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Heritage 'D' Pretty in Ugly Win
Heritage took a while to come around on the offensive side of the ball, but the defense held strong until the Patriots scored two touchdowns in the second half. - photo by Brittany Thomas

When a lightning storm is the most exciting thing about your football game, it isn’t usually a good thing.

That is, unless, you are the winning team.

Heritage didn’t mind the slightly dull, 14-0 finish in the team’s scrimmage at Eastside on Thursday night at all. They were on the winning side.

“We only spent one day preparing for Eastside, so I’m trying to not be too hard on the guys,” said coach Chad Frazier. “I’m proud of the way we competed, but we have a lot to work on.”

With Clemson commit and four-star recruit Garry Peters serving the first of his two-game suspension, the Heritage offense found it tough sledding against Eastside.

Starting quarterback Andre Wilson got his era underway solidly, passing 3-for-6 with 42 yards and adding 18 yards on the ground in the first half. Fullback Tyrone Brown added a game-high 56 yards rushing in the first half as well, as both players were lifted after halftime to get the backups playing time in the only scrimmage game for both teams before next week’s season opening games.

Lucky for Frazier’s bunch, Eastside was just as rusty in the game, both teams committing multiple turnovers and penalties en route to a scoreless stalemate at the break.

“We saw that, offensively, we have a lot of area to address,” Frazier said.

The Heritage defense didn’t help things, either, holding Eastside under 100 yards in the half. Linebacker Travis Martin led the way with a pair of forced turnovers.

“Our starting defense did a good job of swarming around the football and gang tackling,” Frazier said. “The entire defense gave us pretty good field position all night.”

In the second half with the subs champing at the bit to get in, Heritage began to make something out of its field position.

Abraham Walker punched in a 3-yard touchdown run to cap a 60-yard drive for the only points of the third quarter. In the fourth, with most of the starters out on both sides of the ball for each team, freshman quarterback Isiah Spencer showed a glimpse of the future with a 50-yard touchdown keeper to seal the Patriots’ 14-0 win.

“The defense did well, but the offense needs to catch up for Salem,” Frazier said.

Heritage will see if its defense is up to the Salem challenge it showed in its 27-point offensive outburst in a win over Sandy Creek on August 14. Boring will almost surely not be the word used to describe the showdown between the in-town rivals in Friday’s opener at 7:30 p.m. at Salem.