GAINESVILLE, Fla. – It was the second game for both the Menendez Falcons and the Eastside Rams in what is already an unpredictable season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It turned out to be a mostly one-sided affair for the visiting Falcons from St. Augustine as the Falcons came away with a 28-3 win over the Rams giving Falcons head coach Kenny Sanchez his first win as a head coach in the Sunshine State.
Early on in the game, the Rams were able to control the line of scrimmage on the Falcons, not letting them grab as many yards as they are known to do in games with the first drive for Menendez ending on a turnover on downs that was a result of a fake punt that did not go off well.
On the first possession for the Rams, they were able to make some plays that got the ball inside the red zone before the Falcons defense finally clamped down which resulted in a 30-yard field goal from Ethan Grand with 8:02 in the first quarter.
However, that would be the only points of the night the Rams would score as the Falcons pitched a shut out for the remaining 44 minutes of the game.
STARS OF THE GAME: King Benford was his usual self for the Falcons showing why he is one of the top playmakers in the state. The junior quarterback was 10-of-20 passing for 109 yards and had 15 carries for 107 yards and one rushing touchdown late in the second quarter.
The other star of the game was Tabias Brown who was starting for Duane Graham who was injured last week’s game Brown did not disappoint as he had 14 carries for 74 yards and two touchdowns. The second of those touchdowns was set up thanks to an interception return by freshman safety Julian Quintero for about 35-yards before being pushed out around the four-yard line early in the third quarter.
AFTER THE GAME INTERVIEW
SOME DARKNESS ABOUT: About mid-way, through the second quarter one of the breakers at Citizens Field blew causing some of the stadium lights and the scoreboard to malfunction. However, the officials from the Mid Florida Officials Association felt there was still enough light to proceed and time was kept on the field. Things were finally reset midway through the third quarter with the stadium back to normal under full lights and the scoreboard operating again.
FINAL SCORE: Noah Lawless who came in at quarterback late in the game for the Falcons, with the game in hand, scored the final touchdown of the night with just 4:18 left to make it 28-3. Lawless finished the night with nine carries for 18 yards but also had five catches for 60 yards at receiver.
QUOTABLE: “It feels great. Anytime you can win, people have to understand winning is really tough to do at any level. We prepared this week like we prepared for any other week. I am glad my boys came out here and got a win against a good Eastside team,” Sanchez said about getting his first win in the Sunshine State after spending the past five seasons at nationally-known Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.
Corey Davis contributed to this report.