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Eagles grounded
Patriots' second unit pulls out 28-14 win in preseason opener
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An Eastside-Heritage preseason game just wouldn't be complete without a weather delay. Mother Nature didn't disappoint again. This time though, the two teams managed to play the whole game despite a 20-minute delay for lightning in the area and it was the Patriots coming away with a 28-14 win.

While there was lightning in the area, there wasn't much on the field in the first half. Heritage's Dominic Craft broke the scoreless tie with a 53-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead after the extra point.

"We got the big play, so that was good, but we definitely have some things we want to improve on," Heritage coach Chad Frazier said. "They're (Eastside) a great program and that's why we want to scrimmage them. I was hoping to play clean and take care of the ball and move it a little bit and I thought we did that."

Down by the same score at the half, Eastside responded on its opening drive of the second half. Cameron Boyd hooked up with Dante Blackmon on the first play of the third quarter for a 44-yard gain then found Antonius Sims two plays later for 12 yards to move the ball to the Heritage 14-yard line. Alex Smith took it in on the next play and Eastside tied the game with the point after.

"We had one breakdown on defense and just got out of position and their kid made a great run and they scored on us but I thought we came out in the second half and responded very well," Eastside coach Rick Hurst said. "I thought Cameron (Boyd) played a great half and made great decisions and made good throws and did exactly what I wanted him to do tonight."

With the first teams done for the night, Heritage fumbled on its next possession but the Eagles were unable to capitalize. The Patriots second team responded on its next possession with a 10-play, 70-yard drive to take a 14-7 lead. Myles Hunter capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run.

The Patriots kept it going and scored their third rushing touchdown on the night to take a two-score lead. Kevin Simpson took it in from four yards out for the score. The Patriots missed the PAT and led 20-7 with 3.9 seconds left in the third quarter.

"I liked the way the defense swarmed to the ball," Frazier said. "We played tough against the run, played tough against the pass and we were able to put some pressure on the quarterback. Offensively we have to handle the ball better. We have to block better and make adjustments up front but overall, I'm pleased."

Eastside's second unit finally found paydirt on its next possession. Nick Broadwater broke through the line then pulled away from the defense for a 64-yard touchdown run and the Eagles trailed 20-14 after the extra point.

Heritage added one more score on its next possession. Dominick Ivey led the Patriots down the field on a 70-yard drive capped it with an 8-yard pass to Roemello Armstrong. Ivey then found a receiver in the end zone for the 2-point conversion to put Heritage up 28-14.

"Overall, I'm pleased with our effort," Hurst said. "It wasn't effort or hustle tonight it's coaching things we can correct. A couple more weeks worth of work and we'll be ready to go."

The Eagles open the regular season Aug. 26 against Alcovy at Sharp Stadium. Heritage opens on the road against Salem.