All posts by Nicholas Pierce

FAMU DRS Caps Off Another Perfect Season in District Play

Nick Pierce, Correspondent (@NickPierceFS on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – FAMU DRS held off a fourth quarter rally, holding on to beat NFC 85-81 in overtime. The win marked the second year in a row that the Baby Rattlers went undefeated in district play.

After building a 65-51 lead with just five minutes remaining in the game, FAMU DRS (13-9, 10-2) fell victim to a vicious Eagle rally. Andre Combs and Major Posey led NFC on a 15-4 scoring run. At one point during the run, the Eagles (6-14, 4-6) went to the free-throw line three times in just 37 seconds. Deandre McCray then made a layup with eight seconds remaining, tying the game at 74 and sending it to overtime.

“I thought that they came back on the free-throw line. We allowed them to get there too much, and that rattled our kids,” Baby Rattler coach Sean Crowe said. “It’s all part of the maturation process, though. We’re still a pretty young team and have some growing up to do.”

FAMU DRS took the lead for good after Chris Brown hit a three-pointer with 1:14 left in the overtime period. Brown then sealed the game by making a free-throw with seven seconds remaining, putting the Baby Rattlers up by two possessions.

“I think a big part of our success is that our players are just learning to play with each other,” Crowe said. “They’re getting comfortable with what I’m asking them to do. I know what they like and they know what I like, so it works.”

FAMU DRS trailed for almost the entirety of the first half. That changed when Posey was charged with a technical foul with 1:01 left in the second quarter. Baby Rattler guard Mekhi Yant was then sent to the line. Yant made all four of his free-throws and Brown drained a jumper on the ensuing possession. The six-point swing gave FAMU DRS a 37-36 halftime lead.

“Mekhi’s growing into the leadership role,” Crowe said. “He played great for us tonight. One of the things I’ve asked him to do is to teach the new guys how we do things. He’s done a really good job with that.”

The Baby Rattlers host Lincoln tomorrow night. The Eagles will take on Aucilla Christian Monday night.

Leading Scorers

FAMU DRS:

Mekhi Yant – 21

Marquis Davis – 19

Javion Johnson – 10

Chris Brown – 8

 

NFC:

Andre Combs – 16

Deandre McCray – 14

Trent Phillips – 13

Major Posey – 13

Victor Clark – 8

 

Lincoln Flexes Depth in Win over Wakulla

 

Nick Pierce, Correspondent

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Lincoln showed their depth in an 81-45 win over Wakulla on Wednesday night. In a game where the Trojans were without starting power forward Derrion Flukka, all of coach Dimitric Salters’ available players saw the court, and 12 of them scored for the Trojans.

“Games like this are always a good chance to develop younger players,” said Salters. “I’m really proud of my Senior Jabari Richardson and those guys who came off the bench. They got some rhythm going and were able to put up good shots.”

Salters’ squad got off to a fast start. Dwight Wilson led Lincoln on a 14-2 scoring run in the first 3:55 of the game. The James Madison signee had four points during that span, including an alley-oop dunk from Richardson.

The Trojans never looked back. Lincoln (14-1) forced Wakulla (10-9) to 19 of their 28 turnovers in the first half, sending them to a 33-21 halftime lead.

“Our goal was to force turnovers tonight,” said Salters. “We played some small ball for the first time. We tried to mix some things up because as we go down the road, we’ve got to find a way to generate some points.”

The Trojans lead got even larger in the second half. Behind a press defense that continued to force turnovers, Lincoln scored 33 points in the third quarter,

Evan Samuels then came off the bench in the fourth quarter. The Senior scored 11 points, including three three-pointers.

“We got some rhythm going in the second half,” said Salters. “We’re going to try some different things going forward. We’re working on some new things offensively. We want to pick up some more points. We want to be putting up 70 or 80 points a game. That fits us best.”

The Trojans travel to play Chiles on Friday night before facing Godby on Saturday in a highly anticipated matchup.

