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History made: Florence tops Manhattan in OT for third straight State B title

Florence football
Posted at 3:16 PM, Nov 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-20 11:11:49-05

MANHATTAN — It took an extra period, but Florence still made history Saturday.

The Falcons became the first team to win three consecutive Class B state football championships, rallying past Manhattan for a thrilling 21-14 overtime win.

Florence, which entered the game as the No. 1 seed from the West, took a 7-0 first-quarter lead when Drew Wagner returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown. Manhattan, the South's No. 1 seed, controlled the second quarter, though. Michael Stewart connected with Callin Fenno for two touchdowns — one from 6 yards and the other from 28 — to give the Tigers a 14-7 halftime lead.

Florence tied the game in the third quarter when Mason Arlington plowed into the end zone for a 1-yard scoring run, and the defenses took over from there. Neither team could generate much offense, with drives stalling on fourth downs or turnovers. Florence intercepted a Manhattan desperation heave in the final seconds of the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime tied 14-14.

In the extra period, Florence got the ball first, and immediately put the pressure on the Tigers. Ethan Alexander scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Falcons a 21-14 advantage.

Manhattan fumbled on its overtime possession, as Florence secured an undefeated season and third straight state title.