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Heritage’s Niaakko Hickmon carries the ball against Salem in Week 1.

From a talent standpoint, it isn’t hard to notice the up-and-coming stars Heritage has brewing in their program, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

From the likes of junior defensive ends Courtney McBride and Kevin Jarvis, two of the area’s top junior pass rushers to secondary standouts Myran Henderson, Aric Seay and Juleion Simmons, the pieces appear to be in place defensively for the Patriots moving forward.

The Patriots’ inexperience on offense, however, is what has Patriots head coach Corey Johnson and offensive coordinator Damoio’n Wright working extra hard to get them caught up to speed before the start of Region 3-AAAAAA play next month.

After a solid showing in Week 1 against Salem, an 18-0 victory in a shortened game, the Patriots were shut out in Week 2 by Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, the state’s No. 1 ranked Class A-private program, 48-0.

Johnson and Wright have turned to both Derrick Thomas and Miles Young to play quarterback for the Patriots. After finding their rhythm with Thomas manning the QB position in Week 1, no rhythm was ever reached in the Patriots’ shutout last Friday.

While the Patriots appear to have found a No. 1 running back in sophomore Niakko Hickmon, the Patriots have yet to show their full potential on offense thus far this season.

After facing an inexperienced Salem defense in Week 1 and a No. 1 ranked defense in Week 3, the Patriots offense will get a good look at rival Rockdale County’s defense on Friday, a unit that hasn’t allowed more than two offensive touchdowns in a game so far this season.

Sports Editor

A 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia, Colin joined the Rockdale/Newton Citizen in March of 2018 as the papers' full-time sports editor. A 2013 graduate of Jackson County High School, Colin received a golf scholarship to Andrew College.