FLORENCE — Many people were probably surprised Florence High was able to jump out to a 18-point lead over Decatur in the first quarter en route to a 33-10 victory. But Red Raiders coach Jere Adcock saw that one coming from a mile away.
“We got off to a really bad start,” Adcock said. “We played like we practiced all week. Florence has got a good team and are well coached. They got the job done and we didn’t.”
Getting off to fast starts was something Florence had not been doing in its first three games. But the Falcons played a complete game from start to finish, offensively and defensively.
“I’m proud of the way we came out fast tonight,” Florence coach Jamey Dubose said. “We’ve been preaching that and preaching that. We’d been starting off games sluggish, but I’m proud of the way we played a four-quarter game.”
Decatur began the game by recovering an onside kick and converting that into a 42-yard field goal by McKelvy Douthit just over three minutes into the game. But from that point on, it was all Florence.
The Falcons struck back quickly in just seven plays, behind the legs of Roland Adams, who rushed three times for 33 yards on the drive, including a 16-yard touchdown run to give the Falcons a lead they would not relinquish.
After forcing a punt, the Falcons took over at midfield and wasted no time in adding to their lead, as quarterback Kendrick Doss completed three passes for 45 yards on the drive, including a 14-yard scoring strike to Isaac Dillard.
Decatur then gifted Florence its next touchdown, as a bad snap on a punt gave the Falcons the ball at Decatur’s 2-yard line. Doss scored on the next play with less than a minute remaining in the quarter.
Decatur got its only touchdown early in the second quarter, when Tae Hayes scooped up a fumble and raced 23 yards into the end zone. But Florence answered right back with a scoring drive, as Doss finished it off with a screen pass to Adams, who raced into the end zone from 18 yards out to make the score 27-10 at halftime.
And that lead was plenty big enough for the Florence defense, which harrassed Decatur quarterback Jackson Fite the whole game. Fite completed just 2-of-13 passes for 22 yards and was sacked seven times. Decatur only crossed midfield twice in the game.
“We’re a pressure front team and we had some success tonight,” Dubose said. “We really got to the ball and tackled well, which is what we harped on in practice this week.”
The only score in the second half came early in the fourth quarter when Doss scored on a 5-yard run. Doss finished the game 14-of-19 for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 71 yards and two more scores.
While it was a disappointing loss for Decatur, Adcock said the players can’t afford to let their heads hang, as much of the season is still left to play.
“We’ve got to let this one go and move onto next week,” Adcock said. “We’ve got a long way to go in the season. We’ll play it out and see what happens.”
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