LYNCHBURG, Va. - What a difference a year makes. Tears of heartache and pain transformed to tears of joy for the Heritage Pioneers as they wrapped up a stellar 2018 season with state title gold-- their first since 2002.
"What they’ve done is unbelievable. Kids win football games and coaches lose them. These kids told me after the Northside game that they had our back and they did that," said head coach Brad Bradley.
"It’s a great day for Heritage football, a great day for Lynchburg city and we’re so excited and I’m so happy for my players."
The tale of the tape began in the first half with senior quarterback Jabari Blake. He came out like ham after Thanksgiving -- on a roll. He scored all three of the Pioneers' touchdowns and had 244 total yards.
"I just executed within the game plan. I followed my blocking and they paved a way for me," Blake said.
Another crucial aspect of the game was Heritage's defense. They held Phoebus to 56 yards rushing and just three third-down conversions. That helped the Pioneers gain confidence and the chance to pace the game. Although they bent in the second half, the defense didn't break, and they came up with a huge turnover to win the game.
"I’m just thankful I could be there for my team. It’s a team effort. If the D-line hadn’t done that, put pressure on the quarterback and make him throw it up, then I wouldn't be able to get that pick," said Chris Megginson. He made the game-winning interception on the Phantoms final offensive possession.
"I’m just thankful I could be there at the right time for that pick," he added.
Heritage had two main goals for this game: taking care of unfinished business and simply playing to the end. They achieved both of those goals and came out on top. As for Bradley, he won his third state title and his first with Heritage.
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