The Flagler Palm Coast Bulldogs (0-3) never stopped fighting, but the Mainland Buccaneers (3-0) were just too much in their 41-16 win on Friday, Sept. 9, at Daytona Municipal Stadium.
After marching right down into the red zone, Mainland fumbled the ball, and Kevin Pogue returned it to the Bucs’ 30. After a sequence of plays and penalties, Darrel Thomas ran it in for a one-yard touchdown and an unforeseen Bulldogs’ lead.
The Bucs marched right back into the red zone but turned the ball over on downs after a failed fourth down attempt. But then Mainland’s offense and defense woke up.
On the next Mainland possession, Denzel Houston turned a broken run play into a 56-yard touchdown connection with Brian Jenkins. The extra point attempt was no good.
On FPC’s next possession, Thomas overthrew Que’Shaun with a backward pass, and Dennis Shorter scooped the ball and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown and the lead. Mainland failed its two-point conversion attempt.
After Byrd’s 29-yard run put the Bulldogs inside the five-yard line, FPC chose to kick a field goal on fourth-and-short, and Kevin Navarette nailed a 22-yarder.
After Mainland returned a pooch kick to FPC’s 35-yard line, C.J. Wilson broke a few tackles on his way to a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Houston connected with Jason Colubiale for the two-point conversion to make it 20-10.
On supposedly the last play of the half, Shorter picked off Thomas and returned the interception 70 yards for a score, but it was called back due to a penalty. Halftime.
After a Chad Davis interception gave Mainland the ball in FPC territory, Houston broke tackles and ran for 28 yards into the end zone. The extra point made it 27-10.
On the Bucs’ next possession, Houston connected with Jenkins on a bomb that put them into the red zone. Houston and Jenkins would cap off the drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to go up 34-10.
FPC not going down easily, Byrd made a defender miss and outran the entire defense down the middle of the field for a 60-yard touchdown. The field goal was missed.
Then late in the game, Houston found Shawn Daffin for final touchdown pass to make it 41-10.
“I think we played well in the first half,” Que’Shaun Byrd said. “We were putting up a fight, but we have to learn how to finish on long drives. That killed us tonight.” Byrd finished the game with over 200 total yards.