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Heritage Are Region Champions

The Vidalia Heritage Academy Eagles football team claimed the Region Championship after rolling over Grace Christian Academy at home last Friday night. The Eagles put up an incredible 545 yards of offense in the game on their way to the victory. The Eagles got some big runs early from Ethan Sikes as they worked the ball down the field and found the end zone for the first time in the game on a 1-yard pass play. VHA tacked on the two-point conversion to take an 8-0 lead. Heritage added to that lead later in the first quarter on a 23-yard run for a touchdown. The two point try was no good, but VHA was on top 14-0.

Sikes and James Hutcheson both added big runs that set up another VHA touchdown late in the first quarter. They added the two point try to give Heritage 22 points.

Heritage scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter of the game, the first on a 3-yard run, and the second on a 1-yard run. That gave Heritage 38 points at halftime. Heritage was on top 38-28 over Grace at the half.

Early in the third quarter the Cougars of Grace quickly continued from page

moved the ball down the field and scored on a 39yard pass play with 9:51 on the clock. They added the two-point conversion to close the lead to 38-36 for Heritage.

The Eagles took over right at the 50-yard line to start their next possession. On the first play Hutcheson went up the middle and after a good run was clearly down before the ball was knocked loose, but it was deemed a fumble by the referees, with Grace recovering it at their 27-yard line.

That play fired up the Eagles as they came up with a stop on defense. Heritage took over at the Cougar's 34-yard line, and with runs by Hutceson and Sikes, the Eagles were at the 6-yard line. Josiah Smith took it to the one before Sikes capped it off with 6:08 on the clock. The two points try was no good, but it was now 4436.

Just a few plays into the Cougars' next drive, John Smith came up with an interception for VHA at the Eagles 15-yard line. Sikes had a good run to the 24yard line, and on the next play Hutcheson caught a pass from Josiah Smith and took it all the way to the 1-yard line before he was brought down just shy of the goal. Smith kept it and went up the middle for the score with four minutes left in the third. That made it 50-36 with Heritage pulling away.

The Eagles' defense again held and the offense took over at the Cougars' 49-yard line. Sikes carried it to the 38-yard line, and then Hutcheson went in from there around the left side with 24 seconds left in the third quarter. That put VHA on top 56-36. The Eagles scored two more times in the fourth quarter of the game, the first on a 60-yard run, and the second on a 1-yard run to cap off a drive. That gave Heritage the win, 70-36 over Grace Christian. The Eagles rushed the ball 46 times on the night for 430 yards and nine touchdowns, and threw for 115 yards and 1 touchdown in their dominate performance. The Eagles finished the regular season with a record of 8-1 and they are 4-0 in Region play. With that the Eagles will be moving on to the State Playoffs which will begin next week.

Josiah Smith led the Eagles at quarterback as they pulled away in the second half against Grace Christian Academy of Bainbridge.Photo by Mike Branch

James Hutcheson follows his blocks and breaks a big run for the Eagles.Photo by Mike Branch

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