A.C. Flora found itself trailing White Knoll by 13 points at the half in the season opener Friday night. To make the situation seem even more bleak, the Falcons’ two best offensive weapons were on the sideline after suffering first-half injuries.
But behind the running of Aven Pollard and quarterback Jake Lewis and a stout second-half defense, A.C. Flora scored 27 unanswered points in the second half for a 34-20 victory against the Timerwolves in Week 0 action at Memorial Stadium.
“We told them to believe what we’ve been teaching,” A.C. Flora coach Dean Howell said. “It’s not like they were blowing us out. We had a dropped pass in the end zone and missed a field goal. We were close to being even at the half but we had to keep battling and battling to find a way. We have a tough group of kids and they really responded in the second half.”
The Falcons scored four of the five times they touched in the ball in the second half. They opened in the third quarter by driving 89 yards in eight plays to regain some confidence. Pollard, who ran for 62 of his 72 yards in the second half, had an 18-yard run and Lewis connected on a 35-yard pass to Shelton Whitaker to move the ball to the 1-yard line. Lewis took it in from there to trim the deficit to 20-13.
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Two series later, Pollard opened the third quarter with a 32-yard scoring run to make it 20-19 after the missed extra point attempt with 11:52 remaining in the game.
Whitaker, who had six catches for 144 yards, set up the next score when he caught a 37-yard pass from Lewis to again move the ball to the Timberwolves’ 1-yard line.
Two plays later, Keith Goss scored to give the Falcons the lead for good.
Pollard sealed it with a 5-yard scoring run with 1:54 remaining.
White Knoll scored on its opening three possessions. Quinn Jones scampered 65 yards on the first play from scrimmage to give the Timberwolves a 7-0 lead 15 seconds into the game. After a Flora punt, Lamar Ray scored from two yards out to complete an 8-play, 80-yard drive to make it 13-0.
The Falcons answered on their next drive when Lewis found a wide open Whitaker on a 38-yard scoring strike.
Jones, who finished with 145 yards on 11 carries, finished the Timberwolves’ scoring when he jumped over a pile at the line of scrimmage and raced 41 yards for the touchdown.
WK – Quinn Jones 65 run (Bowerman kick) 11:45
WK – Lamar Ray 2 run (kick failed) 5:08
ACF – Shelton Whitaker 38 pass from Jake Lewis (Joseph Charlton kick) 1:45
WK – Jones 41 run (Bowerman kick) 11:52
ACF – Lewis 1 run ((kick failed) 9:48
ACF – Aven Pollard 32 run (kick failed) 11:52
ACF – Keith Goss 1 run (Goss pass from Lewis) 8:22
ACF – Pollard 5 run (Charlton kick) 1:54