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Heritage Hall stuns Clinton 41-7 at Tornado Bowl

BY ED GODFREY, Staff Writer, Published: September 9, 2011

CLINTON — Talent trumps tradition.

At least that was the case Friday night in the Tornado Bowl where perennial power Clinton only has lost 10 home games in Mike Lee's 22-year-career as head coach of the Red Tornadoes.

But the Red Tornadoes have faced few, if any, teams in those 22 years with the talent of Class 3A's top-ranked Heritage Hall.

The Chargers scored on five straight possessions in the first half and rolled to a surprisingly easy 41-7 victory over Clinton, ranked No. 4 in Class 4A.

The game was hyped as one of those rare match-ups of high school heavyweights — much like Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame or Alabama vs. USC — traditional college football powers that rarely meet on the field.

Heritage Hall is a defending state champion. Clinton has won eight state championships and finished runners-up five times in the past 20 years.

But the game didn't live up to the hype as the Chargers, loaded with several Division I prospects, had the Red Tornadoes outmanned in both size and speed.

“We don't get beat like that anywhere,” said Lee, who owns a 240-41 record at Clinton, including a 129-11 home record in the Tornado Bowl after Friday night.

“I don't know if I have ever seen us roll over. We rolled over tonight.”

Lee, however, conceded that the Chargers might have been the best club his Red Tornadoes have ever faced at home.

“Maybe Ardmore in '90 (was as talented),” he said. “That's about it. I thought we would have our hands full because they have so much big-play ability.”

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