Flanagan wins 1st State Championship in school history
ORLANDO -- Pembroke Pines Flanagan used a stout defense and 2 touchdowns by Jahcour Pearson to beat Kissimmee Osceola 26-7 for Florida's Class 8A State Championship. The championship marks the 1st State Championship in Charles W. Flanagan High School's short history.
Flanagan Falcons' QB Kato Nelson passed for 201 yards 2 passing TD, and also added a team-high 64 yards on the ground. Nelson's primary target was Jahcour Pearson, who used his quickness for game-highs of 7 catches, 90 yards, and 2 big TDs in the second quarter. Isaiah Collins and Dredrick Snelson both reeled in 3 passes. Falcons' RB Faion Hicks added more balance in the run game, rushing for 41 yards on 11 carries, and a big 21 yard TD with only 1:37 in the 4th quarter to put the game out of reach.
Flanagan had an amazing journey. The Falcons came into 2015 expecting to be 8A champs, but suffered a few hiccups early in the season. South Plantation shocked Flanagan in Week 3 of the season, edging the Falcons 13-12 in their first district game. Although a tough loss to swallow, the Falcons rebounded by dominating their remaining 5 district opponents by outscoring them 192-13, claiming the District 8A-12. After claiming the district title, the Falcons suffered their only other blemish, a close 19-14 loss to fellow Broward County powerhouse and back-to-back Class 7A State Champs St. Thomas Aquinas. Falcons finished their regular season 7-2. Next goal for the Falcons: Avenge their 2014 State Semifinal loss to Christopher Columbus. The Falcons and the Explorers would once meet again in the State Semi, but the tables were turned. The Falcons prevailed 30-16, beating Columbus and sending the Falcons to face Kissimmee Osceola in the 2015 8A State Final game, ultimately to prevail as the state's best Class 8A football team.
D WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Flanagan's "Donut Boys" have come up big all season. They received the nickname because they put zeros on the scoreboard for opponents. The Flanagan Defense has 6 DEFENSIVE SHUTOUTS and have only allowed 90 points in 14 games this season.
The Falcons held a highly touted Kissimmee Osceola running game, who came into the game with 4 running backs over 799 yards, to only 7 points and just one pass completion. And those 7 points were too much. Flanagan Head Coach Devin Bush, Sr., who starred on defense as a player, was visibly upset that his #DirtyBirdz allowed Kissimmee Osceola 7 points in the 8A State Final, as he wanted to pitch another defensive shutout to put a stamp on Flanagan's historic 2015 season.
After Kissimmee Osceola's 1st (and only) TD on Malcolm Davidson's 45 yard run in the 1st quarter, Flanagan's defense held Osceola to 0 points on the Kowboy's final 11 possessions.
Devin Gil, a University of Michigan commit, led all players with 12 tackles. Jordan Eubanks delivered a complete defensive performance with 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 3 tackles for losses. Devin Bush, Jr. had 7 tackles, and a BIG lead block on RB Faion Hicks 4th quarter TD run. Michigan commit Josh Metellus added 6 tackles and a sack.
Star defensive back Stanford Samuels III sealed the win for the Falcons with a pick 6 27 yards. Samuels, like Devin Bush Jr., is also a legacy player, the son of former Florida State defensive back Stanford Samuels, who is also Flanagan Falcons co-defensive coordinator.
Flanagan Head Coach Devin Bush, Sr. is a winner on all levels. Bush has won titles as a collegiate player, NFL player, and now as a high school head coach.
Flanagan head coach Devin Bush, Sr. is a winner on all levels. Bush Sr., an All-American star defensive back from Hialeah Miami Lakes HS, won a national championship in Florida State Seminoles' historic 1993 season. Bush, a 1st round draft pick by the in 1995, also won Super Bowl XXXIV with the St. Louis Rams ("Greatest Show on Turf"). Now Bush has another championship, as a high school head coach, lending his talent, experience, and knowledge of the game to young men striving for greatness, embodied in Flanagan's 1st school title.
The win is monumental for the Flanagan community, but also personal for head coach Devin Bush, Sr.. Bush, with son Devin Bush, Jr., is now part of an exclusive group of head coach and son duos to win a state championship together. Other coaches include Tim "Ice" Harris, Sr., who coached his son Treon Harris to 2 state titles at Miami Booker T. Washington, and Apopka head coach Rick Darlington, whose son Zack, led his Blue Darters to a 8A State Championship season in 2012.
MIDAS TOUCH: DREDRICK SNELSON WINS 4 STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
"Every thing that he touches, turns to Gold"
Flanagan WR Dredrick Nelson may be the only player in Florida high school history to win a State Championship all four years at three different schools. Snelson won his 1st state championship at Miami Booker T. Washington. His second and third titles were at Plantation American Heritage. Snelson finished off a stellar career by helping to guide the Flanagan Falcons to their only State Championship. Snelson is expected to sign with Minnesota.
Laderrien Wilson eclipses 2000 yards
-Kissimmee Osceola running back Laderrien Wilson came into the 8A State Final with 1,982 yards. He finished the game with 99 yards, thus finishing season with 2,081 yards on 237 carries with 22 TDs.
CLASS 8A STATE CHAMPION: FLANAGAN FALCONS
CLASS 8A STATE RUNNER-UP: Kissimmee Osceola Kowboys