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niceville
12-05-2009, 10:53 AM
This from the Northwest Florida Daily News (http://www.nwfdailynews.com/), Dec. 5, 2009:


Niceville wins shootout over Lincoln; headed to state semis

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December 04, 2009 6:43 PM

Travis Downey (travisd@nwfdailynews.com)
Daily News


TALLAHASSEE — The Niceville football team trudged through the muck, the mud and the Tallahassee Lincoln defense Friday night to stamp its ticket to the Final Four in Orlando.

Friday night’s Class 4A regional final witnessed top-ranked Niceville and Lincoln combine for over 900 yards of total offense and more lead changes than fans on either side could stomach.

But it was a late interception by Eagles’ defensive back Tanner Hansen that helped set up Niceville’s eventual 45-31 win at Gene Cox Stadium.

Niceville (12-0) will have to beat Orlando Edgewater to seal a berth at state. Edgewater defeated Tarpon Springs 41-20.

Having just scored on a 66-yard touchdown pass from Kyle McDorman to receiver Kody Williams, Niceville took a 38-31 lead with 5:19 remaining.

But just as it had all night long, Lincoln (9-4) would answer, marching to the Eagles’ 29 before Hansen made the play of his life, picking off Trojan quarterback Ryan White’s pass near the Eagles’ 18 and returning it deep into Lincoln territory.

Five plays later, Niceville running back Roy Finch ran it in from 14 yards out to give the Eagles their winning margin and cap a magnificent night in which the senior rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns while also returning a kickoff 97 yards for another score.
In total, Finch accumulated 343 all-purpose yards.

Niceville would need every last inch.

Faced with a 21-14 deficit at the half, Niceville’s defense forced a quick three-and-out before its offense responded with a 79-yard drive that was capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-12.

Niceville then took a 24-21 lead when freshman place-kicker Andrew Mitchell connected on a 34-yard field goal to give the Eagles their first lead since taking a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Lincoln knotted the score at 24-all on a 33-yard field goal by Carlos Gaston just a minute into the fourth quarter as the seesaw battle continued.

Niceville wasted little time in answering. Following a 31-yard pass to Williams, McDorman then handed it off to Finch, who gashed the Trojans’ defense for an 11-yard touchdown run and a 31-24 Eagles’ lead.

McDorman threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns, while Williams finished with seven catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns.