The A.C. Flora Falcons have had to deal with a couple of changes to their schedule this season. First, the Falcons were forced to play rival Dreher on a Saturday morning due to a threat of violence during a JV game, and then the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Ian on Friday, September 30 moved essentially all high school games up a day to Thursday.
No worries. While the performance was not perfect, it was still dominant, and A.C. Flora came away with a 49-14 win at Westwood against the Redhawks.
“The last game I felt like we kind of came out the gate kind of slow was Dreher, which was on a dadgum Saturday morning, and then we have this game on a Thursday night,” A. C. Flora head coach Ken Floyd said. “It’s young people—we don’t respond to adversity as well as we’d like to sometimes. I definitely think that sometimes that it gets in the way.”
The Falcons first drive ended in an interception at the goal line. They muffed an extra point, had some drop balls, lost a fumble, and had some uncharacteristic penalties. However, A.C. Flora racked up 375 yards rushing, punted just once, and held Westwood to 14 points and a net of 182 yards of offense on ten possessions en route to the five touchdown Region 5-4A win.
Markel Townsend led the way for the Falcons with 252 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 26 carries. Aiden Mosley added 113 yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries.
“They’re just talented,” Floyd said of his running backs. “They’re good players. We’ve got a good offensive line. I would have liked to have been a little more balanced tonight. Just didn’t throw the ball well early, and when you don’t throw it early, you lose confidence. So we stuck to the run game.”
That strategy worked just fine.
After the interception killed their first drive and after holding Westwood to the first of four punts, the Falcons marched 58 yards in eight plays,
scoring on Townsend’s 24-yard gallop to the end zone for a 6-0 lead with 3:50 left in the first quarter.
The Redhawks fumbled the ensuing kickoff to give A.C. Flora possession at the 13-yard line. Townsend took it from there running over a Westwood defender on his way to the end zone. Townsend then ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead with 3:32 left in the first.
After a Westwood punt went backwards two yards, the Falcons took to the air briefly as quarterback Carew Bates connected with Chris Lofton and Jack Purdy for gains of eight and seven yards, respectively, to get to the Redhawk 16-yard line. Mosley then ran twice scoring on the second one from 12 yards out. Rodgers Thomas added the extra point, and A.C. Flora led 21-0 with 39 seconds left in the first quarter.
Westwood responded with a 13-play, 76-yard drive getting to midfield on the arm of quarterback Dylon O’Neal with passes to Noah Jennings, Jayden Harrison, and Sanah Furgess. Harrison then ran four times for 48 yards scoring from 25 yards on the final one with some serious cuts and jukes to get to the end zone. Miguel Rosello Serra added the extra point, and the Redhawks trailed 21-7 with 7:40 left in the half.
Westwood followed that up by collecting an A. C. Flora fumble and driving 25 yards to the Falcon 7-yard line. However, O’Neal’s pass on fourth–and-goal fell incomplete.
A. C. Flora then marched 93 yards in 12 plays scoring on Townsend’s 3-yard wildcat scamper on fourth down with ten seconds remaining in the half for a 28-7 advantage.
The Redhawks got a big return from Jennings to start the third quarter giving them possession at the Falcon 31-yard line. Harrison took the ball 19 yards and then the final 12 to cut the A.C. Flora lead to 28-14 39 seconds into the second half.
Two plays and 22 seconds later Mosley raced 61 yards to the end zone to put the Falcons up 35-14.
The score stayed that way until the 1: 47 mark of the third quarter. After a short Westwood punt, A.C. Flora drove 34 yards to the Redhawk 1-yard line. Mosley took it the final yard and Thomas added the extra point for a 42-14 Falcon lead.
A.C. Flora tacked on one final score driving 59 yards in 10 plays. Mosley got his fourth touchdown of the night with a 6-yard run for the 49-14 lead with 6:08 left in the game.
“Thought we finished better than we did last week, and that was something I’m proud of,” Floyd said. “Westwood did a good job— had a good game plan. The defense was stingy— made us earn it, which is good. We need to.”