Immokalee Scores Upset For 2A Title

The chants of "Cowboys…Indians" from an energized crowd of 5,800 loudly rang through "The Swamp" on Friday afternoon. In the end though, it was the Indians who surprised the Cowboys with 42-yard Moise Santil field goal to give Immokalee a 17-15 victory, and the Class 2A FHSAA State Championship.

Immokalee capitalized on key deficiencies with the Madison County special teams unit that thwarted any opportunity to build momentum. The Cowboys were held three and out by a tough Immokalee defense. However, under pressure punter Roderick Humphrey was only able to launch a 2-yard punt, allowing the Indians to take over at the Madison County 18-yard line. Five plays later quarterback Phillip Perez completed a seven-yard fade to wide receiver Wiselet Rouzard for the touchdown and the Indians quickly led 7-0.

Madison County was again forced to punt after three plays after the ensuing kickoff. However, Humphrey struggled getting off a 4-yard kick that went straight up. This time the Indians took over at the Madison County 15-yard line. Immokalee was only able to move the ball 13 yards. They went for gold on fourth and two, but Randy Gilbert was tackled for a loss of 18 yards on the play.

The Cowboys took over, but were only able to move the ball to the 27-yard line. Yet again, Humphrey was called upon to punt. This time he delivered a 12-yard punt and Immokalee was back in business at the 39-yard line. The Indians scored two plays later and stunned the Cowboys with a 14-0 lead. Humphrey only averaged 6.0 yards on three first quarter punts. Madison County never crossed midfield throughout the first quarter.

The Cowboys were energized on their first possession of the second quarter. On third and nine, running back Desmond Gee took the handoff over left tackle 65 yards to paydirt. Madison County opted for a two-pint conversion, but it failed and the 'Boys trailed, 14-6. As the defense began to flex its muscles, Madison County's offense began to push harder, too.

Later in the second quarter, quarterback Brian Peacock hit a wide open Fred Johnson on a play action pass for 45-yard touchdown. The conversion failed and Immokalee led at the half 14-12.

The only scoring in the second half came by virtue of the placekick. Madison County surprised many by attempting a 22 yard field goal when their fourth quarter drive stalled. The kick was good and the Cowboys had the lead for the first time, 15-14.

It was all for naught, though, as Immokalee sent Saintil out for a 42-yard field goal. He nailed it and the Indians held on for the remaining 3:10 to capture their first ever state championship.

Quotes from Immokalee's stars of the game:

Defensive back Michael Woods (5-10, 150, So., Immokalee): Four tackles, including three solo

"I'm just a young guy. They told us that just because we're young doesn't mean we can't handle it. They told us to step it and we stepped it and I showed that I can play. I tried my best, man. It worked out. Now, I have to lift weights and do whatever is necessary to get better. I hope that I grow. I'm going to try and go to Florida State's camp."

Running back Javarris James (6-1, 200, Jr., Immokalee): 20 carries for 51 yards; Two receptions for 20 yards

"I get a lot of letters and stuff. Michigan, Ohio State, Miami, Florida, and Florida State send me letters all of the time. I like Miami, Ohio State, and USC the best. Those would be my top three right now."

Fullback Brian Rolle (5-11, 200, So., Immokalee): Three carries for eight yards; one reception for eight yards

"I worked hard to get here. Everybody thought of me as a scrub, that's what they called it. I guess because I'm the youngest and I had to work my way to the top of the depth chart. They're a very fast defense. You expect them to be good, that's why they're in this game. We went out there and did what we had to do and we won it. Our coach told us that we hoped that we would be underdogs, that way maybe they'd come in here big headed and we'd take it to them. It couldn't be any other way. After the season. I'm going to wrestle. I went to state last year. I'll probably end up going to Illinois State which is where my brother is for camp, that's what I did last year I'll come back and go to the USF camp and maybe the Miami camp."


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