- October 14, 2017
On the second drive of the game against Spruce Creek, the Bulldogs’ offense broke into the red zone after quarterback Donovan Montoyo found a streaking Jarien Ramos for a 43-yard gain. At the 19-yard line, the Bulldogs were looking to jumpstart their offense after an unproductive opening drive.
Then the flags started to fly.
The Bulldogs were whistled for holding twice, and what started as a promising chance to score turned into 3rd-and-44 near midfield.
However, senior receiver J.T. Dahlberg hauled in a 28-yard pass, and place kicker Stephen Usina drilled a 44-yard field goal — a career long — to give the Bulldogs an early lead over the Hawks. Bulldogs coach Travis Roland called it the “biggest play of the game.”
The Bulldogs (7-1, 2-0) defeated the Hawks 24-8 on Friday, Oct. 12, on homecoming night at Flagler Palm Coast High School.
The prelude to Friday night’s game was a chippy one. Players were jawing over social media for most of the week and that extended to the field. The Bulldogs escaped with a controversial win over their district foes in 2017.
“They started talking trash, and we had to respond with a slam,” defensive end Nelson Paul said. “We had to start off strong and hit them in the mouth.”
FPC recovered a fumble to start the second quarter, and Ty Jenkins, who rushed for a team-high 50 yards, capped off the drive with an 8-yard rushing touchdown. Ramos returned a punt 58 yards on the Hawks’ ensuing drive for his third return TD of the season.
In the second half, Montoyo completed a 45-yard pass to receiver Jordan Belle for an acrobatic touchdown catch, giving the Bulldogs a 24-0 lead with 4:27 to play in the third quarter.
But despite the occasional spurts on offense, it was the defense, which held the Hawks to 151 total yards, that paved the way.
Paul, along with defensive lineman Tyler Irigoyen, played an integral part in slowing down Spruce Creek’s star running back Marvin Scott.
The main focus for the defense: to tackle Scott and not let him go.
The Bulldogs had one slip up. With fewer than 2 minutes to play in the fourth quarter and with the game well in-hand, Scott slipped through a hole in the defense and scampered 45 yards inside FPC’s 5. He scored two plays later to end the shutout. The Hawks went for 2 and converted.
The coaches, especially Roland, were not happy about giving up the score.
“It was so annoying,” Irigoyen said. “We knew the game was over, I guess. We let up.”
With the win, the Bulldogs moved into a share of first place with Mandarin in District 1-8A. They have two games left on the schedule: Senior Night against DeLand 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, and a road game against Mandarin to conclude the regular season on Oct. 25 — both tough district games.
“We’re glad to get this win, but we’ve got to get two more,” Roland said. “We’re going to play hard. We’re going to play our brand of football.”