The second one was a first.
All Saints Academy picked up its second-consecutive Sunshine State Athletic Conference Football Championship Series title Monday night when it topped Fort Myers Canterbury School for the second-straight year in the title game — this time 25-14.
It was the first time in league history a team won back-to-back FCS titles.
“The difference in the game was our was our seniors. They had a player-only meeting before the game and they were determined to leave with the victory,” said All Saints first-year head coach Stuart Weiss, who took over for Rob Hollway before the start of the season.
All Saints (5-5) had dropped a 21-0 game to Canterbury (4-3), the league’s top-seeded team, earlier this season and the Cougars jumped out to a 7-0 on the Saints in the title game.
But Saints sophomore quarterback Carl Christensen hit Jack Garcia with a 6-yard touchdown pass to pull the Saints within one after the 2-point conversion attempt failed. Garcia finished the game with six catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
And with just two ticks left on the first-half clock, Saints sophomore Luke Greenman forced and recovered a Canterbury fumble and returned it for the go-ahead, 12-7, halftime score.
All Saints extended the lead to 18-7 in the third quarter when Garcia hauled in a 60-yard touchdown pass from Christensen.
After Canterbury closed the gap to 18-14, All Saints marched 70 yards on a scoring drive culminated with a Jack Martin 1-yard touchdown plunge. The Saints converted on their first point-after attempt of the game to cap the scoring a 25-14.
Canterbury’s desperation drive at the end was ended when the Saints forced and recovered a fumble on the 2-yard line to seal the championship.
The Saints also got a solid running game from XZavious Mathis, who rushed for more than a 100 yards.
“Christensen managed the game well and completed 80 percent of his throws, with two TDs and no interceptions, and the defense forced three fumbles and was tenacious all game,” Weiss said.
Article originally from The Ledger.