Harrison, Florida High rally past Eagles

Harrison, Florida High rally past Eagles


Harrison, Florida High rally past Eagles


Ball spiraling towards him, it was a moment frozen in time for Florida High cornerback JaVonte Colston. All he had to do was make the play.

Colston’s pass breakup in the right corner end zone with no time on the clock stopped North Florida Christian’s last attempt to pull out a victory on Friday.

“All you really gotta do is locate the ball, find the receiver,” Colston said. “I wanted the game over, to take the win for Florida High. That’s it.”

Instead, it was the unlikely Seminoles exiting with a humongous victory, but not without some intense theatrics.

Florida High quarterback Ronnie Harrison pulled out a four-play, 83-yard scoring drive in one minute’s time and punched in the 5-yard game-winning score with 47 seconds left, catapulting the Seminoles to a 28-24 road victory over previously unbeaten NFC.

“I said before I liked this group,” Florida High coach Jarrod Hickman said.

“Now, it took us a few games to get going, and it wasn’t our best execution night– we left some plays out on the field– but we played through adversity. And that’s something you can’t teach, you can only hope to see your kids rise up when those moments happen.”

Harrison dumped a pass to tailback Jay Robinson, who then burst for a 32-yard gain, before the senior commit to North Carolina launched a deep pass to wide receiver Josh Davis.

In a previous drive, Harrison tentatively underthrew two balls that could have been touchdowns. This time, he reared back and fired.

“I just knew I had the best receiver in the state, so I cut it loose to him, let him go get it,” Harrison said. “It was really all about making plays. Earlier in the year, we didn’t have a relationship with each other to be able to make plays. Now we do.”

Davis picked up 34 yards, Robinson rushed for 12, and then Harrison ran around the left side of line to take the lead.

With time a factor, NFC (5-1) could no longer afford to hand the ball off to workhorse tailback Jonathan Vickers (32 carries, 196 yards). It worked its way to midfield, and then to the ‘Noles’ 31 with one second left.

“We depend on riding his back, he knows that and that’s what he wants,” NFC coach Robert Craft said. “If he could have done something on that last play, he would have done it there too.”

Eagles quarterback Justin Moore completed a pass to the 3 and the clock ran out, but defensive pass interference allowed one untimed down at the 16. The play was trips left to slide safety coverage. Colston was on an island backside, but held his ground.

“We got single coverage with our senior receiver from our senior quarterback, we just didn’t connect,” Craft said. “A matter of not making the play when it mattered, but those guys, we’ll come right back to them next week.”

Robinson rushed 23 times for 129 yards and scored three touchdowns, one in each of the first three quarters, as Florida High (4-2) used its giant offensive line to move the ball.

“We needed that win,” said Robinson, a senior. “Play for 48 minutes– they’ve been preaching and teaching us that all week. That’s what it took, all the way to the last play.”

Moore hit Jakari Allen for a 17-yard score and ran in one from four yards out in the first half as NFC recovered from a deficit to go up 10. But Florida High used a tipped punt and an alert runback by Davis to set up Robinson to re-take the lead, 21-17.

Moore hit Adrian Hill for a 14-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but Florida High forced two straight turnover-on-downs to give its offense one more shot. The Seminoles have now won four in a row after starting the season with two tough losses.

“I think the most important thing is it’s the fourth one, it’s the next one in a row,” Hickman said. “We started off a little slow this year, but these kids have practiced well each week. We’ve seen the good things, we just needed to turn them into wins on Friday nights.”


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