One point and a couple of feet made the difference in the game when the Patriots took on the number four team in the nation from DeMatha Catholic School. In the end, a missed extra point with 53 seconds remaining gave DeMatha the ball back and ended the game with a final score of 23-22.
The first half was rough for the Patriots as they struggled with penalties and special teams. Additionally, touchdowns were difficult to come by and the first half came to an end with the score 16-3.
The defense came out stronger in the second half and the offense managed to get points on the board led by junior quarterback Jason Brown. A turnover from DeMatha with five minutes left gave the Patriots the ball back and led to a touchdown with four minutes left that made it a seven point game.
An unlikely onside kick gave the Patriots the ball back on the eight yard line but a fumble gave it right back to DeMatha. The defense then held up and blocked a field goal, giving the ball back to the offense with about a minute left on the clock. The next play was a 45 yard touchdown run by Khalil Herbert that made the score 23-22 with 53 seconds left. After lining up for the two-point conversion but getting two penalties, the team lined up for the extra point, but missed it wide right, leaving the score at 23-22.
Throughout the game, there were two main problems for the Patriots: penalties and special teams. Throughout the game, penalties held the Patriots back and pushed DeMatha forward. The special teams unit also had two bad snaps over the punter’s head, a blocked field goal and a missed extra point. Adding all of the mistakes together, it was simply too much to overcome in the end and the Patriots lost a heartbreaker against number four DeMatha 23-22.
There was a bright side, however. This game is proof that this year’s team deserves to be ranked as one of the best in the nation. Opening the Season with a preseason win against nationally ranked IMG Academy and a tough week one win against Stephenson High School in Georgia, Heritage wanted to prove that they belonged as one of the top-tier teams in the country, and they did.