GAINESVILLE – The Miami Monsignor Pace Spartans used big plays, one with 1:53 remaining in the game – a 90-yard scoring play from Jeremy Roberts to Jerry Milbrook and upset Jacksonville Bolles, 21-17, in the 3A title game Saturday afternoon at Florida Field.
Milbrook started the scoring at the 5:04 mark of the first quarter when he took a punt and went 93 yards for a score. The return tied the longest in Florida High School Playoff history.
Bolles, the defending 2A state champs, cut the lead to 7-6 at the 9:52 mark of the first half when Bryan Hassel took a 6-yard pass from Riley Skinner at the 9:52 mark of the second quarter.
The Spartans (12-3) grabbed a 14-6 halftime advantage on a 1-yard plunge by junior Conredge Collins. The play was made possible when Tervaris Johnson grabbed a pass from Roberts and went 75 yards.
In the second half, the momentum began to swing as Bolles could do no wrong on either side of the ball. Dominating play, they cut the lead to 14-9 with 7:15 left on a 23-yard field goal by John Soto.
The Bulldogs (12-2) then took the lead with 10:12 left in the game on a 7-yard run by Max Higgs.
"This football team never, ever quit," said Pace head coach Joe Zaccheo. "We came here as underdogs and did quite a job, using big plays."
The Spartans had captured the state boys' basketball title last year with Milbrook and safety Lavon Ponder on that team.
1 2 3 4 F
Miami Pace 7 7 0 7---21
Jacksonville Bolles 0 6 3 8---17
MP Jerry Milbrook 93 punt return (Tommy Crews kick), 5:04 (1).
JB Bryan Hassel 6 yard pass from Riley Skinner (kick failed), 9:52 (2)
MP Conredge Collins 1 run (Tommy Crews kick), 8:41 (2)
JB John Soto 21 field goal, 7:15 (3)
JB Max Higgs 7 run (Riley Skinner pass to Stephen Chicola), 10:12 (4).
MP Jerry Milbrook 90 pass from Jeremy Roberts (Tommy Crews kick), 1:53 (4).