Top Scorers:

Lincoln:

Dwight Wilson – 15

Tionne Rollins – 15

Evan Samuels – 11

 

Wakulla:

Elexpe Johnson – 14

Richie McMullen – 9

 

 

 

 

 

Zim Nwokeji Leads Maclay to MLK Invitational Win

Nick Pierce, Correspondent (@NickPierceFS on Twitter)

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net.) – Zim Nwokeji scored 22 points and the Maclay Marauders held East Gadsden to just 15 second half points, winning a 41-39 thriller on the final game of the MLK Invitational.

Down 40-39 with 22.6 seconds remaining, two East Gadsden players forced a jump ball. The Jaguars won the possession arrow, giving them one last chance to take the lead. Maclay’s defense held strong, and Pace Wilson came down with the game clinching rebound. Wilson then made one of two free-throws with three seconds left, icing the game.

“We want to be prepared for every situation,” said Maurader coach Eugene Granger. “At the end of the season, if we make a run, any situation can come up, so close games like this are good for us.”

Maclay had a slow start to Monday night’s game and were held scoreless through the first 3:30 of the first quarter.

Things changed when Nwokeji came off the bench. Highlighted by a dunk assisted from Robert Parker-Crawford, the 6-foot-8 forward carried his team on a 16-5 scoring run over the next three minutes, putting the Marauders up 16-11 at the end of the first quarter.

Maclay struggled shooting the ball in quarter number two. East Gadsden’s aggressive defense held the Maruaders to just 2-10 from the field. The Jaguars went on an 11-1 run in the first six minutes, surging to a 24-23 halftime lead.

“Sometimes our shots go in, and sometimes they don’t,” said Granger. “But we’re not going to get discouraged. We’re still going to continue to put up shots.”

Nwokeji turned the tide once more in the third quarter. The Sophomore scored 11 of Maclay’s 13 points, giving the Mauraders a 36-30 lead.

“Nwokeji is a tall player,” said Granger. “He can do everything. Rebounding, finishing at the rim, you name it.”

The lead would not change for the rest of the game. East Gadsden was able to tie it at 39 with 1:15 remaining, but Nwokeji forced a foul on Maclay’s ensuing possession. He made one of two free-throws, putting the Marauders up for good.

Maclay travels to face Port St. Joe tomorrow night. The Marauders won the pair’s last meeting 61-40.

 

 

 

FSU Women’s Basketball Nearly Ends UConn’s Win Streak

Nick Pierce, Correspondent, @NickPierceFS on Twitter

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – The UConn Huskies came into the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center Monday night without having lost since November 17, 2014. To make matters worse for FSU, the Seminoles were missing their starting point guard and star player, Leticia Romero. None of this phased Sue Semrau’s squad, as the Seminoles took the Huskies to the wire, falling just short in a 78-76 loss.

“It’s been a growth process,” said Semrau. “We didn’t have a good first game, but these guys came back into this game and worked extremely hard. We were all over them in the defensive end.”

UConn came into the game with more talent than their counterparts, but FSU was able to surge to a 34-30 halftime lead. After the tip-off, it became clear that the Seminoles were the scrappier team. FSU wasn’t afraid to get into the Huskies faces and forced 10 turnovers and seven steals in the first half alone. The Seminoles also had nine offensive rebounds in the first half, while holding UConn to only two.

All of this should have translated to a larger halftime lead for FSU, but the Seminoles had trouble shooting the ball. UConn held them to just 28% from the field in the first half, which kept the Huskies in the game.

“That whole first half was a huge struggle for us to get anything done,” said UConn coach Geno Auriemma. “Obviously, the Florida State kids had everything to do with that. They were incredibly aggressive in every phase of the game.”

FSU extended their lead in the first minute of the third quarter after Brittany Brown (who switched to point guard because of Romero’s absence) intercepted a UConn pass and took the ball down the court for a layup. She was fouled on the shot and made the ensuing free-throw to give the Seminoles a 37-30 lead. Brown finished the game with 16 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

“I’m pretty confident in my ability to play point guard,” said Brown. “It’s something that we’ve been working on all Summer. I think it shows how versatile we can be as a team.”

