The Hertiage Patriots defeated the Vikings of Northgate Friday, Aug. 30, by a score of 14-7 at Henry Seldon Field in Newnan, Ga.
This Heritage and Northgate game mirrored last season's contest in which the offenses struggle. Heritage took the victory 9-7 a year ago.
After an impressive 8-3 campaign in 2012, and a change in leadership under new head coach Mike Parris, the Patriots picked up where they left off a season ago on the road.
Heritage's defense certainly got the message from Parris in the opener, forcing a fumble on Northgate's opening possession, as senior nose guard Derek Nance recovered the fumble to give the Patriots great field position at the Vikings' 37 yard line.
"The defense played their tails off," Parris said. "I can't say enough."
Five plays later, junior running back C.J. Stone scored on a 17-yard burst up the middle with 8:40 left in the first quarter.
Stone's score was the last for the two teams until the fourth quarter, when Northgate tied the contest with Jalen Jackson's 1-yard touchdown with 8:45 to go in the contest.
The teams traded possessions after the Northgate score, but Heritage finally sustained a long drive to clinch the game. With 3:27 left, Heritage began its final drive on its own 18-yard line, using 15 plays to reach the endzone.
Senior quarterback Ryan Sutton used a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 14 seconds to go in the game to earn the road victory, breaking the deadlocked contest.The Patriots defense clinched the game with an interception.
"I'm proud of the guys and I'm proud to be here," Parris said. I'm a Patriots now and I'm happy to say that."
The Patriots will return to action next week next Friday when they host county rival Rockdale County at home at Evans Memorial Stadium at 7:30 p.m.