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Seniors Travis Harrison and Logan McGrath anchor Heritage Hall defense

By Robert Przybylo, Staff Writer, Published: November 25, 2009

/> The younger players took their cue from the seniors. After an 0-3 start, Heritage looked nothing like a championship team. But the seniors never flinched.

The Chargers bounced back and earned another district championship. And in their two playoff wins, Heritage has only given up eight points.

"We’ve just been playing with more emotion, especially in the last couple of weeks,” McGrath said. "We’ve been challenging each other in practice, really going at it, and it’s bringing us together.”

Last year’s team had little obstacles to overcome en route to a 15-0 season and a Class 2A state championship.

This year couldn’t be any more different. From the slow start to the numerous injuries the team has had to overcome, Heritage has been tested just as much emotionally as it has been physically.

"In a way, this would be even more special,” Harrison said if the Chargers could repeat. "We had to rally the troops, but we’ve come together as a team at exactly the right time.”

Heritage Hall (8-4) vs. Pawhuska (10-2)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Pawhuska High, 615 E. 15th St.

Key matchup: Heritage running game against Pawhuska defense. The Pawhuska defense isn’t very big, but it is extremely quick. Teams that have had success against the Chargers have been able to contain the vaunted running attack. As impressive as Heritage’s defense has been in the playoffs, Pawhuska has only given up 13 points in its two playoff wins and is coming off a dominating 34-0 win against Morris.

Edge: Heritage Hall.

The pick: Heritage Hall 28, Pawhuska 14. The return of Sterling Shepard gives Heritage one more offensive weapon to go with Barry Sanders. When healthy, they’ve been among the best combos in the state.

By Robert Przybylo

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