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Patriots flatten Florence

Bob Jones vs. Florence
A host of Bob Jones defenders, led by Shanard Tibbs, bring down a Florence running back during the first half of the Patriots' 45-6 victory Sept.10.

Bob Jones seniors Trai Ragland and Xavier Gaddy scored two touchdowns apiece Friday, Sept. 10, as the Patriots rolled up 31 first-half points en route to a dominating win over the Florence Falcons, 45-6.

“We really got after our offensive line in practice this week and challenged them to get better,” said Bob Jones head coach Kevin Rose. “They answered the call tonight.”

The Falcons come out of the box trying to make something happen by kicking an onside kick on the opening play, but Reggie Ragland fell on the ball right before a Florence player made a dive for it.

The Patriots’ possession wouldn’t last long as Zach Freeman was picked off by Kivon Coman on Bob Jones’ first play.

However, the Patriots’ defense held strong on the ensuing possession, and that’s when the Bob Jones offense went to work as Trai Ragland scored from 5 yards out to put the Patriots up 6-0 after Braden Hager’s extra-point kick was blocked.

After holding the Falcons’ offense, the Patriots (2-1, 2-0) threatened to score once more before the end of the quarter, but this time it was Florence’s defense that held strong, stopping Bob Jones three consecutive plays from the 1-yard line.

After Florence quarterback Kendrick Doss fumbled on the next possession, Gaddy got his first score of the game on a 35-yard sprint to put the Patriots up 14-0 after Collins Moore recovered a loose ball in the end zone on the two-point conversion.

Ragland added his second score of the half on an 11-yard run, but it was Gaddy who stole the show on a 72-yard touchdown run as he ran to one sideline, cut back across the field and eluded seven Florence defenders to put the Patriots up 28-0.

Hager added a 39-yard field goal as time expired in the half to increase the lead to 31-0.

In the second half, the Patriots’ defense continued to stifle the Florence offense as Rashad Goode picked off a Doss pass early in the third quarter.

“Coach Bryan Styles did an unbelievable job tonight with out defense,” Rose said.

The Patriots added to the lead early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jeffrey Moss connected with Nick Richardson for the 6-yard touchdown pass, and then Kevin Wright took the ball in 2 minutes later on a 10-yard run to close out the scoring for Bob Jones.

The Falcons finally got on the board late in the game on a 1-yard run by Damarcus Boddie, but the damage had already been done.

With the dominating win, Rose said his team has benefitted tremendously by getting so many players playing time in the last two weeks.

“We probably played 75 guys tonight, and that’s going to pay off in this region,” Rose said.

The Patriots will return to Class 6A, Region 8 action Friday as they travel to Grissom.

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