High School Football

From worst to first: AC Flora wins region title a year after winless season

A.C. Flora’s Joshua Heatley (5) had two TD passes and TD catch in the Falcons’ playoff loss to Wren on Nov. 16, 2018.
A.C. Flora’s Joshua Heatley (5) had two TD passes and TD catch in the Falcons’ playoff loss to Wren on Nov. 16, 2018. Jeff@JeffBlakePhoto.com

Mission Accomplished.

A.C. Flora capped a perfect run through Region 4-4A with a dominating 55-14 victory over Dreher Friday night at wet, chilly Memorial Stadium to claim the region championship a year after going winless.

The Falcons have won seven games in a row to improve to 7-2 and finish 5-0 in the region. Lower Richland finishes second and Dreher secures third place. The Falcons have a make-up game against Richland Northeast next week then will open the Class 4A playoffs at home against Lancaster in two weeks.

Dreher will face the loser of next week’s Hartsville and Myrtle Beach game in two weeks.

“A lot of people said I was the new coach and I didn’t know what I was doing and Flora is going down the tubes here,” A.C. Flora coach Collin Drafts said. “But the guys stayed on board and bought in to what we were trying to get them to buy into. The coaching staff did a phenomenal job and the kids worked their tails off. Here we are, seven games in a row with a championship.”

Things started slowly for the Falcons as Dreher (6-4, 3-2) opened the scoring with a two-yard run by Da Da Washington. But once A.C. Flora got going offensively, they scored in rapid fire.

Matt Jamison scored on the second play of the second quarter from 25 yards out to get things rolling. The Falcons added two additional touchdowns on their next two offensive plays and the route was on.

Jamison connected with RJ Mobley on a 47-yard scoring pass before Josh Heatley found a wide-open Quincy Riley from 25-yards out that made it 20-7 with over five minutes remaining in the half. Heatley capped a 5-play, 32-drive with a three-yard run just before the half that made it 27-7 at the break.

“We kept calm through the first quarter and once we got that first touchdown, things sort of rolled from there,” Drafts said. “Offense played great, defense played great and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Jamison was there for the 0-10 disaster last season and the senior said the team has grown up from a year ago.

“It’s amazing,” Jamison said. “Everybody bought in and we came together as a family. In the summer, when the seniors came back, we really became closer. Last year as tough for us and we’ve worked hard and that’s paid off with us playing better this year.”

THREE THINGS WE LEARNED

1. Nearly every team is going to kick it away from the dynamic Riley but that hurts in the field position battle. Dreher wasn’t going to let Riley hurt them in the return game but the short punts allowed A.C. Flora to start three straight second quarter scoring drives in Blue Devils territory.

2. A.C. Flora uses both Jamison and Heatley at quarterback and at this point they’re almost interchangeable. Jamison ran for 137 yards and threw for an additional 78 while accounting for three touchdowns, two rushing and one passing. Heatley ran for 39 yards and threw for 52 and had a hand in two touchdowns.

3.The A.C. Flora defense is becoming more and more dominant. The Falcons held Washington to 99 yards but the bulk of those came on two carries. The size they have on the front will be trouble for nearly everyone in the playoffs.

HOW THEY SCORED

1st Quarter

D – Washington 2 run (Craig Blake kick) 5:36

2nd Quarter

ACF – Matt Jamison 25 run (Harper Fordham kick) 11:15

ACF – RJ Mobley 47 pass from Jamison (kick failed) 8:38

ACF – Quincy Riley 35 pass from Josh Heatley (Fordham kick) 5:11

ACF – Heatley 3 run (Fordham kick) 1:34

3rd Quarter

ACF – Jamison 50 run (Fordham kick) 11:43

ACF – Jalynn Tarver 3 run (Fordham kick) 1:41

4th Quarter

D – Washington 42 run (Blake kick) 11:21

ACF – Darian Addison 12 run (Fordham kick) 9:28

ACF – James Deer 3 run (Fordham kick) 6:05

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: D – Washington 19-99, Kryell Michael 3-7, Micaiah Settles 5-(-2), Tre’von Dreher 1-(-12), Ryan Campbell 4-(-23), Jermel Sims 2-4. ACF – Matthew Jamison 11-137, Matthew Pack 6-75, Josh Heatley 6-39, Darian Addison 4-38, Quincy Riley 1-3, James Deer 1-3, Jalynn Tarver 2-11.

Passing: D – Campbell 12-25-2-96. ACF – Jamison 6-10-0-91, Heatley 3-5-1-0-52.

Receiving: D – Louis Parr 5-49, Michael 2-38, Maurice Bynum 1-9, Washington 2-3, Dreher 1-1, Justin Dingle 1-(-4). ACF – RJ Mobley 5-83, Riley 1-35, Addison 1-13.

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