LYNCHBURG - Heritage players were slumped over with their helmets buried in the turf, overcome with disbelief. Their perfect season had come to an end after a missed field goal as time expired allowed James Monroe to win 14-13 in the 3A state semifinal Saturday at City Stadium.
Down 14-7 at halftime and 14-13 entering its do-or-die drive on its own 18 yard line with 1:42 on the clock, Heritage (13-1) had to get into scoring range. They got there with an Austin Fitzgerald to Ty Tracy catch and run that ended at the 15 yard line. A couple plays later the ball was at the 10 yard line and Heritage called a timeout with two seconds left.
Senior Kieran Phelps was called on to kick a 27-yard field goal. The snap and hold were good but the kick was wide left and the Pioneers' season ended in heartbreak.
Frankie Hickson scored both Heritage touchdowns and finished with 167 yards on 39 rushes.
Fitzgerald led the final drive but overall he was just 7 of 22 passing for 103 yards, and 2 interceptions. He also fumbled once while rushing 11 times for 50 yards.
Heritage finished with 331 total yards. James Monroe had 274.