Watch: Florence Christian defeats John Paul II for SCISA 2A title
John Paul II had a season to remember but not the end to the year it wanted.
Florence Christian used a powerful running attack and scored on its first four possessions to defeat the Golden Warriors, 49-6, on Saturday in the SCISA 2A championship game.
It is Florence Christian’s second championship with its other coming in 2013.
John Paul II ends its season at 7-5 and was making its first championship appearance in just the third year since making the move to 11-man football. The Golden Warriors were 6-15 in their first two seasons.
“There is a lot of coaches who would take the second-place trophy and beat it up in the locker room,” John Paul II coach Kevin Wald said. “This is our third year of 11-man football and most of our team is ninth and 10th graders. It is one of those things that feels worse that it really is.”
After a promising first drive resulted in the Golden Warriors turning it over on downs, Florence Christian got its power running game going and scored two touchdowns on its first three plays. Eli Brayboy scored on the Eagles’ second play from scrimmage on a 28-yard run.
Marshall Brown followed with a 56-yard run less than two minutes later to put Florence Christian up 14-0 with 8:05 left in the second.
Brayboy finished with 168 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Brown added 156. The Eagles held the Golden Warriors to 143 yards of offense.
“We knew we had to take their will away. They are so talented and athletic,” Florence Christian coach Neil Minton said. “We feel like if we could dominate them up front we can lean on them a little bit and wear them down. I feel like we did a good job doing that.”
John Paul II got on the board when Sam Summa hit Rashad Battiste on a 62-yard pass with 1:08 left in the second quarter to cut the lead to 35-6.
Summa finished with 126 yards through the air. The sophomore is one of several starters that will be back next year for John Paul II. The Warriors are only losing four starters.
“I kept telling them all offseason if you work hard and do the right thing getting to the state championship is a possibility,” Wald said. “All throughout the season, we never panicked in what we do. So, I couldn’t be more proud of this bunch.”
How They Scored
JP 0 6 0 0 - 6
FC 21 21 0 7 - 49
FC – Brayboy 28 run (Miles kick), 9:40
FC – Brown 56 run (Miles kick), 8:05
FC – Brayboy 16 run (Miles kick), 4:35
FC – Brown 1 run (Miles kick), 11:09
FC – Brayboy 4 run (Miles kick), 1:51
JP – Battiste 62 pass from Summa (run failed), 1:08
FC – Kelly 16 pass from Jordan (Miles kick), 24.7
FC – Brayboy 23 run (Miles kick), 9:14