FLORENCE — The Florence Buffaloes were trying to make history Friday night by winning the school’s first district title in football since 1958, but the Lexington Eagles showed why they came into the game with one of the best offenses in the state.
The Eagles racked up 602 yards of offense and captured the 13-3A, Division II title by winning 60-8.
“Our kids battled all game,” said head coach Zane Bode. “They never put their heads down. Yeah, we weren’t the best tonight, but man, they battled all game.”
After the Eagles went up 7-0, Florence linebacker Landon Byrne sacked Lexington quarterback Walker Hess for a 6-yard loss on first-and-10 from the Eagle 41-yard line.
However, Lexington found the end zone six plays later on Nic Dillon’s 15-yard touchdown run.
Dillon ended the night with five rushing touchdowns and 291 rushing yards.
The Buffs found paydirt 30 seconds before halftime when quarterback CJ Giddens found receiver Martin Quenga over the middle for a 31-yard catch and run.
Giddens called his own number for the two-point conversion.
Quenga concluded the evening with two catches for 42 yards. He was the leading receiver for the Buffaloes.
For most of the game Lexington (8-2, 5-0) bottled up and contained Buffs running back Edel Hernandez.
“They are very talented defensively,” Bode said. “They load the box with eight or nine guys and they go straight man coverage out there. And their secondary is explosive.”
On the first Florence play of the second half, on their own 29-yard line, Hernandez broke through the Eagle defense and raced all the way to the Lexington 12 for a 59yard scamper, his longest of the game.
Hernandez finished with 91 yards on 14 carries.
The drive ended, however, on an interception.
Florence (5-5, 3-2) now moves on to the playoffs, and something not many in the town have ever experienced.
“I think we are going to be competitive in the playoffs, and you have to have that mindset if you are going to be successful,” Bode said.
With Blanco losing to Rogers and Comfort defeating Johnson City, the Buffaloes will be the second seed and play Tidehaven in the bi-district round next week, according to Bode.
Giddens threw for 111 yards in the game.
Zach Pluhar caught two balls for 29 yards, while Matthew Edgar hauled in two for 23 yards.