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December 14, 2012

Godby holds off Indian rally 21-20

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ORLANDO-Perhaps it was only fitting, the Class 5A state title game came down to a costly turnover.

Immokalee (11-4), which entered the game with 32 turnovers turned the ball over four times, including three in the first half and never recooperated in a 21-20 loss to Tallahassee Godby (14-1) in the Class 5A state title game.

The one thing Immokalee couldn't afford to do in the biggest game of the season they did; and it ended up costing them.

Despite the turnovers, Immokalee still had a chance to win the game and nearly did.

Immokalee quarterback Tshumbi Johnson scrambled and found Xavier Richardson wide open in the right corner of the end zone on the final play of the game, cutting the lead to 21-20.

However, a low snap bounced off the ground on the point after attempt forcing Johnson, the holder, to scramble and make a miraculous play.

Johnson (24 of 39 for 301 yards) under heavy pressure sailed a pass high into the air and into the hands of Godby linebacker Dallas Williams ending the wild finish.

"You have to give a lot of credit to Immokalee they didn't quit," Godby coach Ronnie Cottrell said. "We stopped on them a quarterback sneak, and overcame a delay of game penalty. Our defense won this game for us."

Johnson, who drove his team 82 yards in under a minute, put his team in position to win it.

A personal foul call on Godby for hitting Johnson out of bounds put the Indians at midfield. Johnson connected with D'Ernest Johnson for a 19-yard gain putting them at the 20-yard line with nine seconds left.

Mackensie Alexander got open across the middle and was tackled at the 1-yard line with as time nearly expired.

Immokalee attempted to hurry up to the line before time expired but was flagged for a delay of game putting the ball at the 5-yard line.

A Johnson desperation pass fell incomplete setting off the Godby sideline who stormed the field, however the Cougars were flagged for holding giving the Indians one final shot.

From the 2-yard line, Johnson rolled right and found Richardson alone barely in the right corner of the end zone.

Quite opposite of the first half, in which the Cougars held the Indians scoreless and held a 13-0 lead.

Alexander's fumble after a six yard catch in the first quarter didn't cost the Indians anything, as Godby turned it back over on the ensuing drive. JT Bradwell pass was picked off by Richardson at the 5-yard line.

Tailback Tim Longmire threw a halfback pass to receiver Wade Phillip for 42 yards putting the Cougars inside the ten. Longmire finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run out of the wildcat formation giving the Cougars an early 7-0 lead with 7:46 left in the first half.

FAU commit Lester Thomas picked off TShumbi Johnson two minutes later, leading to Bradwell's 6-yard score on a fake end around to increase their lead to 13-0 with 5:20 left in the half.

Florida State commit J.C. Jackson returned the ensuing kickoff 49-yards but the Indians couldn't take advantage of the great field position.

A bad low snap on a fourth down field goal attempt from the 5-yard line forced Johnson to scramble and make a play. Johnson's errant pass was picked off by Kelvin McIrvin in the end zone and returned to the 40-yard line with two minutes left in the first half to keep the Indians scoreless.

McDonald (15 tackles, 1 INT), William Helms (9 tackles), Jacob Pugh (7 tackles) and Lester Thomas (7 tackles) paced the Cougars defense.

Immokalee cut the lead in half on its second possession of the second half.

Johnson, who was 3-for-3 on the drive with connections to Ralph Martinez and twice to D'Ernest Johnson (6 catches for 126 yards) put the Indians inside the ten capping the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run cutting the lead to 13-7 with 3:28 left in the third quarter.

Godby attempted to extend its lead on the ensuing drive, however kicker Tryton Swigart-Johnson (2 of 4 on the season) hooked a 25-yard field goal to keep the game within one score.

Two possessions later, Tshumbi Johnson was picked off again by McDonald at the 31-yard line.

Two plays later, Kentucky commit Khalid Thomas rumbled 28 yards untouched for a potential game clinching score at 21-7 with less than six minutes left in the game.

Immokalee answered quickly on its next drive behind Johnson's legs and arm. Johnson's 1-yard run cut the lead to 21-14 with 4:36 left in the game.

The Indians defense did their part forcing a quick three and out on the Cougars next drive, but their offense couldn't deliver. Johnson fourth down pass was knocked away by Markise McQueen turning the ball over on downs.

Godby looked to put the game way just needing a few first downs to clinch the game but turned the ball back over after three plays.

The win was the fourth state title for the Cougars after winning previous titles in 1976 defeating Miami Carol City 21-15, in 1986 beating Clewiston 20-0 and in 1987 beating Ely 31-3.


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