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4A FINAL: Dwyer 42, Niceville 14

ORLANDO - Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer lost the opening game of the season to Glades Central. On Saturday afternoon, the Panthers made a statement to the rest of the state of Florida that they could easily be the best team standing after winning their 14th straight game.

The Panthers won every phase of the 4A state championship game against previously unbeaten Niceville and came with a 42-14 victory at the Citrus Bowl.

The Panthers (14-1) got on the board first when University of Florida-bound Matt Elam went 6 yards for a score. The extra points was missed and it was 6-0 with 9:58 left in the opening quarter.

Niceville took a 7-6 lead when Kody Williams grabbed a 29-yard scoring strike from Kyle McDorman at the 10:34 mark of the second quarter.

Elam gave the Panthers back the lead with 10:17 left in the second quarter when he went 62 yards. The two-point pass from Jacoby Brisett to Mike Ruiz made it 14-7.

The Elam Show continued in the first half when the talented senior went 26 yards to make it 20-7 with 7:16 left.

University of Florida-bound Robert Clark gave the Panthers a 27-7 lead with 2:28 left before the half.

Bobby Puyol's 23-yard field goal gave Dwyer a commanding 30-7 lead at the half.

Clark gave the Panthers a 36-7 advantage with 9:37 left when he hauled in a 26-yard pass from Brissett.

Roy Finch got on the board for the Eagles with a 4-yard run in the closing seconds of the game.

Clark ended the scoring on the final play of the game when he took the ball 88 yards on a kick return.

Niceville 0 7 0 7 14
Dwyer 6 24 0 12 42
D - Matt Elam 6 run (run failed), 9:58 (1), 6-0
N - Kody Williams 29 from Kyle McDorman (Tanner Hansen kick), 10:34 (2), 7-6
D - Matt Elam 62 run (Jacoby Brisett pass to Mike Ruiz), 10:17 (2),14-7
D - Matt Elam 26 run (kick failed), 7:16 (2), 20-7
D - Robert Clark 11 run (Bobby Puyol kick), 2:28 (2), 27-7
D - Bobby Puyol 23 fg, :5 (2), 30-7
D - Robert Clark 26 pass from Jacoby Brissett (kick failed), 9:37 (4), 36-7
N - Roy Finch 4 run (Tanner Hansen kick), :17 (4), 36-14
D - Robert Clark 88 kickoff return, :00, 42-14

LARRY BLUSTEIN

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