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High School Football:
It's Back to Back to Back Titles for Florence

Friday, December 2, 2005

By Vincent Lewis
SJSports Staff Writer

One year ago, Florence had won their twenty-fourth game in a row without a single loss and were rewarded their second straight Central Jersey Group I title game. This year, it would be a different but familiar team the Flashes would have to beat in order to extend their winning streak to thirty-six games in a row. The second seeded David Brearley football squad was that team standing in the way of Florence's ambitions of winning their third title. An early lead followed by Joe Spahn's third touchdown run late in the fourth quarter finally sealed the win for Florence. With their 19-6 win, Florence were chanted the words...three peat, three peat, three peat.

David Brearly and Florence met last year during the semi-finals with the Flashes advancing to that title game with a thirteen point victory. Florence would defeat New Providence for their second title win in a row and began their quest of winning back to back to back title games. During last year’s title game, it would be the special teams that finally got the game’s first touchdown to begin their comeback. Tonight at a very cold and windy Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway NJ, the special teams for Florence were involved in the first two scores of the game.

It was definitely one of those games that field position played a key part for both the offense and defense. Florence’s defense would stop Brearley on their opening drive and lined up in punt formation deep in their own territory. When the ball was snapped, the strong winds got a hold of the ball and sailed over the punter’s reach. Florence’s special teams pounced on the punter and the Flashes took full advantage of their field position. A few plays later, Spahn scored on a 2-yard run and Florence quickly jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 8:02 remaining in the first quarter. That was plenty of time for Florence to take advantage again on Brearly’s miscue on a punt snap. Florence’s offense would line up and score their second touchdown of the quarter. Again it would be Spahn crossing the goal line from this time from 3 yards out and the Flashes would carry a 13-0 lead up until halftime.

It wouldn’t be until late in the third quarter that Brearly would take advantage of a Florence fumble deep in their own territory. Anthony Evans would get the first points of the fourth quarter when he scored on a 4 yard touchdown run to bring the score to 13-6 and plenty of time remaining. Florence would respond and this time the offense had moved the ball deep into their opponent’s territory. When Spahn went back to throw a pass and he was hit just as he released the ball. The ball went right into the arms of a Brearley defender, who raced down the sideline for a touchdown that could have tied the score. However, one of the officials dropped a flag at the 50 yard line and although Brearley retained possession, the ball was brought back to their own 40 yard line and they did not score on that drive. Florence would finally put this game out of reach when Spahn scored his third touchdown of the day on a 48 yard run with 2:20 left to seal it for Florence.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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