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2B FINAL: Pahokee 21, Trinity Catholic 17!

ORLANDO - The Pahokee Blue Devils had won four state championships in the past five years. On Saturday afternoon, the fifth win was impressive - and by far the most exciting.

When junior quarterback DeJoshua Johnson found junior receiver Dennis Hall from 19 yards out with 45 seconds left, the Blue Devils had won a 21-17 come-from-behind contest, winning the 2B state title in dramatic fashion.

"Unreal," said head coach Blaze Thompson. "The kids never quit. This is such a rewarding win. Wow!"

The Celtics (12-2), who battled hard all year for head coach John Brantley, opened the scoring by taking the opening drive and using over four minutes as Purdue bound senior Rob Henry found highly-recruited junior receiver Kadron Boone for a 7-0 lead.

It took the Blue Devils (12-2) a little over a quarter to get things going, and when they did, Johnson scored on a 1-yard run to tie the game with 8:36 left in the first half.

The Blue Devils went up 14-7 when Univerity of Michigan commitment Vincent Smith went 15 yards for a touchdown with 3:02 left in the first half.

The Celtics cut the lead to 14-10 with 8:58 left in the game on a 48-yard field goal by Frankie Velez.

When Henry found sophomore tight end Rafael Ciafardini from 17 yards out with just 3:47 left in the game, Trinity Catholic took the lead, 17-14, but the Blue Devils marched down the field and took the lead.

The final drive of the game saw the Celtics come up short!

TRINITY CATHOLIC 7 0 0 10--17
PAHOKEE 0 14 0 7--21
TC - Kadron Boone 34 pass from Rob Henry (Frankie Velez kick), 8:52 (1), 7-0
P - DeJoshua Johnson 1 run (Miguel Rodriguez kick), 8:36 (2), 7-7
P - Vincent Smith 15 run (Miguel Rodriguez), 3:02 (2), 14-7
TC - Frankie Velez 48 fg, 8:58 (4), 14-10
TC - Rafael Ciafardini 17 pass from Rob Henry, 3:47 (4), 17-14
P - Dennis Hall 19 pass from DeJoshua Johnson (Miguel Rodriguez kick), :55 (4), 21-17

LARRY BLUSTEIN
lblustein@miamiherald.com

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DieHard 305 Fan

the best of the 4 State Title games by far.
This game could've gone either way. Trinity Catholic had the better QB and had a complete mismatch w their WR's against Pahokees small DB's. If they would've taken advantage of that mismatch like Bolles did to Gulliver they would've won the game but for some reason they kept running on 1st & 2nd downs. Trust me their coaches will be upset w themselves for playing it too safe after they see the game film. Also their D kept putting pressure on the Pahokee QB and took him out of his passing game w their blitzes.
As far as Pahokee, typical Pahokee team w open field superstars on offense. Pahokee could've easily won if they would've just run Vincent Smith 40 times. This guy is a legit All Stater & will tear it up at Michigan. Also Pahokees 3 WR's Nukeese, Dennis Hall & Dexter Holmes are legit DIV1 players. However Pahokee gets bored running & loves to open it up w their playmaker WR's. Watching Pahokees skill players on offense make defenders miss tackles in the open field is one of the best things about HS football in FL IMO. I loved Nukeese Richardson going airborne trying to get the score w the one handed stretch, that was sweet. Pahokees defense held their own other than the WR/DB mismatches. Also their QB this yr Johnson is too small & more of a RB/Slot back. Great Athlete but not a natural QB. The '06 & '07 Blue Devil teams were better than this one but a State Title is a State Title & a 3peat is sweet.
In the end it was Pahokees ability to make Trinity Catholic miss numerous tackles in the open field that was the difference in the game & why Pahokee won. Thay had more big play capability than Trinity Catholic did.
Also ya gotta love a town like Pahokee w a pop. of 6,500 sending 5,500 fans to Orlando. Kinda reminds me of Odessa Permian in the Friday Night Lights film. Were Closed for the Weekend 'cause were in Orlando representing the Muck. I love it

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