Heroes using special deal to #8216;Pack the House#8217;

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

HUNTIGTON, W.Va. — Pack the House.

The Huntington Heroes need a win in their regular season finale to make the American Indoor Football League playoffs, and team co-owner Dr. Bill Nichols said filling Memorial Field House will be a key to winning the game.

So in order to fill the Field House, Nichols said all tickets for Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. game against the Florence (S.C.) Phantoms will be slashed to $5 a seat.

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“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the fans for their support this season and to help us in a must-win situation,” Nichols said.

Florence (4-9) lost 79-10 to the Sandy Valley Vipers last weekend. The Heroes rolled past Johnstown 43-15.

Despite their record, the Phantoms beat the south Division leading Rome (Ga.) Renegades, who have a league-best 11-2 record.

“They’ve got some players from South Carolina and Clemson, so they’re a pretty good team,” Heroes coach Garry McPeak said.

Huntington (8-5) was originally scheduled to play Steubenville, and three weeks ago the opponent was switched to Carolina. Both teams have struggled with blowout losses, so Florence offers more of a challenge.

“It’s like the Cincinnati Bengals are playing the Cleveland Browns in the last game and they say, ‘Wait, you’re playing the Pittsburgh Steelers,’” McPeak said.

While the game is a must-win situation, McPeak said the pressure has been on the past few weeks.

“The playoffs started for us two weeks early,” McPeak said. “We have to finish 9-5. There are three rounds of the playoffs but we have five. I think we’re playing well. We’ve played well the whole year, but we’re peaking right now. Our personnel has been pretty consistent all year.”