The Huskies were quick to respond, however. Soniya Chong led UConn on a 14-2 scoring run to give the Huskies a 44-37 lead with 5:24 left in the third quarter. FSU held strong, though, and tied the game at 44 a minute-and-a-half later, after Ivey Slaughter made a layup. Katie Lou Samuelson then scored five points in the final two minutes, giving the Huskies a 51-47 lead at the end of the quarter.

The game stayed close through the entirety of the fourth quarter. The Huskies took their largest lead of the game after Chong hit a 3-pointer with 2:34 left to play, making it 73-65 UConn. The Seminoles roared back, though, and cut the Husky lead to 75-74 after Imani Wright drained a three with 43 seconds to play. Wright finished the game with 25 points, 14 of which came in the second half.

FSU forced Napheesa Collier to miss a tough jump shot on the following UConn possession, but the Huskies got on offensive rebound, forcing the Seminoles to foul. Collier made both free throws to put UConn up by 3. Collier was game’s leading scorer with 28 points on the night.

Brown then took the ball up the court for the Seminoles and was fouled twice. She knew another one was coming, so she fired up a three when Kia Nurse reached in for a foul. The play sent Brown to the charity strike and Nurse to the bench, as she fouled out.

“Geno did the smart thing by fouling and trying to take some time off the clock,” said Semarau, “But Brittany had the presence of mind to know that was going to happen and go up and get that opportunity.”

Brown made her first two free-throws but missed the third. FSU was able to get an offensive rebound, but Shakayla Thomas’ shot was blocked by Collier. The Seminoles had one more chance to win the game, after Crystal Dangerfield missed a free throw, but Wright’s buzzer beating three rimmed out.

 

 

Sean Maguire Shines on Senior Night

Nick Pierce, Correspondent

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – FSU honored 14 Seniors on Friday night during their 45-7 victory over Boston College. Among them were Demarcus Walker, Bobo Wilson, Kermit Whitfield, and Sean Maguire.

Walker had a solid outing against the Eagles. The defensive end helped hold Boston College to only 7 points by recording three tackles, one-and-a-half tackles for loss, and a half sack. Walker has 11 sacks on the season, which is the most in the FBS.

Quarterback Sean Maguire didn’t start the game for FSU, but he did see the field. Late in the third quarter, after Deondre Francois drove the Seminoles deep into Eagle territory, the Redshirt Senior came off the bench and threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Auden Tate.

“I was extremely happy with Sean,” said FSU coach Jimbo Fisher. “His parents oughta be the proudest parents in the world. That guy right there is the salt of the earth. Whatever you ask him to do, he’ll do it.”

Maguire continued to play quarterback for the rest of the game. Midway through the fourth quarter, Maguire led FSU on a five play, 41-yard drive. He connected with fellow Senior Freddie Stevenson on 1st and goal from the Boston College six. The fullback then lumbered into the end zone for a touchdown. Maguire finished the game 5-7 for 53 yards and two touchdowns.

“It was great to go out there and play,” said Maguire. “It was fun to be in the huddle and get the fist bumps from the lineman, because I played with them last year. It was a pretty special night.”

Maguire was FSU’s starting quarterback for the second half of the 2015 season, where he completed 112 of 189 passes for 1,520 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Excluding those returning for a fifth year, this group of Seniors are the last players who were a part of the 2013 National Championship team. They’ve brought a lot to FSU football, and will be missed.

FSU Basketball Finishes Preseason with a Win

Nick Pierce, Correspondent

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – Florida State simply overpowered Valdosta State on Thursday night, beating the Blaze 104-76 in the Seminoles final preseason matchup.

Valdosta State kept the score close for the first ten minutes of the game, but eventually, FSU just proved to be too athletic. The Seminoles busted the game open with a 20-4 scoring run, giving them a 45-25 lead with 4:47 left in the first half.

