It’s total cliché, but Heritage would have Madison County coach Randell Owens’ vote for the best 2-4 team around.
Looking at video footage, Owens said it’s hard to believe the Patriots — with all their talent and athleticism — are two games below .500.
“You look at the scores and then you look at the game on the film and the scores don’t really match-up to what you’re seeing on film,” said Owens, who was Heritage’s head coach from 2001-2003.
Well, Madison County (2-5) will try to add another loss to Heritage’s mysterious season when the Raiders face the Patriots Friday at home at 7:30 p.m.
Heritage’s offense is headed by “a very, very athletic quarterback,” Owens said, who throws the ball well but probably gives opposing defense more fits with his mobility.
One of his favorite biggest targets is 6’7” 240-lb. tight end Justin Jones, who is being courted by major college programs like Alabama, South Carolina and Kentucky.
“He’ll be playing in the SEC somewhere next year,” Owens said.
While the Raider defense will try to match-up with Jones, the Madison County offense must find a way to handle another Jones — defensive tackle Melvin Jones, a 6’1”, 310-pounder who is getting looks from Auburn and Georgia Tech.
As for additional evidence of the Patriots’ ability, they beat defending region co-champion Salem 21-7 earlier this year. Then consider that it took region-leading Clarke Central five overtimes to beat Heritage. Athletically, Owens said the Patriots are as good as any team Madison County has lined up against with the exception of Cedar Shoals.
Again, that Patriot record is an enigma.
“Bottom line, the record’s not really what they’re all about … We’re going to have to play awfully well to win,” Owens said. “This game we can win if we play awfully well.”
As for records, Madison County had hoped its won-loss tally heading into this game would be better than 2-5 after it took Loganville to the brink last Friday.
The Raiders led until 31 seconds remaining in that game, and then had a chance to tie the game with a field goal as time expired.
As painful as the loss was, Owens said it’s time to move on.
“Come Sunday night, throw it in the trash can, forget about it win or lose,” he said. “Let’s forget about it, either way, win or lose.”