By Ty Loftis | Photos by Michael Kinney
Heritage Hall running back River Faulkner, left, blocks for his quarterback, Andy Bass
EDMOND - Heritage Hall finished off the year as Class 3A state champions.
It was junior quarterback Andy Bass and senior running back River Faulkner who led the way for the Chargers, as they accounted for all but 9 yards of the Heritage Hall rushing offense, which generated 487 yards in the Chargers' high-scoring 72-56 win.
Faulkner carried his Heritage Hall team throughout his time as a Charger, netting nearly 2,400 yards in four seasons. He scored 24 touchdowns during his senior season, and had five rushing TDs in Thursday's win.
Bass passed for nearly 2,300 yards as a junior and tossed 23 touchdowns. He threw for a TD - passing for 105 yards - and had two rushing TDs against Metro Christian.
Faulkner remarked capping his time off at Heritage Hall with a gold ball is a perfect ending to a perfect career.
“I’m done for the year,” Faulkner said. “My checklist is officially marked off.”
Bass was a first-year starter, and was looking to help the Chargers win a gold ball for the first time since 2018. To do that, Bass knew his team would have to put up points, which wasn’t a problem, as they set a state 11-man title-game record for most points.
“We knew offensively that we were going to have to come in and dominate,” Bass said.
“We came in the game, got rolling and played a great game.”
Charger coach Brett Bogert is extremely proud of the way the two young men performed throughout the year.
“River and Andy, they toted the rock tonight,” Bogert said. “That’s something they did all year long, though. We expected that, just knowing that they are great ballplayers.”
On the opposite sideline in Thursday’s game, Metro Christian quarterback Kirk Francis passed for 626 yards, which also set a championship-game record. After the hands had been shaken and championship photos had been taken, it was Faulkner who went up to Francis to congratulate him on a successful season.
“He is one of the best quarterbacks that I think I have ever seen and I think my coaches (agree), too,” Faulkner said. “He is going to go places and it’s hard to beat him out like that.”
Heritage Hall lost its second game of the year to Clinton. After that, the Chargers cruised throughout the regular season and into the playoffs. Bogert is proud of the way his team responded following the loss and credits both Faulkner and Bass for making that happen.
“Those guys really play hard for us,” Bogert said. “They show great leadership and are exactly what this team needs.”
While Faulkner graduates and is hoping to go on to play college football somewhere, Bass is looking to come back to Heritage Hall and repeat as champions next year.
“Let’s do it again, yes sir,” Bass said.