FSU had a significant height advantage over the Blaze. This allowed for the Seminoles to score 38 points in the paint during the first half alone, while only giving up four. The faster FSU team also scored 21 points off of turnovers in the first half, while only giving up 5. All of this gave way to a 58-32 Seminole lead at halftime.

Not much changed in the second half. FSU kept scoring points and maintained a double-digit lead. The defense, however, struggled at times to stop Valdosta State, as they gave up 34 points in the final half of play.

“We gave up too many uncontested shots tonight, but I expect us to do better in the future,” said FSU coach Leonard Hamilton. “Tonight’s performance showed that we have a tremendous amount of talent, but it’s still a work in progress.”

Jonathan Isaac led the way for the Seminoles, as the Freshman scored 20 points in only 19 minutes of play. Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Dwayne Bacon added 14 and 13 points, respectively.

FSU opens regular season play Saturday, November 12. They will host Charleston Southern at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.

NFC BREAKS LOSING STREAK IN BLOWOUT OVER FAMU-DRS

Atalya Santos, Correspondent

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – On a cold fall night, the NFC Eagles took on the Baby Rattlers of FAMU-DRS.

With a fast-paced start, Eagle running back Terrell Powell charged into the end zone for the first touchdown of the night. On this drive, NFC stuck to its game plan, methodically moving up the field with continued running plays. Keeping the FAMU offense on the sidelines for as long as possible, the drive lasted over five minutes.

The starting QB for NFC, J.D. Jerry, threw for 103 yards in the first quarter and secured a 14-0 lead by its end.

“We really went back and focused on our basic things,” said NFC coach Steve Price. “We talked about tackling well, good defensive pursuit, blocking to the whistle, blocking on the perimeter, and protecting the football. If we do those five things well, we win.”

In the second quarter, NFC continued to successfully execute its game plan. They did not hold back on the night of their homecoming game and an onslaught ensued.

Just three minutes into the quarter, Jerry executed a beautiful pass to Powell, who found the end zone again, raising the score to 20-0.

Aside from blocking the next extra point, the FAMU defense could not stop the Eagles.

Before the half was over, the Eagles scored twice more. With 6:47 remaining, senior running back, Jamal Harris, scored on a five yard rush. With just seconds left in the half, sophomore wide receiver Deangelo Mitchell followed up with another touchdown.

The result was a 35-0 halftime lead for NFC.

Entering the second half, senior Ja’Varius Harrison added more points on the score board for NFC, while the Baby Rattlers remained scoreless.

However, going into the final quarter, the Baby Rattlers managed to score a touchdown and even complete a two-point conversion.

With a final score of 47-8, the NFC Eagles soared to victory. After the game, Coach Price was looking to the future. “It’s been a tough month of October” he said. “We faced a lot of adversity, but the guys are starting to come together at the right time and we’re looking for a good playoff push.”

Rickards Wins District Title for First Time in 15 Years

Alec Chessari, Correspondent

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net) – The Rickards Raiders claimed a district title for the first time in 15 years. Rickards defeated the Godby Cougars 34-14, extending their win streak to 7.

“Its amazing man, but hats go off to these players for putting in the work since January,” said Raiders coach Quinton Lewis.

Rickards played arguably their worst half of football this season but were still tied going into halftime.  Penalties and missed throws really hurt the Raiders early, but defense and special teams got them right back in the ball game. In the middle of the second quarter Javon Wooten fielded a punt and took it 85 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders tied the game at 14 after a successful 2-point conversion.

“We just don’t quit, we try and earn respect from everybody and that takes us working hard and that never give up attitude and we call that the raider way,” said Lewis.

The Raiders came out of halftime ready to play.  Anfernee Simmons intercepted Godby quarterback Kevin Shuler’s pass and took it 57 yards to the end zone for a touchdown.

Early in the third quarter, DJ Philips threw a nice pass to Marcus Riley on third down. Riley took it 89 yards for a touchdown, giving Rickards their first lead of the night at 21-14.  On third and long, with 6:50 left in the game, Phillips dropped back for a pass but decided to keep it for a QB sneak. He tip-toed down the sidelines and burst down the field for a 70-yard touchdown to put the Raiders up 34-14.

