- Faith & Family
For some teams it can be difficult to win a rival game during the season. And with adjustments and new strategies it can be nearly impossible to do it twice, especially when the first meeting was nearly a tossup.
The 2011 5A state champion Norland Vikings, found out just how tough it could be after losing to their district runner-ups the Jackson Generals last Friday night in the 5A regional semifinals at North Miami Stadium 30-21.
Generals’ quarterback, Quinton “Winkie” Flowers, led his team to victory with three touchdown passes all to receiver Vincent Hall for 190 yards, and ran in a 35-yard touchdown himself. In the teams’ previous meeting Flowers only threw for 29 yards.
“We [knew] they were going to play even harder and we would have to match their intensity,” Norland head coach Daryle Heidelberg said. “It was a struggle.”
The Vikings came within two after a 23-7 deficit with consecutive touchdowns: a one yard scamper by quarterback Taron James and on a 19-yard pass from James to Kendrick Edwards. But after a failed two point conversion to tie the game, Flowers sealed the deal on a 15-yard pass to Hall.
The win propels the Generals (7-4) to the regional finals for the first time since 2006 and proves that season play does not predict playoff potential.
The Vikings (9-3) won the season matchup 22-3, in a game that both teams struggled to advance the ball, together only earning 18 first downs in the game.
The Generals, determined to change the course after last year’s loss to the Vikings in the regional semis and during the season, play Glades Central (9-4) in the regional finals at Dr. Effie Grear Stadium (Belle Glades) Friday at 7:30 p.m.
By Akilah Laster