By: Matt Rothman
After one of the greatest years in Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ football history, their season ended in the second round of the postseason on Friday.
The Eagles fell to top-seeded Palm Beach Central High School 55-23, but not before winning seven games in the regular season and recording their first postseason win since 2007 against Santaluces High School.
Coming out on fire, Jake Aller recorded a 33-yard field goal on their opening drive. They also forced two fumbles and took a 10-0 lead after Clayton Cannon Jr. recorded a 26-yard touchdown.
However, Palm Beach Central responded within minutes with a pair of touchdowns. They scored 20 unanswered points to take a ten-point lead until Brite Cannon recorded a 35-yard score off a pass from quarterback Ryan Spallina.
He would score another touchdown later in the game, but MSD struggled defensively in the second half and allowed five touchdowns. “
“I loved the energy we came out with and how aggressive we played,” said Head Coach Quentin Short. “Palm Beach Central has a very talented team and their quarterback was outstanding. He gave us fits with his arm and legs, and he had a ton of weapons on offense.”
Palm Beach Central will now play in the Regional Championship game against either Monarch High School or Palm Beach Gardens, with the winner advancing to States.
Despite the outcome, it was still a memorable season for the Eagles. Clayton broke the single-season record for most rushing yards. He also added 15 touchdowns, two higher than running back Justin Spano.
Spallina shined as well in his first year as the starting quarterback. He threw for over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns and added nine rushing scores. Brite was the leading receiver for the Eagles and had eight receiving touchdowns.
Defensively, Gabriel Lenamon led the team in tackles. Tucker Jean finished second in tackles and led the team in sacks, while the Eagles picked off six passes this season. Despite having 22 seniors set to graduate from the team this year, the Eagles will still return multiple starters and get a boost from some players from the junior varsity team next year.
“I am very proud of our young men,” Short added. “Great leadership from the senior class and I can’t emphasize that enough how much they did to keep this team together and take ownership.”
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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