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PREVIEW: Heritage at Apalachee

Apalachee's Clint Ashe

Apalachee's Clint Ashe

HERITAGE PATRIOTS (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Chad Frazier

Record: 7-2, 5-2

Last week: Beat Loganville 22-7

APALACHEE WILDCATS (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Shane Davis

Record: 4-4, 3-3

Last week: Beat Salem 20-0

After three straight victories, the Wildcats are suddenly not only back in the picture for one of the region’s state playoff berths, but holds their fate pretty much in their own hands, with wins Friday and next week guaranteeing them no worse than tie for the No. 4 seed.

But as far as coach Shane Davis is concerned, first thing’s first.

“I told the kids as far back as the Loganville game (Oct. 12) that … we pretty much had to win out to have a chance at the playoffs. But we didn’t need to be thinking about that now.”

What the Wildcats are thinking of is trying to slow down a Heritage offense led by quarterback Ryan Sutton and running back Myron Fears.

The best way to do that will be what they’ve been doing well of lately — using a pounding running game to control the ball.

That running game has been has not only been led by stalwarts Eric Tanner and Zay Henry, but has been enhanced by the addition Monterian Smith, who has rushed for 276 yards in three games since becoming eligible after his transfer from Monroe Area, and has been engineered by savvy QB Clint Ashe.

“Offensively, (Heritage) can do a little bit of everything,” Davis said of the Patriots. “We just got to keep doing the same thing — don’t turn the ball over. We’ve found a way to move the ball consistently.”

Last meeting: Heritage won 22-17 last year

Directions to Apalachee High School: From Ga. Highway 316 east, turn right on Patrick Mill Rd. Take first left. Go to 4-way stop and turn left onto Haymon Morris Rd.; school is on the right.