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