Saturday, November 20, 2004
By Jerome Michaels
Every game played on the field is a challenge that the Flashes from Florence has accepted. During their past two seasons, Florence has accumulated a twenty-two game winning streak and was looking for one more to claim their second straight. Visiting David Brearley, seeded third, gave the Flashes a scare when they trailed for a brief moment in this semifinals game. A Maurice Calhoun touchdown run to tie the game and then a Matt Ordog passing score put the Flashes ahead for good. With the 33-20 victory, Florence will play fourth seeded New Providence to the group title.
The Central Jersey Group 1 bracket started out with eight teams competing for the title. Only two of those teams were from the South Jersey area and it happen that both met in the first round. Burlington City entered the bracket as the seventh seed and had the honors of traveling to Florence, again. During the regular season, these two teams met as undefeated teams with both looking to keep their winning streak alive. In very low scoring game, the Flashes won the game by a 10-0 margin. In the first round, Florence was able to advance by City with a 21-6 score.
Florence started this game off with an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Ordog scored on a 1 yard keeper. Vinny Russo was responsible for Brearley’s comeback to take the lead. Russo took off on 41 yard quarterback keeper in the first, tying the game at 7-7. Russo setup Brearley’s go ahead score when another run set up Jake Floyd’s 1 yard run in the second quarter. But that’s when Florence responded quickly on their very next possession scoring on Maurice Calhoun’s 57-yard touchdown run and then a 47 yard touchdown reception by Zach Rinaldi right before the half ended.
Abree Jones highlighted the second half for Florence scoring on a 2 yard run in the third quarter and then an impressive 73 yard touchdown run in the fourth. Brearley added a late one yard run by Russo’s second touchdown run of the game but there was little time left to overcome their deficit.