“You saw guys step up and make plays, we had a big interception, a punt return and a long run by the QB and it just don’t get any better,” said Lewis.

Rickards will be on the road next week against Chiles. Kickoff will be at 7.

Notable Raider Stats:

Offense:

DJ Phillips – 5 carries 102 rushing yards 1 TD, 8/21 188 passing yards 1 TD

Destin Coates – 17 carries 95 yards

Jaden Merritt – 7 caries 61 yards 1 TD

Marcus Riley –  5 receptions 136 yards 1 TD

Defense:

Tavyn Jackson –  6 Tackles 1 pass break up

Melvin Bolton –  6 tackles

Anfernee Simmons –  3 tackles 1 sack 1 interception 57-yard TD

Wakulla Too Good for NFC

Nick Pierce, Correspondent

Tallahassee FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net)-Wakulla proved to be too much for NFC  on Friday night. The War Eagles held NFC to less than 170 yards of offense in route to a 42-3 road victory.

Wakulla made the most of the first half. After Jason McCarl threw an interception on their first drive of the night, the War Eagles bounced back and scored touchdowns on their next four possessions. Jaylon Worsham, Demarcus Lindsey, Chris Beverly, and Brandon Berry all found the end zone for Wakulla, giving the War Eagles a 28-0 lead at the half.

Not much changed in the second half. Wakulla’s offensive line continued to control the game after a running clock was instituted. Derek Allen scored a 68-yard rushing touchdown on a read-option keeper during the War Eagle’s second drive of the half.

“Our offensive line has been getting better every week,” said Wakulla coach Scott Klees. “We only had one returner from last year, but he got hurt in the beginning of the year and missed the first six games. He played tonight, so we’re glad to get him back. I was very happy with the way we came out. We had a tough loss last week and our guys bounced back up, so I was really pleased with the physical part of our game.”

On NFC’s next possession, Cephus Greene  intercepted quarterback J.D. Jerry. The defensive back returned the ball 60+ yards for another War Eagle touchdown. Greene had two interceptions on the night.

“He (Greene) is fast,” said Klees. “He’s a hard-nosed, young kid. He had a couple picks tonight and returned one for a touchdown, so we’re very proud of Cephus.”

It was a big night for Wakulla. The War Eagles amassed 305 yards of offense, 204 of which came on the ground. While that’s less than their 287 yard rushing average, it was more than enough to get the job done.

Wakulla hosts Arlington Country Day next Friday. NFC will play FAMU DRS.

Defense Leads Chiles to Win over Santa Fe

Nick Pierce, Correspondent

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net)  After dropping two close games in a row, the Chiles Timberwolves got  back in rhythm Friday night, beating the Santa Fe Raiders 17-6.

“This was pretty much a must-win for us,” said Chiles coach Garrett Jahn. “Just from the standpoint of getting positive in the field house. If you were to lose this one, you go 1-5, and then you might start losing your locker room.”

The Timberwolves (2-4, 0-1) dominated defensively through four quarters. They held the run-oriented Raiders (2-4, 1-1) to only 99 yards of offense, holding them scoreless in the process. Santa Fe’s only points of the night came from a 56-yard interception return by Julien Cromwell for a touchdown.

“Our defense has stopped the run all year, so we knew we could do it tonight,” said Jahn. “This was our first Wing-T team we played, so we had to play really good assignment football, and we did that. We knew that if we were able to shut down the run game and try to make them do some gimmicky passes and stuff like that, we felt pretty good defensively.”

The first half was slow for both teams. The only score came from Chiles kicker Jack Meyer, who made a chip shot field goal with 2:14 to play in the second quarter.

The Timberwolves were able to create more separation in the second half. On Santa Fe’s first drive of the half, Nicholas Simmons picked off Raider quarterback Julien Cromwell. The defensive lineman returned it 56-yards for the first touchdown of the night.

