2018-09-07 / Sports

Falcons end 13-game skid with authority

Story and Photos by Mike Maddock

A.C. Flora’s Quincy Riley grabs a 36-bomb as Columbia’s Richard Jones defends. A.C. Flora’s Quincy Riley grabs a 36-bomb as Columbia’s Richard Jones defends. Find these pictures and many more here!

On November 18, 2016, the A.C. Flora Falcons beat Myrtle Beach 42-28 in the first round of the playoffs. Who knew the Falcons would not win another game until August 30, 2018?

A.C. Flora and its fans had grown accustomed to winning, but the combination of a new coach, a very difficult schedule, and the shifting tides of high school football talent made for an 0-10 season in 2017. This year’s campaign started with losses to Beaufort and Union County, and just like that, a perennial playoff contender was staring at 13 straight losses.

That all changed last Thursday night.

The Falcons got together with the Columbia Capitals at Benedict’s Charles W. Johnson Stadium and put an end to the streak in a big way. They fell behind 6-0 early and then rattled off 45 unanswered points, eventually beating Columbia 45-12.

A.C. Flora’s Matt Jamison looks for running room against Columbia. A.C. Flora’s Matt Jamison looks for running room against Columbia. The Capitals got on the board first running Thomas Green nine straight times to get to the A.C. Flora 16-yard line. Quarterback Jordan Puch then hit Jaylin Broadnax on fourth down in the end zone from 13 yards out for the game’s first touchdown with 6:14 to play in the first. With a failed 2-point conversion attempt, Columbia led 6-0.

That lead lasted about 14 seconds because on the ensuing kickoff as Quincy Riley raced 70 yards to the end zone for an A.C. Flora touchdown (his second TD return of the year). Harper Fordham added the extra point, and the Falcons grabbed a 7-6 edge.

After a Columbia punt and a huge return from Riley, A.C. Flora put together a six-play, 45-yard drive mainly with the arms and legs of Matt Jamison at quarterback. He completed two passes for 10 yards and then facing a third-and-13 from the 39-yard line, he hit a leaping Riley with a 36- yard bomb. Josh Heatly took it the final three yards for the touchdown to give the Falcons a 14-6 lead with 45.5 seconds to play in the first quarter.

A.C. Flora’s Matthew Pack tries to shake Columbia’s Keldric Wright. A.C. Flora’s Matthew Pack tries to shake Columbia’s Keldric Wright. The Capitals were forced to punt at midfield on their next drive, and the Falcons wasted no time striking again. After a short pass from Jamison to Cam Scott and a 10-yard run by Heatly taking a turn at quarterback, Jamison threw a short pass to Riley who took it 34 yards to the end zone to give A.C. Flora a 20-6 advantage with 10:53 left in the half.

Columbia netted five yards total on its next two drives. The Falcons drove to the Columbia 35 and 25- yard lines with their last two possessions of the half but came away with no points to hold the score at 20-6 at the break.

A.C. Flora put together a seven-play, 63-yard drive on its opening drive of the third quarter. Jamison once again led the way, this time with his legs as he rushed four times for 37 yards. The final one came from 16 yards out for a touchdown to give the Falcons a 26-6 lead with 8:40 remaining in the quarter.

Thomas Green was the bulk of the offense for Columbia. Thomas Green was the bulk of the offense for Columbia. Things went from bad to worse for the Capitals as the first play of their ensuing drive ended in a fumble that was collected by A.C. Flora’s Michael Sauls.

Three plays later, Jamison hit Darion Addison from 10 yards out for the touchdown and a 32-6 Falcon lead.

The Capitals got no yards and went three-and-out on their next possession leading to another punt. Things got a bit testy at midfield during the punt, but coaches from both sides did an excellent job clearing the field. A.C. Flora was assessed a personal foul, but that only gave Matthew Pack more room to run. He broke loose from the Falcons’ 14-yard line for a 74-yard sprint, and then on the next snap took it the final 12 yards for the touchdown. Fordham added the extra point, and A.C. Flora led 39-6 with 3:27 to play in the third.

The Falcon defense then held Columbia to two yards and a punt, and the Falcon offense went to work again. Dorian McFadden ran 14 yards to the Columbia 36-yard line, and then Heatly hit Eric Austin for a pass and the refs added 15 yards for a Capital personal foul to set A.C. Flora up at the 10-yard line. James Deer ran for eight yards, and then Heatly powered in for the final two to set the score at 45-6 with about two minutes to play.

Columbia got a final respite as Broadnax returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to complete the scoring at 45- 12.

McFadden added a 19-yard run for the Falcons, and then the celebration was on as they ran out the clock. Falcon head coach Collin Drafts got his first win at the helm and a Gatorade shower to go with it.

Jamison completed 14-of-17 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns for A.C. Flora. He also had eight carries for 54 yards and a touchdown. Pack finished with 88 yards and a touchdown on three carries. Riley had the kickoff return for a touchdown to go with three receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown.

Green finished with 75 yards on 20 carries for Columbia.

A.C. Flora 45, Columbia 12

ACF 14 6 19 6 45

First Quarter
Cola: Jordan Puch 13-yard TD
pass to Jaylin Broadnax (2-pnt
conversion fails).
ACF: Quincy Riley 70-yard kickoff
return for TD (Harper Fordham
extra point).
ACF: Josh Heatly 3-yard TD run
(Harper Fordham extra point).

Second Quarter
ACF: Matt Jamison 34-yard TD
pass to Riley (Extra point missed).

Third Quarter
ACF: Jamison 16-yard TD run
(Extra point missed).
ACF: Jamison 10-yard TD pass to
Darion Addison (Extra point
ACF: Matthew Pack 12-yard TD
run (Harper Fordham extra point).

Fourth Quarter
ACF: Heatly 2-yard TD run (Extra
point missed).
Cola: Broadnax kickoff return for TD
(2-pnt conversion fails).

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