The SoBoCo Eagles spotted the Blair Oaks Falcons 8 points after fumbling on their own 20-yard line on the game’s opening play.
Then they began their comeback.
SoBoCo kept coming back for four quarters before Blair Oaks put them away for good with another Jake Van Ronzelen touchdown with 7:42 left in the game as the Falcons retained their Class 3, District 6 title with a 56-35 win on Friday in Wardsville.
“That’s a pretty big score, but I’m really proud of how my guys played them hard for four quarters – we pushed them tonight,” said Eagles coach Trent Tracy.
There is no hyperbole in that statement. SoBoCo played Blair Oaks as hard and competitive as they ever have. The Eagles challenged the Falcons as much as anyone has this season.
“They are 12-0 for a reason – they take advantage of your mistakes and they have some very good football players,” Tracy said of the Falcons.
After the Falcons’ Nolan Hair hit Ben Thomas for a 14-yard TD to open the scoring, SoBoCo’s Colby Phillips took the ensuing kickoff and turned it upfield for a 92-yard TD run. Parker Boyce’s point after made it an 8-7 Falcons lead.
The two teams traded possessions for the rest of the quarter and the Falcons widened their lead with a Van Ronzelen TD to make it 14-7.
Instead of kicking deep, the Falcons kicked short, the Eagles covered and Jackson Sartain made the home team pay by galloping 67-yards for a TD on the second play of the drive.
Blair Oaks then appeared to pull away, getting three scores as the clock ticked towards halftime. But with a 35-14 and the game seemingly secure, the Falcons kicked off with 13-seconds left in the quarter.
Sartain promptly ran out the clock by taking the kick, running 30-or-so yards towards the sideline, then turning it upfield and going 93-yards for a touchdown to make it 35-21 at half.
“Those were huge returns for us,” Tracy said. “We had added a few new things according to how they kicked off and we blocked well and our guys ran the ball hard.”
The two teams traded scores in the third quarter – Sartain busting up the middle for a 31-yard score for the Eagles, but it was a broken play in which Hair turned into a 75-yard TD pass when he found Braydan Pritchett open down the sideline.
Both teams scored once more and the Falcons ran down the clock to the 56-35 win. SoBoCo got a final score as quarterback Spencer Taggart hit fellow senior Clay Jeffrey one last time on a 4th-and-18 play for a 20-yard TD pass.