TRINITY — Brayden Kyle had five first-half touchdown passes, three to Sean Zerkle, as Decatur Heritage claimed the Class 1A, Region 8 title with a 46-16 win over Cherokee.

The Eagles (7-2, 6-0) earned tie-breaker edges over Waterloo and R.A. Hubbard by beating both teams to clinch the school's second consecutive region championship. Heritage won Region 7 last season before moving to Region 8.

"Back-to-back region champs is huge for us," DHCA coach Steve Meek said. "We're just enjoying this ride as we go along."

The championship is the third in school history. The Eagle's first region title came in 2015.

"It's awesome, " Kyle said. "Back-to-back region championships. Never been done in Decatur Heritage history in football. I'm happy for Coach Meek ... to get that on his coaching record. Good team win and hopefully going undefeated in the region with a win next week."

"It was our goal from the start of the season," Zerkle said. "We wanted to win the region and that's what we did. We came in every practice and worked hard and ... we finally got it. Back-to-back region champs. Last year and this year. So we're proud of that."

Kyle also completed a scoring toss each to Maddux Terry and Alex Malone. Bo Solley connected with Tyler Olive for a touchdown. Olive also scored on a run.

Zerkle also contributed on defense with a forced fumble that Ty Tyson recovered.

Heritage led 46-0 at halftime.

"I feel like we're in a good spot right now," Kyle said. "After a big win last week. And just coming in here and taking care of business, playing to our level."

Decatur Heritage has seven straight wins after starting the season 0-2. The season opener was a forfeit loss to Falkville. The Eagles fell to Colbert Heights 35-27 the following week. DHCA has 14 straight region wins (eight from Region 7) dating back to 2018, with the last loss at then-region rival Falkville 70-41 on Oct. 12, 2018.

DHCA will host Hackleburg on Friday in another region game. Cherokee (0-8, 0-6) will host Waterloo.

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