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November 2, 2013
PENSACOLA - Billed in the pregame as the main event in the Florida Panhandle (and state for that matter) on Friday Night, West Florida Tech and Pensacola Catholic squared-up on the gridiron in a heavyweight matchup for the District 1-5A Championship with Catholic pulling off the victory 31-13 in front of thousands of fans in the stands and encircled around the fences of Bullock Field.
The Crusaders tallied 31 unanswered points after falling behind 13-0 within the first four minutes and eight plays of the ballgame thanks to the connection of Jaguars QB Joey Baker to WR Lawrence Lee, hitting the Missouri-commit on the second play from scrimmage for an 80yd pass; then it was Baker blasting in from a yard out to put worried looks on the faces of those sitting in the Pensacola Catholic stands.
Once Catholic got their footing however (literally and figuratively) on the damp and cool night, it was QB Cody Henry helping orchestrate a 14-play, 90yd drive that took over 9 minutes to bring Pensacola Catholic within six.
On the Jaguars ensuing possession, Baker hit WR Chris Mitchell across the middle, but the Western Kentucky commit was stripped of the ball by Catholic's Delvin Purifoy with the 2014 Florida State commit recovering the miscue and setting the Crusaders up inside the Jaguars 40yd-line.
West Florida thwarted the Catholic push on the next series however and took a 13-7 halftime lead, but was at the Crusaders 18 when Baker uncharacteristically tossed up a jump ball, which was intercepted in the end zone by CB/RB Jeremy Reaves.
After the intermission, both teams traded punts until Catholic scored the go ahead TD to make it 14-13 with just over three minutes left in the 3rd Quarter on Henry's 3yd bull-rush. The Jags began their next drive down just one on the board, but it took just one play from scrimmage for Catholic to get the ball back as Baker and Lee seemed crossed up in communication on the slant and go; this time it was DB Simeon Smiley for Catholic getting in the way and one minute later, it was Henry going up top to the lanky Dajuan Moorer from 27yds out to put the Crusaders ahead 21-13.
Once again, it was Baker's turn to get his team's offense back on track and get the crowd that had digressed to a point of stunned silence on the field and in the stands. With the Jaguars facing a 4th and long situation and the punt team on, they were able to convert with a fake punt, but the Jaguars were flagged for an ineligible man down the field and the drive was stopped cold.
That's when Catholic got the ball back with 31 seconds left in the 3rd, starting another 14-play drive that ended with a 23yd FG and pushing the lead to 24-13 with 4:52 left on the clock for the Jaguars. On the next drive it appeared to be a carbon copy of the earlier issues for WFT as Daishon Johnson picked off the Baker pass, this time bringing the ball all the way back to house for a 62yd pick-six and sealing the fate of the Jags; for this round anyways.
Baker finished the night 18-for-37, with 303yds, a TD and 3 INT's. Lee finished the game with 4 catches for 131yds, but was held to zero catches and yardage in the 2nd Half by Catholic. The Jaguars and their seemingly unstoppable offense finished the game with just 17yds rushing as a team, while Pensacola Catholic was able to finish at 186yds in addition to creating the 5 turnovers. Henry finished the game 11-for-25, 145yds, 2TD's and an INT through the air while rushing 20 times for 73yds and a TD.