FLORENCE — The Florence football team found a cure for poor defense Friday night by holding Blanco scoreless in the second half for a 21-12 win.
The two teams were attempting to stay alive for a playoff spot in District 13-4A, Div. II at Stampede Stadium.
Florence and Blanco high schools were both 2-4 overall, 0-1 in District 13-4A, Div. II play. Florence improved to 3-4 overall, 1-1 in district play.
The Buffaloes were giving up nearly 40 points per game heading into the contest.
“The difference tonight was we played fast and didn’t second-guess ourselves,” coach Zane Bode said. “Every one of our dreams is still alive after this win.”
Florence senior quarterback C.J. Giddens did it all, scoring all three of his team’s touchdowns and a 2-point conversion.
Blanco jumped out to a lead in the first quarter.
Blanco running back Tristan Fortner scored on the team’s first drive. He went around the end for a 30-yard touchdown. The extra point attempt was no good, giving Blanco a 6-0 lead.
Giddens engineered a 13-play drive for a touchdown just before the end of the end of the first quarter. He scored from 7 yards out and junior kicker Johnny Jaimes nailed the extra point for a 7-6 Florence lead.
Blanco regained the lead on a 24-yard pass from quarterback Kelby Cox to Fortner at the 9:04 mark of the second quarter. The 2-point conversion failed, giving the Panthers a 12-7 lead at halftime.
Giddens gave Florence a 15-12 lead with a 4-yard run midway through the third quarter. He scored the 2-point conversion for the Buffaloes.
The Buffaloes scored at the 2:39 mark of the final quarter on a 1-yard run by Giddens.
Giddens finished with 135 rushing yards and 150 passing yards.
Defensively, Giddens and senior linebacker Justin Trussell each made seven tackles, with Giddens intercepting a pass. Junior Kelby Vaughan recorded five tackles and recovered a fumble for Florence.