Prep Football: Heritage School ready to return to the fieldBy DOUG GORMAN
The Heritage School Hawks are ready to play football again.
Heritage School (2-0) took an unexpected football sabbatical last week after Arlington Christian forfeited the game to the Hawks when a rash of injuries left the school without enough players to field a team.
Tonight’s lineup of games also includes East Coweta hosting Lovejoy, Northgate traveling to Ola and Trinity Christian on the road at Flint River Academy.
Dawson Street (1-2) entered the 2012 season hoping for a return trip to the playoffs after going 5-6 last year. The Wildcats beat Arlington 16-15 in the season opener.
Tonight’s contest is the first of three road games facing the Hawks, but head coach Kevin Prisant says the Hawks have had some good practices this week and are anxious to return to the football field against live competition.
“We are trying to get these guys ready to play,” Prisant said. ‘We would love to be at the point where everybody plays because that means you are doing well.”
Last week, Heritage School tried to make the most of a bad situation, using the downtime to its advantage.
“We used it to get some guys healthy,” Heritage School head coach Kevin Prisant said. “We spent the week just concentrating on us, we spent more time watching film and just getting back to basics.”
Heritage School's offense has put up big numbers this year, outscoring its first two opponents 90-35. The Hawks opened the season with a 48-13 victory over Flint River and added a 52-22 win over Dominion Christian.
The Hawks come into the game against Dawson Street averaging 53.7 points per game.
Starting quarterback Joe Bonner has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since getting hurt at preseason camp, but he is getting closer to returning to the football field.
“I am hoping he can get in a couple of series these next two weeks,” Prisant said. “I want to get him some game experience.”
In Heritage School's two victories, sophomore quarterback Brad Macke has stepped in a led the team to easy wins.
“He hasn’t done anything to hurt us,” Prisant said. “He is running our offense, and understanding what we are doing. I feel comfortable with either one of our quarterbacks in the game. With what he has done at quarterback, he has proven he needs to be on the field somewhere.”
Macke is 7 of 12 for 144 yards and two touchdowns. He has thrown touchdown passes to Spencer Perry and Haden Stanley.
Heritage School has shown it can put the ball in the end zone even when it’s not on offense, specially Candler Rich.
In its victory against Dominion, Rich scored five touchdowns, including TDs on a kick return and interception.
Rich has seven touchdowns on the year, three coming on kick returns. The two-time All-State selection continues to lead Heritage School's rushing attack with an amazing 15.5 yard average, racking up 171 yards on 11 carries.
Although Dawson Street lost to Flint River, a team Heritage School rolled past with ease, Prisant admits it can be tricky.
“They have a lot of speed,” Prisant said. “They are still trying to find what they are going to hang their hat on, They still need to find out who is going to play were. They move a lot of players around and you have to play safe.”
Dawson Street might find the going tough against the Heritage School defense. Led by Trevor Sawyers with 16 tackles and Tyler Nix with 14, the Hawks are only giving up 17 points per game.
Heritage School has also intercepted seven passes in its first two games with Rich and Harrison Holland each getting two.
According to Prisant his team knows the hard part of the schedule is in front of them.
Next week, the Hawks face Southland Academy. It will be the Hawks’ first game against a Class AAA school since Heritage School jumped to GISA’s largest classification.
Even though it is a non-region game, Prisant knows it will be a good measuring stick.
“I am not sure they are as fast as us, but they are physical They will step up there and hit you in the mouth,” he said. “They have been that way for as long as I can remember. They were our rivals when I was in school at Deerfield.”
After Southland, Heritage School has another bye weekend before getting into its Region 2-AAA schedule that includes Mount de Sales and Stratford in back-to-back weeks.
Later this season, Heritage School faces Tattnall Square and Trinity.
Tattnall Square and Stratford played for the GISA Class AAAA crown last year.
“I am trying to prepare my team,” he said. “They haven’t seen teams like we are getting ready to face.”
TONIGHT'S GAME CAPSULE
Heritage School Hawks (2-0) at Dawson Street Wildcats (1-3)
When/Where: Tonight, 7:30 p.m., LaGrange
Series record: Heritage School leads 2-0.
The Skinny: The Heritage School Hawks come into game after earning a forfeit last week against Arlington. Arlington has forfeited two games in row, including one against Trinity. Dawson Streets’ only victory was a 16-15 decision against Arlington. Heritage has used a high-powered offense in its first two games, scoring 107 points (53.5 points per game).
Last meeting: Heritage School 35-0 (2011).
Last Week: Heritage School 1, Arlington 0 (forfeit). Flint River 47, Dawson Street 12.
Players to Watch: Heritage School — ATH Candler Rich (SR, 5-11, 190); TE Tyler Henson (JR, 6-2, 200); P Ben Dudley (SR, 5-9, 170), QB Joe Bonner (SR, 5-8, 160); LB Dalton Trammell (SR, 5-8, 190); LB Tyler Nix (SR, 5-8, 180); DT Grayson Parker (SR, 6-3, 220); ATH David Bready (JR, 5-11, 170); OL Richard Ebersbach (SR, 5-9, 190); OL Tyler Bean (SR, 6-1, 220) .... Dawson Street — G Gabriel Poythress (JR, 6-0); WR Marquavious Williams (JR, 6-5, 190); ATH Tae Marshall (SR, 5-8, 150); LB Brandon Johnson (SR, 6-0, 240); RB Shaq Tiggs (SR, 6-1, 180); WR Sanchez Talley (SR, 6-0, 170); ATH Anthony Ferrell (JR, 6-0, 160); DE Aaron Joye (SR, 6-4, 240); DE Marvin Mclaughlin (SR, 6-3, 250).
When Heritage School has the ball: Look for the Hawks to put the ball in the hands of Candler Rich, the school’s all-time leading rusher. Rich has three rushing touchdowns this year. However, 10 guys have carried the football for the Hawks with Patrick McKee scoring two touchdowns and David Bready adding one. Brad Macke has stepped in at quarterback for the injured Joe Bonner, passing for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Bonner could see some action tonight in his return to the football field.
When Dawson Street as the ball: The Wildcats are loaded with guys listed as athletes meaning they can play anywhere on the field. Tae Marshall is one of the team’s go to guys. Running back Shaq Tiggs and wide receiver Sanchez Talley are among the players who will try and find the end zone for Dawson Street.