Heritage officially begins its quest for a third straight football playoff appearance in less than two weeks, but it started working toward it Friday night.
The Patriots welcomed Eastside for a preseason scrimmage game Friday night, and came away with a 17-14 advantage in a matchup of varsity players and a 20-7 advantage in a quarter of junior varsity play.
"I was pretty pleased," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said. "Overall I thought we were physical, and overall I thought we did a good job tackling and not turning the ball over."
The Patriots allowed about 150 yards passing against the Eagles' varsity roster, including a touchdown from quarterback Demario Terrell to Cameron Boyd.
However, they were able to move the ball well on their own, missing a field goal on their first drive, scoring on a touchdown run by Obie Fortune, a field goal by Harrison Kulp and a touchdown by Myron Fears.
Frazier was pleased with the lack of turnovers, with the only one coming on a late interception deep in Eastside territory.
Several receivers stepped up as targets for freshman quarterback Ryan Sutton, including Steven Everson, Braxton Morgan and Fortune.
The Patriots took advantage of a secondary that Eastside coach Rick Hurst said the Eagles need to improve on.
Safety Frank Johnson came up big on the Eagles' defense, providing one of the few bright spots in the secondary.
"I didn't feel real good about it (Friday night)," Hurst said. "I thought Frank Johnson had an interception and a couple of tackles at safety, but other than that we didn't make a whole lot of plays. We have to step up and make plays."
The Patriots defense showed well at linebacker, where Frazier said Heritage might have its strongest unit.
"Dustyn Moore had a pretty good night at linebacker," Frazier said. "He seemed to be pretty intense all over the field. (Linebacker) Chase Alford was strong on both sides of the ball, catching two or three balls and making a lot of nice plays on defense."
Heritage now has a week off before opening the season by welcoming in Northgate on Aug. 31. During that week, Frazier will keep working with his young players at positions such as in the secondary and offensive line, as well as working on an area that he felt wasn't clicking Friday.
"From a coaching perspective we need to be a little cleaner on personnel groupings," Frazier said. "Those kids are smart enough to realize we goofed and made it work."