Wildcats hold off Samson for homecoming victory, 28-14

Published 11:07 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

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The Florala Wildcats got off to a fast start against the Samson Tigers on their way to a 28-14 victory on homecoming night.

The victory lifts Florala to a 4-1 overall record midway through the season, an improvement from a season ago when the Wildcats managed only three wins. While Samson was a non-region opponent, Florala is 2-1 in 1A Region 2.

After a short kickoff, Samson began the game with good field position, but the Wildcat defense held them at the 20 on a fourth down play.

Taking over, Florala began a long, run-heavy drive featuring quarterback Rayshon Coleman and senior John Howell. Howell’s 24-yard run into Samson territory was the longest play of the drive. On the 2-yard line, senior Johan Zamora got the call and found the end zone. Dalton Jackson’s point-after made the score 7-0 with 3:16 to go in the first.

The Wildcat defense made quick work of Samson on the following possession, forcing a three-and-out.

Taking control after the punt at their own 36, Coleman went to the air and found senior Zane Weeks for a 22-yard gain across the midfield. A few plays later, Coleman went to the air again, this time finding another senior, Colby Strickland, for a 21-yard touchdown. Weeks added the point-after lifting Florala to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The Wildcats made several big errors in the game that likely kept Samson in the game. After forcing another three-and-out, the Samson punt was touched by a Wildcat and then recovered by the Tigers at the Florala 28. They quickly capitalized scoring on the first play, cutting the lead to 14-7.

Weeks quickly made up that score when he returned the kickoff about 73 yards. The point-after missed as Florala held a 20-7 lead.

The Wildcat defense once again held Samson on a three-and-out and they took control at their own 37. Coleman started the possession with an 18-yard gain followed by a 19-yard pickup by Zamora. A few plays later, Howell picked up 13 yards to the 2-yard line and would finish it himself on the next play, scoring what would prove to be Florala’s final score of the night.

Penalties and two fumbles slowed Florala in the second half, but the Wildcat defense kept Samson in check for the most part, giving up one touchdown in the second half leading to the final of 28-14.

Florala returns to region play next week, traveling to Houston County (0-6).