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Bob Jones defeats Florence 29-21; ‘They physically kicked our rear end,’ says Waldrop

FLORENCE — Wade Waldrop knows a thing or two about Bob Jones. The first year head coach at Florence faced the Patriots each year in the Madison Bowl when he coached the Patriots’ cross-city rival James Clemens. When he ran off the turf field at Braly Stadium into the Florence locker room, the Falcons head coach made one thing quite clear: Friday’s game was going to take some time to get over.

“We made mistakes, but they physically kicked our rear end and that’s the name of this game,” Waldrop said after the game. “I told (Bob Jones), it been a long time since I’ve seen a Bob Jones team line up, run over somebody and whip somebody and they lined up and whipped us tonight.”

The Patriots ran for 238 yards on just 23 carries (10.3 yards per carry), to hand Waldrop’s new team a 29-21 loss.

Bob Jones quarterback Rayshawn Hardy and running back Terrance Salter did most of the damage.

Hardy ran for 89 yards and two touchdowns. His first score came in the opening quarter six plays after Florence’s 1-yard punt to make it 6-0. His second came with 4 minutes and 30 seconds left in the third where he waited behind his offensive linemen before juking and darting the Falcons on a 15-yard run.

Salter finished with 132 yards on 22 touches. But most of his damage came in the second half, when he rushed for 105 of his yards. The Patriots running back was able to break off tackles to extend drives and eat up clock.

“Kudos to Bob Jones,” Florence senior tight end and defensive player Elijah Hartnett said. “(Hardy) is a great ballplayer. They’ve got themselves some good players.”

Florence (2-3, 2-1 Class 7A, Region 4) had a 14-6 lead at halftime, but 37 seconds into the third quarter, Florence QB Caleb Mahan was picked off by Cosey Scarebook, who capped off the play with a 20-yard return for a touchdown. A 2-point conversion made it 14-14.

Later in the fourth quarter, on a drive that began at its own 6-yard line, Florence attempted to punt with the score tied 21-21, but a bad snap sent the ball out of the back of the end zone. The safety turned out to be the deciding score. Bob Jones (2-2, 2-1 Class 7A, Region 4) tacked on an insurance touchdown by Hardy six plays later.

But the Falcons blocked the point after to keep it a one-possession game and on their final drive on the game with 4:05 left on the clock, it looked like they might find a way to tie it up.

After starting at its own 27, Florence marched its way to the Bob Jones 38, only to have Rowan Jones jump in front of a third-down pass to cap the win for Bob Jones.

The Patriots will travel to Auburn on Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. They will return home on Oct. 8 to face Albertville, after another away game at Sparkman on Oct. 1.

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Digital version of The Madison Record – October 13, 2021

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