For the second year in a row, Evans has an opportunity to win a region championship in the final game of the season.
Last season, it didn’t work out so well for the Knights. Heritage claimed the 2016 region title with a 42-23 victory over Evans. Now, the Knights have a chance to avenge that loss.
Evans plays host to Heritage at 7:30 p.m. with the Region 3-AAAAAA title on the line again. The Knights are seeking their first region championship since 2008.
“Coming into the season, we felt like we had a shot,” Evans coach Lemuel Lackey said. “We felt like there were a few other teams that had a shot, and Heritage was one of them. They’re a tremendous team with a lot of athletes. Dynamic offense.”
Heritage (6-3 overall, 3-1 region) features a spread attack that is averaging 34 points a contest. Quarterback Caleb Pruitt has thrown for 3,045 yards (338 per game) this season. The Patriots have two of the state’s leading wide receivers in the 6-foot-3 tandem of Jordan Young and Devron Harper. Young has 52 receptions for 1,237 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Harper has caught 62 passes for 893 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Heritage has turned the ball over 17 times this year (13 interceptions, 4 fumbles), something that cost them in a three-point loss to Grovetown (3 turnovers). Evans will try to create more turnovers. Dedrick Holmes has seven of the Knights’ 12 interceptions.
“Maybe we can make them make some mistakes,” Lackey said. “That’s what we’re after come Friday night.”
Evans (7-2 overall, 4-0 region) has been rolling on offense with junior quarterback Damekus Taylor and senior running back Corey Watkins leading the way. The Knights have scored 41 or more points in eight consecutive games and have set the school’s single-season scoring record (391 points).
Taylor has completed 60 of 102 pass attempts for 1,073 yards, with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. He’s also rushed for 1,063 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Watkins has rushed for 1,126 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also has another 452 yards in punt and kickoff returns.
“We’ve got a quarterback who’s fast and can throw the ball,” senior right guard Sam Knight said. “Our running back runs as hard as he can all the time. Our offensive line is good. We’re not the biggest, but we’re smart and we get it done.”