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Heritage routs Apalachee
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The Heritage Patriots doused any sparks of a playoff berth for the Apalachee football team - and solidified their own postseason spot - blanking the Wildcats 35-0 Friday night.

The Wildcats opened the game with possession and advanced 18 yards on five plays before relinquishing control on a punt.

The first drive set the tone for the evening, as Heritage dominated to its second shutout of the season

The Patriots took control on their own 29 and pounded the ball down the field, capped with a 29-yard touchdown run by Myron Fears for a 7-0 lead with 6:20 remaining in the first quarter.

The drive seemed to stall and a punt inevitable after six plays, but a fake by Chase Alford for nine yards and a first down kept the drive moving.

After exchanged three-and-outs, the Wildcats took over on their own 8-yard line and the ball to their 26 before punting and giving the Patriots possession at the Heritage 42.

Once again it took the visiting Patriots nine plays to find the end zone with help from a 29-yard lob from quarterback Ryan Sutton to wide receiver Cedric Davenport. Six plays later, Sutton sneaked the ball across from one yard out to make the score 14-0 with 8:28 left in the first half.

The Wildcats then seemed to be moving in the wrong direction after an offside call and a fumble. But senior quarterback Clint Ashe rebounded tossing consecutive 8-yard and 27-yard passes to Jermaine Smith, moving the ball into Patriot real estate for the first time.

The drive stalled three plays later and the Wildcats were forced to punt.

The Patriots continued scoring, this time helped by Davenport making a juggling catch on a pass from Sutton for 42 yards, which moved Heritage from their own 46 to the AHS 12.

Two plays later Heritage crossed the goal line with 36 seconds left in the first half increasing the lead to 21-0.

Heritage opened the second half with some a lateral on the kickoff, allowing it to advance to the Patriots' 47 with the help of poor Apalachee tackling.

However, the Patriots were only able to advance the ball four yards on the ensuing drive before punting.

After another three-play outing by the Apalachee offense, Heritage needed only five plays to move from the AHS 47 across the goal line, capped by a 6-yard touchdown dash by Sutton to make it 28-0 with 6:11 left in the third quarter.

Apalachee took to the air on their next possession and it cost them when defender Steven Emerson picked Ashe's pass and returned it 60 yards to the house making the final score 35-0.

Heritage coach Chad Frazier was pleased with his team's performance on the road.

"We did a lot of good things," Frazier said. "We tackled well, we blocked well - we took care of the football. So I'm real proud of all that."

The Patriots are off next week before traveling as a third seed in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 16.

Apalachee needed the win to secure a postseason berth, but lost its fifth of the season.

After opening the season with a win over Lanier, teh Wildcats lost four straight, including three to open Region 8-AAAAA play, against Gainesville, Clarke Central and Flowery Branch. The Wildcats then won the next three, but couldn't do enough to extend their season past Winder-Barrow Friday night.

Flowery Branch, Gainesiville, Heritage and Clarke Central will represent Region 8-AAAAA in the playoffs.