Class 8A Championship: Falcons Fly High

ORLANDO – The Flanagan Falcons are state champions following the strength of a defensive run that’s nothing less than amazing. The Falcons gave up just 24 points in 5 games with three shutouts on top of allowing just 94 points the entire season in 15 games. Flanagan’s 26-7 victory over Kissimmee-Osceola in the Citrus Bowl on Friday Night was nothing more than status quo for the defensive unit led by Devin Bush Jr. and Devin Gill–just to name a few.

The points were figured to be at a premium in a contest between two teams that hang their hats on knock-your-butt-in-the-dirt defense and timely execution on the offensive side of the ball–and a premium those points were until the last one minute and thirty-seven seconds of the ballgame.

The Kowboys got the scoring started when Malcom Davidson scampered 45 yards to the promised land to cap off a nine play-60 yard drive that took nearly half the first quarter. The play was actually a result of a draw play that was a conversion of a 3rd-and-31 for the Kowboys. Following the extra point that was missed, Osceola led 6-0.

Flanagan was able to tie the game when Northern Illinois commit Jahcour Pearson caught the first of his two touchdowns in the second quarter. The Falcons then put together a back-breraking 10-play, 92 yard drive with Pearson picking up his second touchdown with just thirty seconds left in the half. At the break, Flanagan led 14-7 despite rushing for just 29 yards in the first two periods and nearly doubled in the time of possession category.

The two teams played to a stalemate in the third period, with neither squad being able to find the end zone. Osceola’s running game, which had rushed for 111 yards in the first half started to get cranked up again in the third quarter, but each time the Kowboys would get into Falcons’ territory, the dirty birds would get ornery and their feathers ruffled. With their back against the preverbal wall, Devin Bush and company responded accordingly.

Flanagan was able to put the final nail in the coffin for the evening with a Faion Hicks 21 yard run to extend the lead to 20-7 with just over 1:30 left to play. One the ensuing possession, Kowboys QB Isaiah Wilson was intercepted by Stanford Samuels III and the son of the former FSU star took the interception back to the house from 27 yards out to seal the game.