Shortly before the start of the second half of Flagler Palm Coast’s game against Ocala West Port, Bulldogs linebacker Tobin Hackett strutted toward the huddle sporting a crown on his head and a trophy in his arms.
Hackett, a senior, was named FPC’s Homecoming King a few minutes prior.
But was this the best moment of his night?
“No,” he said. “I don’t really care about that homecoming stuff.”
That moment came with 1:06 to play in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs had the Wolf Pack backed up near West Port’s own goal line. The Wolf Pack’s quarterback fumbled the snap and struggled to pick up the ball off the rain-soaked grass. Hackett burst into the backfield and dove onto the ball. He recovered it in the end zone for the first defensive touchdown of his high school career.
“It was great,” said Hackett, who also recorded two sacks. “I just wanted to help my team win.”
After a humbling defeat at the hands of Sanford Seminole a week prior, the Bulldogs (7-1) bounced back with a 52-0 victory over Ocala West Port the night of Friday, Oct. 18, at FPC High School.
The Bulldogs were led by running back Marc Genis, who gashed the Wolf Pack for a 50-yard touchdown on the first drive of the game; and receiver Jonathan Richard, who hauled in two touchdown passes.
“I thought going into this game that execution was going to be a key issue,” Bulldogs quarterback Preston Roberts said. “I think we executed very well.”
Despite the Bulldogs’ near-flawless execution on Friday night, FPC coach Travis Roland was most pleased with the fact that his team didn’t sustain any injuries — especially with a meeting against rival DeLand on the horizon.
Offensive lineman Tyler Dunn and receiver/defensive end/punter Altarik Lumpkins are both expected to return.
The Bulldogs, who lost a hard fought battle to the other Bulldogs 10-3 last season, square off against DeLand at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in what’s expected to be a chippy, trash-talk-filled contest at Spec Martin Stadium.
“It’s not real football unless there’s trash talk," Roland said. "These kids care. It’s going to get chippy. It’s supposed to be. It’s a district ball game with the playoffs on the line. We’ve got to be able to play some football.”