Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Heritage's Sam Randolph pulls in a touchdown pass behind Ringgold's Mason Parker during Friday's nonregion rivalry matchup at Heritage. Randolph had two touchdown catches in the first half to help the Generals win 27-14 and avenge a 40-0 loss to the Tigers in 2018.

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Heritage vs. Ringgold

RINGGOLD, Ga. — Everything was in place for a distracted Heritage High School football team to lay an egg against crosstown rival Ringgold on Friday night.

Nick Hanson and Sam Randolph took care of that early. The two hooked up for a pair of first-half touchdown passes, and Randolph turned the game around with a 95-yard kickoff return for a score as the host Generals won 27-14.

Heritage (2-0) played the game without head coach E.K. Slaughter, suspended for the week. As reported previously, Heritage principal Ronnie Bradford said Slaughter shoved one of his players by the helmet and back onto the field during last week's win at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.

Instead of coming out with too much emotion against the Tigers, the Generals executed flawlessly early to put the distractions behind them.

"It was just a great job by the coaching staff and all these kids for coming together," acting head coach Jeremy New said. "The kids love E.K. He's built this program from nothing, and that's why they are able to do the things they are doing now. They play hard for him and for each other."

All of the game's points were scored in the first half, 34 of them in the first quarter. Hanson, who finished 9-of-14 passing for 137 yards, capped a 70-yard opening drive with a 39-yard scoring strike to Logan Lowe. Moments later, after a fumbled Ringgold pitch, he connected with Randolph for a 20-yard touchdown and a quick 13-0 lead.

"We've seen it all summer," New said of the Hanson-to-Randolph connection. "Last week they kind of struggled to get on the same page, but they worked really hard this last week and it showed tonight."

Ringgold (0-2), which beat Heritage 40-0 a year ago, regrouped to surge back behind electric sophomore quarterback Kyle White. He hit two passes for 22 yards, moving the ball into Heritage territory, and three plays later scored on a 22-yard keeper.

After forcing Heritage to go three-and-out, the Tigers made it 13-all on the next play as White hit Brayden Broome over the middle for a 68-yard touchdown, Broome catching the pass at the Generals' 45 and blowing by a defender for the score. Landon Eaker's kick put the Tigers ahead by a point.

The lead lasted 13 seconds as Randolph returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards as the wild first quarter ended.

The second quarter was scoreless until late, when Hanson drove the Generals 70 yards in the final two minutes, hitting on each of his five passes, the last one 39 yards to a streaking Randolph down the right sideline for a touchdown with six seconds left.

Defenses dominated the second half, when the Tigers were without White. Ringgold coach Robert Akins said the quarterback sustained an apparent concussion in the first half.

Randolph finished with 76 yards on four catches, with Maddox Rose leading Heritage on the ground with 69 yards.

White was 7-of-9 passing for 125 yards and added 22 rushing yards before going out.

Contact Lindsey Young at or 423-757-6296. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.