When the clocked ticked to zero in the first half, a group of Green Sea Floyds players turned to the near-side bleachers at Benedict’s Charles W. Johnson Stadium and began jumping up and down on their way to the locker room. It wasn’t a full-on celebration. Rather, a teaser by the Trojans to tell their fans the wait was almost over.
Green Sea Floyds, a program that experienced a winless season four years earlier, captured its first state championship in school history Friday with a 26-20 win over Lamar.
A couple defensive stands sealed the deal.
“I’m just so ecstatic for these kids to go out winners,” said GSF coach Donnie Kiefer, “for this whole community. You saw the support we had tonight. If you’ve ever been to Green Sea, there’s a convenience store and a Dollar General — and there’s nothing else there.
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“This is huge. ... Just a phenomenal night.”
The Trojans (11-3) had never advanced past the second round of the Class A playoffs before this season, but they proved they belonged on the biggest stage.
They held on late in the fourth quarter thanks to an Anwain Graham interception at the GSF 2-yard line with 2:13 left and a Joseph Martin sack on fourth down with eight seconds left. The latter came after the Trojans couldn’t convert on fourth-and-1 at their own 14, leading to plenty of nervous moments.
“It the end it all worked out,” Kiefer said. “So we’ll take it.”
After fumbling away its first possession, GSF scored touchdowns on its next four, including a 42-yard run from Jaquan Dixon that evened the score at 6 with 8:04 left in the first quarter. After Lamar responded with a 66-yard TD run from Jac’Quez Lucas, the Trojans scored 20 unanswered points to take a 26-14 halftime lead.
Dixon ran 20 times for 247 yards and two TDs.
High-powered offense has been a big part of GSF’s story this season. It entered Friday on a six-game winning streak in which it scored more than 60 points three times. But when that unit was slowed in Friday’s second half, the Trojan defense stepped up.
GSF had three second-half interceptions and twice turned Lamar over on downs.
Lamar, which was seeking its third state title in four years, cut the GSF lead to six with 3:34 left when quarterback Jalen Langley hooked up with Derrick Higgins for a 37-yard score. It then recovered an onside kick, but couldn’t capitalize.
HOW THEY SCORED
L – Johnson 1 run (Kick failed), 8:38
GSF – Dixon 42 run (Kick failed), 8:04
L – Lucas 66 run (Lucas rush), 5:25
GSF– Dixon 11 pass from Elliott (Pass failed), 3:23
GSF — Dixon 3 run (Dixon rush), 3:22
GSF — Elliott 15 run (Pass failed), 7:32
L — Higgins 37 pass from Langley (Pass failed), 3:34
Rushing: L: Lucas 22-215, M. Johnson 9-20, R Johnson 6-14, Anderson 1-2, Langley 6 -(-6). GSF: Dixon 20-247, Elliott 9-59, Campbell 5-27, Graham 10-19
Passing: L: Langley 9-17-3 102. GSF: Elliott 4-5-0 107. Graham 1-1-0 34.
Receiving: L: Johnson 4-23, Higgins 2-44, Lucas 2-12, Johnson 1-23. GSF: Dixon 2-20, Clemons 1-79, Elliott 1-34, Dixon 1-8.