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PREVIEW: Heritage at Winder-Barrow

Winder-Barrow's Solomon Sims

Winder-Barrow's Solomon Sims

HERITAGE PATRIOTS (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Chad Frazier

Record: 4-1, 2-1 region

Last week: Lost to Gainesville 42-14

WINDER-BARROW BULLDOGGS (8-AAAAA)

Coach: David Wagner

Record: 0-4, 0-2 region

Last week: Had a bye

After a week off, the Bulldoggs return to action Friday with a renewed resolve and, more importantly, health.

“We took last week to focus on us — getting healthy and on conditioning,” Winder-Barrow coach David Wagner said. “It really gave some guys that have been playing with pain a chance to get healthy again.”

The Bulldoggs will need to be as refreshed as possible with what figures to be a physical contest against Heritage ahead Friday.

Last week’s loss to state-ranked Gainesville notwithstanding, the Patriots have been very stingy defensively, giving up single-digit points in their other four contests and averaging 12.6 points per game for the season.

“They’ve played so well defensively,” Wagner said of Heritage. “We’ve got to find a way to generate yards and score some points on the board and put the pressure on them. They’ve had some defensive touchdowns and scored off special teams. So, we’ve got to eliminate those big plays and make them score on offense.”

Offensively, ailing running backs Chad Platt and Chandon Sullivan seem to be as close to 100 percent as they’ve been all year, but it may be the offensive line, led by junior Soloman Sims and senior Josh Harvey, that hold the key to how well the Bulldoggs control the ball.

Last meeting: Heritage won 21-0 last year

Directions to Winder-Barrow High School: From Ga. Highway 316 east, go left on Highway 81 into Winder, turn left at third light onto Candler Street and stadium is about one-tenth mile on the right.