Chiles’ offense also had more success in the second half. Quarterback Avery Thomas connected with Kamari Brown on a deep post-route for 42-yards. The play set up the Timberwolves at the Santa Fe 14 yard-line.

“Kamari Brown is a pretty fast kid,” said Jahn. “He can jump pretty high and has good height. He dropped a touchdown earlier tonight, but he redeemed himself and caught a great ball in the second half.”

Four plays later, on 4th down from the 10, Thomas threw a fade to the left corner of the end zone. Kris Reed came down with the ball to extend the Timberwolves lead to 17-0. Reed, who splits reps as a running back and wide receiver, had 95 total yards on the night.

“We knew offensively that we were going up against hard-hitting, fast guys, so we knew it was going to be a challenge, but we moved the ball pretty good all night,” said Jahn. “We had one deflected pass that got picked off, but other than that, I thought we had a pretty good overall football game.”

Chiles travels to Panama City next Friday to play Rutherford before taking on Leon the following week for their final district game of the season.

Defense Leads Rickards to Win over Wakulla

Alec Chessari, Correspondent

Tallahassee, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net)-Rickards’ defense was on another level tonight. The Raiders hadn’t beaten Wakulla since 2013, but they came out on top Friday night, winning a 29-21 dog fight.

“Keep battling and keep believing in each other and good things will happen and that showed tonight,” said Raider coach Quinton Lewis.

The Raiders got off to a good start driving the ball down the field on the opening possession.  They drove to the Wakulla 8-yard line, but quarterback DJ Philips fumbled into the end zone. The ball went out of bounds for a touch back.  The War Eagles then took the ball down the field and scored a touchdown. After a two-point conversion, it was 8-0 Wakulla.

After the opening touchdown, the Raiders defense wasn’t having any of what the War Eagles wanted.  Every time it looked like Wakulla had an easy drive, Rickards would bounce back and give the ball back to the offense.  They made crucial 4th down stops and didn’t let the War Eagles QB have an effective night throwing the ball.  Also, Tavyn Jackson came up with 2 huge interceptions to get the Raiders back on track.

Destin Coates had another great night against a big and strong Wakulla defense.  He didn’t get the ball too much in the first half but came up with the last 2 touchdowns to seal the game. Coates carried the ball twenty times for 103 yards and 3 touchdowns.

“Let’s feed that guy (Coates), we didn’t feed him much in the first half but he showed why he’s a great running back,” said Coach Lewis.

Rickards plays Godby next week at Gene-Cox Stadium

 

Notable Rickards Stats

Offense

DJ Phillips 13/20 148yds 1TD

Destin Coates 20 carries 103yds 3TD

Javon Wooten 6 rec 40yds 1 TD

Marcus Riley 3 rec 82yds

Defense

Tavyn Jackson 8 tackles 2 INT

Deandre Glover 6 tackles

Javon Peterson 9 tackles

Anfernee Simmons 5 tackles

Record 6-1 (1-0)

FSU 20 Miami 19 Recap

Samuel Profeta, Correspondant

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (franchisesportsonline.net)-Florida State and The University of Miami is arguably one of the biggest rivalries in college football. It’s a rivalry that has been going on for decades and decades to come.

Whenever these two teams meet, it always draws lots of viewers. Their 2006 game is the most watched college football game in ESPN history. Miami leads the rivalry 31-30, but Florida Sate has dominated in recent years. On Saturday night in Miami, the Seminoles extended their streak over the Hurricanes to 7. DeMarcus Walker blocked Miami’s extra point attempt that would have tied that game at 20 with less than two minutes to go.

Overall it was a good game for Deondre Francois and the Seminoles, as the redshirt Freshman went 20-31 for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dalvin Cook also had a big night for Florida State, as the Miami native amassed 150 yards on 27 carries. Cook also had a 59-yard reception for FSU’s first touchdown of the night.

 

The Seminoles came into the game ranked #23, but should make a significant jump in the rankings after beating #10 Miami on the road.