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Patriots, Red Elephants to battle on gridiron

CONYERS -- The Heritage football team is off to one of the best starts in the program's 37-year history. It's the second time in as many seasons the Patriots are 4-0 after the season's first month, with last weekend's 21-0 victory over Cedar Shoals keeping the Conyers school perfect.

But now comes the first real test of the 2012 season.

Heritage (4-0, 2-0 Region 8-AAAAA) makes the 72-mile trip to Hall County tonight for a meeting with 3-1 Gainesville. The Red Elephants, a state semifinalist a year ago, are fresh off a second consecutive blowout victory, 62-20 over Apalachee, and have also beaten state power Buford. In 16 quarters of football, Gainesville is averaging 45 points per game.

"Haven't seen them (but) I know what they've done in the past," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said after the win over Cedar Shoals. "Very aggressive, pro style; well-coached. We'll have our hands full."

Frazier's bunch may have turned a corner offensively, specifically in the ground game, in the win over Cedar. After struggling through the first two weeks, the Patriots improved in Week 3 against Salem, then averaged nearly six yards per carry against Cedar as Myron Fears led the way with 169 rushing yards.

"I feel like now the offense is coming on. Two weeks in a row, I feel our offensive line blocked extremely well," Frazier said. "Myron was a beast (against Cedar); he ran so hard."

Tonight's matchup, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. from Gainesville's famed Bobby Gruhn Field, will be the first-ever meeting between the schools.