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Seminoles, Patriots get together on gridiron

CONYERS -- While the Heritage football team heads into week three of the 2012 season at 2-0, not all is perfect with the defending region champions.

For the second consecutive week, the Patriots offense struggled, collecting just 175 total yards in a win over Rockdale, which followed a nine-point effort in a win over Northgate in Week 1.

"I know we won by a lot, but golly, we played badly on offense," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said after the 34-7 win over Rockdale. "We just didn't block very well on the offensive line; those are the things we need to correct."

Meanwhile, the Patriots defense continued to shine. The unit, which didn't allow a second-half point to Northgate, duplicated the feat Friday and forced five turnovers.

"Defense played extremely well. That's the strength of our team," Frazier said.

Now the sixth-year coach will try to keep his team unbeaten against another rival, Salem. The Seminoles, who rolled past Rockdale on opening night despite 200 yards in penalties, were shut out in the second half of a 38-19 loss to Wesleyan a week ago. Still, Salem coach John Starr said his team, particularly the defense, played well at stretches against the Class AA Wolves.

"First half we played pretty good on both sides of the ball, down halftime 21-19," Starr said. "I thought our defense, they hung in there, hung in there, made some mistakes in our tackling. They caught one touchdown pass off a deflection, one kid broke four or five tackles on a touchdown run. They played hard, they played good; we just got to be able to finish plays."

Heritage leads the all-time series, which began in 1994, 10-8, including winning the last two games by a combined score of a 58-21.

"We got our hands full with Heritage ... they're probably the best defensive team in the region," Starr said. "They're going to play hard and play fast; we just got to do our thing."