It was the end of a historic season for the Oak Hall Eagles Friday night, as they fell to Trinity Christian Academy 35-7 in their first FHSAA playoff appearance since 1979.

While Oak Hall (6-6) had shown flashes of offensive dominance throughout the season, the gritty defense along with a solid ground attack from Trinity Christian Academy (7-4) would prove to be too much for Oak Hall to handle.

An interception by Trinity Christian Academy’s Nick Myers helped set the visiting Eagles up for a 39-yard double reverse touchdown run by John Davila to give Trinity Christian Academy a 6-0 lead with seven seconds left in the quarter.

Oak Hall had a chance to respond early in the second quarter after a fumbled punt return by Trinity Christian Academy set up the home Eagles with the football on the visitors' 29-yard line. Oak Hall, however, failed to take advantage when it missed a field goal.

Trinity Christian Academy extended its lead on its next possession following a 44-yard run from John Davila that set up a 7-yard rushing touchdown from senior running back Jacob Mullee.

 Trinity Christian Academy scored once more late in the second quarter after junior quarterback Denzel Chatman connected with Jalen Wilson for a 21-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead at the half.

Despite trailing at the half, Oak Hall fans still had plenty to celebrate when JP Dallazan was awarded with the John Williams “Kicker of the Year” Award for FACA District 7, becoming the first player from the school to receive the honor.

Oak Hall finally reached the end zone in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard TD pass from quarterback Cole Gonzales to Andrew Pickens.

“The kids were really just resilient, and they kept fighting and never quit, which is all I can ask for as a coach,” Oak Hall interim coach RJ Fuhr said. “I told the guys that our goal was to make it to the first round, and now our goal is to win the first round. That has to be our goal when we’re lifting, when we’re running and when we’re working in the offseason." 

Lafayette 34, Union County 30: At Mayo, junior quarterback Jaxson Beach led the Hornets on a 50-yard drive late and scored on a 12-yard run with 27.2 seconds remaining to lift Lafayette (7-3) to the Region 3-1A semifinals at top-ranked Madison County (9-1).

"We'll enjoy this one," Lafayette coach Joey Pearson said. "Things looked bleak when we fumbled with about a minute and 10 seconds left, but we kept fighting, kept our composure and pulled it out in the clutch."

Beach also scored on a 5-yard run and tossed TD passes of 45 yards to Richy James and 15 yards to Ben Massey. Beach finished by completing 15 of 25 passes for 150 yards, rushing for 91 yards on 21 carries and kicking four extra points.

Running back Garris Edwards rushed 19 times for 126 yards and scored on a 5-yard run for Lafayette.

Union County's season ends at 5-6. 

Lake Wales 25, Gainesville 14: At Lake Wales, Johnny Richardson rushed for 210 yards on 30 attempts, leading Lake Wales to the win over Gainesville in the 6A regional quarterfinal.

Richardson scored from 24 yards in the first quarter providing the Highlanders (10-1) their first lead of the game. The Highlanders then ran a direct snap to Richardson on the conversion attempt and he worked his way into the end zone for an 8-0 lead with 3:21 remaining.

Trailing 14-11 late in the third quarter, Richardson scored again, this time from 27 yards out. The point after was blocked and Lake Wales held a 17-14 lead.

Only three plays later, Gainesville quarterback Luke Matthews dropped back, and looked left, attempting a wheel route along the left sideline.

However, Highlanders defensive back Daniel Everett read the play perfectly, broke on the ball and sprinted down the sideline for a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown pushing Lake Wales ahead by two scores 25-14.

Lake Wales then turned to Richardson to eat up the clock with bruising runs between the tackles in the final quarter. Richardson responded having rushes of 10, 11 and 8 yards.

Coach Tavaris Johnson was pleased with his team’s playoff win.

“I thought our team really came together tonight,” he said. “We played hard in all three phases of the game, made some big plays, got the big turnover and did not turn it over ourselves. I am proud of our team and proud of our coaching staff as well.”

Gainesville (7-4) concludes its season, while the Highlanders now advance to the regional semifinal Friday, when they travel to Ocala Vanguard, a 35-7 winner over Sebring.

— Lakeland Ledger

Pensacola Catholic 49, Fort White 34: At Arrowhead Stadium, the visitors from Northwest Florida turned it on in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Indians. Every time the Crusaders (6-5) would score, the Indians would tie it up until late in the third quarter when it became a 28-21 game. Senior Stanley Maxwell scored four touchdowns for Fort White on runs of 3, 2, 8 and 10 yards and quarterback Dylan Blair connected with Rahman Paul for a 49-yard score in the third quarter but it wasn't enough. Fort White's season ends at 8-3.

Oak Hall; 0;0;0;7—7


TCA- John Davila 39 run (kick failed)

TCA- Jacob Mullee 7 run (2-point conversion)

TCA- Denzel Chatman 21 pass from Denzel Chatman (Nick Myers kickl)

TCA- Jacob Mullee 5 pass from Denzel Chatman (Myers kick)

OH- Andrew Pickens 9 pass from Cole Gonzales (JP Dallazan kick)

TCA- Erik Freeman 19 run (Myers kickl)