TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - The full team of Sequoyah High School football players took to the field Friday for the district championship game against Muskogee High School.
But that almost didn't happen.
A judge ruled hours earlier that the 12 players facing sanctions could play.
It started Monday night when the OSSAA ruled eight of the Tahlequah school's varsity football players, along with head coach Brent Scott, ineligible to participate during its investigation.
Four more players were added to the list Thursday for allegedly attending summer football camps paid for by the school.
The alleged infractions date back to 2009, according to the OSSAA. After a win of 28-0 Friday night, the Indians are now 8-1 this season.
Cherokee Nation attorney general Todd Hembree said the adults, not the students, should be held accountable.
"For many of them, this is the last chance they get to suit up and put on hats," Hembree said. "And if we did not give them that opportunity, that's definitely irreversible harm."
The controversy wasn't far from the minds of parents, students and fans cheering for their team.
"I'm just glad they're letting the children play. They shouldn't take something from the kids," said Claykie Chaffin.
The players under investigation will play one more game before an appeals hearing Nov. 7, which will decide the players' playoff futures.