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Rec all-stars fall short

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Florence foils county stars state title run

By Robert Howey

 

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FLORENCE – In a season of triumphs, the Lancaster County Parks and Recreation small fry football all-stars saw their season end on a tough note.

Defending 8-10 Division II all-star state champion City of Florence foiled the Lancaster County stars’ hopes with a 20-0 win on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Florence Memorial Stadium.

Florence, which forged a 12-0 halftime lead, added a second-half score to seal the state crown.

Florence won the Lower State championship for the chance to defend its title.

Lancaster County, in the state title game for the first time since 2004, qualified as the Upper State champion after winning the Central District title.

Florence, sparked by Jordan Burch who ran for 73 yards and two touchdowns, struck on its first possession for the only points it would need.

Florence capped a six-play, 67-yard  drive, with Burch dashing 35 yards for the score.

“Today, we just ran into a buzz saw,” Lancaster County all-star coach Darrell Starnes said. “Their size made a difference. They were able to build some early momentum and build on that early lead.”

Florence, on its second possession, extended its lead with an 82-yard scoring drive.

Florence quarterback Quentin Hodge hit Shaquan Hardy on a 77-yard touchdown pass for the 12-0 lead.

The Florence scoring drive was kept alive by a key Tre Stubbs 16-yard catch on a third-and-11 snap at the Florence 17.

Three straight passes fell incomplete before Hodge hit Hardy for the second TD.

“They hit us with some big plays,” Starnes said.

Florence sealed its win, taking the second-half kickoff and driving 56 yards for its third touchdown.

Burch, on a fourth-and-five snap, tallied on a keeper with 3:34 to play in the third period. Christopher Brigman ran in on the conversion for a 20-0 lead.

“Burch was just a step above,” Florence coach Raymon Brigman said. “Our defense shut them down. They have been great all year long.”

The Florence defense, which allowed 27 yards total offense, posted its fourth shutout in five postseason games.

The Lancaster County stars, which gave up more points in the state title game than it had in four previous playoff games, battled to the end.

“We never could get our offense on track,” Starnes said. “We fought to the end and gave it all we had. At the end of the game, we were playing hard and still competing. No matter what the score was, we gave it our all.

“I am proud of these players and coaches and how they came together,” Starnes said. “It wasn’t our day today, but we had a great run and represented the county real well throughout the playoffs.”