History was made Friday night at Flanagan.
Behind a suffocating defensive performance that forced three turnovers, the Falcons blasted Cypress Bay 35-13 for their first win over the Lightning.
More importantly, it was a huge district win and improved the Falcons to 4-0 on the season.
“To come out and win a big district game against a formidable opponent — it’s a huge win,” Flanagan coach Devin Bush said. “This was a huge hurdle. Every year we were coming so close. It feels so good.”
Trailing 11-6 at halftime, Flanagan turned up the pressure and took advantage of Cypress Bay mistakes.
After being forced to punt to open the second half, Cypress Bay’s Chris Maxwell inadvertently ran into the punted ball. The Falcons recovered at the Cypress Bay 29-yard line and then connected on a 29-yard touchdown pass by Ryan Stanley to Emonee Spence. Chris Nealy caught the two-point conversion pass from Stanley for a 14-11 lead.
It was all Falcons defense from there. Flanagan defensive end Richard Clausen was relentless off the edges and was a fixture in the Cypress Bay backfield. He recorded three sacks and had a number of pressures.
Late in the third quarter, Clausen forced a fumble that was recovered by Flanagan’s Deonte Williams at midfield and returned to the Cypress Bay 15-yard line.
Three plays later, Nealy scored his second touchdown of the night as the home crowd erupted knowing it was watching history in the making.
Bush was able to relive one of his greatest football playing moments through his son. Devin Bush Jr. put the game away early in the fourth quarter. He stepped in front of a Conor Miller pass and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown and a 28-11 lead.
“I was in Cover 2 so I had to stay outside, but something told me cheat over,” he said. “I cheated over and he threw it right to me. I was not trying to get caught. It’s the most amazing feeling ever. We worked so hard in the summer. It finally paid off. I am so happy for my boys.”
At the same time, the elder Bush was standing on the sidelines trying to hold in the emotions of a father as his son made the play of the game, but it was difficult.
“It just reminds me of the FSU-Miami game when I got the pick and took it back for a touchdown,” the elder Bush said. “To make that type of play to put us in the position to put the game away. Coach and then dad, you wrestle with both of those emotions. I am just happy for that kid. I am so proud of him.”
Cypress Bay (1-2, 0-1) was led by Dylan Rupert, who rushed 18 times for 113 yards and a touchdown.