Looking to keep their three-game win streak alive, the Patriots traveled to Fort Lauderdale Friday night to face the Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs for the first time since the Chiefs defeated Heritage last year in the regional finals.
Both teams remained scoreless throughout the first quarter before Heritage picked up the pace early in the second when senior quarterback Edwin Rhodes found junior wide receiver Oronde Gadson for the five-yard touchdown.
Despite forcing a turnover later in the quarter, the Patriots failed to produce another score before the end of the half and headed into the break with a 7-0 lead.
After receiving the opening kickoff of the third quarter, Rhodes lead the Patriots down the field and tossed his second touchdown of the night to sophomore wide receiver Jacolby Spells to take the 14-0 advantage.
Halfway through the third, the Chiefs recorded their first points of the night to cut the Patriots lead to one touchdown and kept their momentum going following another score with 50 seconds left in the quarter to knot up the game at 14.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots jumped ahead to a 21-14 lead after Rhodes hit senior wide receiver Douglas Emilien in the corner of the endzone for the 15-yard score with seven minutes on the clock.
The Chiefs would respond on the ensuing kickoff, returning it the length of the field for the game-tying score with 6:41 to go.
With 2:43 remaining, though, Rhodes once again connected with Spells for the 23-yard go-ahead score, giving Heritage the 28-21 lead.
On the final defensive series of the game, the Patriots managed to hold Cardinal Gibbons scoreless and forced a turnover on downs to secure the victory.
The win brings Heritage’s record to 5-1 on the season, marking their fourth victory in a row with three games remaining on the schedule.
“As a team, I feel we did well, but there is always room for improvement and things we have to work on,” Rhodes said. “We had a lot of good plays, but we also had way too many penalties. We’re always going to strive to be better; we just have to work on cleaning some of our stuff up and making sure everyone is on the same page.”
The Patriots will hit the road once again next Friday, Oct. 11 to face Stranahan (4-2) with kickoff set for 7:00 pm.