Although it didn’t count in the standings, American Heritage needed to quickly shake off the bitter taste of its lopsided defeat against Miami Booker T. Washington.
While not the prettiest of performances at times, the Patriots responded Saturday night with a huge 17-14 victory against Georgia powerhouse Colquitt County in their regular season opener.
Heritage took a 17-0 lead before holding off the host team from Moultrie, Georgia with a late defensive stand.
The game was televised nationally as part of the Geico ESPN High School Football Kickoff weekend.
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The Patriots (1-0) fell out of the major national rankings after last week’s preseason loss to Booker T. Washington. The Tornadoes followed up its victory over Heritage with an even bigger win Friday over national No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas.
Heritage quarterback Jason Brown led the way with 126 passing yards and 80 rushing yards. He threw two touchdown passes in the first half, including a 15-yarder to fullback Joseph Ruma late in the second quarter. Heritage completed scoring drives of 87 and 80 yards.
Colquitt County, which opened the season on a 30-game winning streak, lost its second game in row and dropped to 0-2 for the first time since 2010.
The Packers cut Heritage’s deficit in the fourth quarter on touchdown runs by Daijun Edwards and Ty Leggett. But three missed field goals cost Colquitt County.
Things won’t get any easier over the next couple of weeks for American Heritage, which won its first game with former Miami Dolphin Patrick Surtain as coach.
The Patriots will host Don Bosco Prep this Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Heritage. The game will be the regular season opener for the Ironmen, who are ranked No. 24 by USA Today.
Don Bosco Prep has some history with Broward County football having beaten St. Thomas Aquinas twice in recent years.
Heritage will then take on Miami Northwestern before beginning their district schedule.