quarterback for the Heritage football team for nearly two years before being benched Week 7 against Clarke Central. The junior signal caller returned to the starting lineup last weekend and acted like he had never left.

Sutton ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw for another as the Patriots knocked off Loganville 22-7 in the final regular season home game of the year.

"He came in (and) did a good job of handling the football. Real happy with the way he managed the game," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said.

Of course, the win wasn't all about Sutton. The Patriots rushing attack had its most dominant performance during the team's 7-2 start, rushing for 260 yards and 5.5 yards per carry, wearing down Loganville's smaller defensive line.

"We were able to run the football almost at will; of course the offensive line played well," Frazier said.

Loganville got to within 13-7 with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter, but the Patriots kept pounding the ball, led by Myron Fears (71 yards), and Sutton's 25-yard touchdown strike to Cedrick Davenport all but sealed the victory.

"Myron Fears, he's such a determined runner, how he goes is how we go," Frazier said. "It opens up so much."

With the important home win under their belts, the Patriots will now try and finish the road schedule with a win. Friday's game at Apalachee might've looked like a mismatch a month ago when the Wildcats were 1-4 and Heritage was 5-1. But the Winder school has rebounded to win three consecutive games and still has an outside shot at a playoff spot.

"Biggest game on our schedule, basically the first round of the playoffs for us," Frazier said. "(Apalachee is) playing for their playoff lives because they can't afford to lose one. They're going to be ready to fight. It's going to be a 12-round heavyweight fight."