Today is Sunday, September 24, 2017

Heritage falls one yard short of first win

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Jalen Witham hands the ball off to Tommy Baker. FILE

MACON COUNTY - Off to an 0-3 start, White House Heritage knew heading to Macon County for its second-straight region game wasn't going to be easy. But its first chance at victory was stopped a yard short, on a failed 2-point conversion with 20 seconds left, falling on the road to the Tigers, 28-26.

Macon County scored first on its opening drive, taking a 7-0 lead. On their second possession, the Patriots stopped the Tigers on fourth down, deep in their end zone.

The Patriots evened the score at 7 with a touchdown from Antoine Eddings on fourth down. After the Pats jumped offside on a fourth-and-goal from the 6-yard line, Macon County got back on top with a quarterback sneak, taking a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.

With just two minutes to go in the second half, Eddings broke a big run, falling just short of a touchdown at the 2-yard line. Eddings went down on the long run and never returned. Two plays later, Tommy Baker ran up the middle to tie the game at 14-14 going into halftime.

Macon County opened the second half with a touchdown on a kickoff return, but it came back to the 29-yard line after a block in the back penalty. But it didn't help the Pats any, as the Tigers scored on the next play.

Macon County started the fourth quarter up 28-14, but the Pats scored two touchdowns in the last five minutes, putting some pressure on the Tigers.

Heritage drove down the field and scored on a touchdown run by Baker, but the extra point was missed, putting Heritage down 28-20 with five minutes to go.

The Tigers recovered an onside kick on the 47-yard line, but the Patriots' defense forced and recovered a fumble on the next play. With 19 seconds to go, the Patriots' scored again with no choice but to go for two for the tie. Heritage fell short at the 1-yard line, ending the game at 28-26 in favor of Macon County.

"We started slow and gave up two too many big plays," Patriots head coach Hunter Hicks said. "We gave ourselves a chance at the end of the game. Defensive coordinator Coach Ballard and offensive coordinator Matt Duncan did a great job this week planning and preparing kids and did even better adjusting during the game. The kids responded well to the in game adjustments."

Heritage (0-4) takes their home field next Friday night for a region matchup against undefeated region leader, Greenbrier.

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