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Patriots prevail over Apalachee
Dominic Craft, who ran for an 80-yard TD Friday night, carries the ball for Heritage against the Apalachee Wildcats. - photo by Robert Porter

Heritage had one of its toughest tests of the season Friday night and thanks to its defense, it stepped up to the challenge to remain unbeaten.

The Patriots (5-0) not only continued their winning streak, but also continued Apalachee's streak of five-straight losses.

The Wildcats didn't look like a team without a win, however, as they not only kept it close but also pulled ahead, leading 10-7 with 6:22 left in the first half.

Heritage struggled offensively, especially in the first half, in which they had 88 yards rushing and 50 yards on penalties.

However, the defense kept the Patriots in the game creating two turnovers, both leading to points.

The first one came less than five minutes after Apalachee went up 10-7 as Chase Alford recovered a fumble on the Wildcats' 34. Eight plays later Myron Fears rumbled 4 yards into the end zone to put the Patriots up for good, 14-10.

Apalachee threatened to take the lead back after an interception of Heritage quarterback Ryan Sutton on the Patriots' 22. The Wildcats drove down to the 3-yard line, but the Patriots' defense came up with another fumble, this time recovered by Ryan Watson.

Two plays after the turnover, Heritage capitalized as Dominic Craft sprinted 80 yards for the touchdown putting the game out of reach after Sutton's two-point conversion run.

"That was huge," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said. "It swung momentum on our side.

"You've got a two score lead and now you've got a little breathing room."

The Wildcats closed the deficit on Stanley Williams' 8-yard run, but the Patriots' defense continued to force the action.

"In the end the defense stepped up, created turnovers and kept them from scoring," Frazier said. They gave the offense opportunities to capatilize."