After Trinity Christian Academy handed them their first loss of the season last week, the Patriots (3-1) traveled to take on the Venice Indians (6-1) in search of a bounce back victory.
The Patriots appeared on the board first, courtesy of a 10-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Mark Fletcher with six minutes remaining in the first and continued to assert their dominance.
After two touchdown passes to senior wide receiver Oronde Gadsden on consecutive drives from senior quarterback Dylan Romig and a 98 yard pick-six from senior defensive back James Williams, Venice finally found the end zone with a 7-yard touchdown run with under five minutes in the first half to cut the lead down to 27-6.
Before the teams went their separate ways for the half, though, junior defensive tackle Richard Thomas caught a deflected Venice pass and stormed 60 yards to the end zone for Heritage’s second pick-six of the night to give the Patriots a 34-6 lead at the break.
The Patriots began to slow down in the second half, while still managing to hold Venice in check via key turnovers to halt promising drives from the Indians.
With eight minutes left in regulation, the Patriots continued to search for some offensive rhythm as Venice chipped away at the Heritage advantage, trimming the lead to 34-12 off of an 8-yard rushing touchdown.
On the ensuing Patriot possession, Heritage answered the score with a 47 yard breakaway touchdown from Fletcher for his second score of the night to extend the lead to 41-12.
The Indians continued to fight until the final seconds, managing two more scores before time ran out on them to seal the Patriot victory at 41-26.
“Last week left a bitter taste in our mouth, and we didn’t want that feeling again,” Fletcher said on the team’s mindset following their first loss. “We just came together and played for each other.”
With the win, the Patriots move to 4-1 and will look to ride their gained momentum into their upcoming clash at Heritage Field with Cardinal Gibbons (3-0) next Friday, Oct. 30 with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.