TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Daytona Beach's Mainland High School secured their first state football championship in two decades on Thursday with a dramatic win over St. Augustine High School. The Mainland Buccaneers defeated the St. Augustine Yellow Jackets 21-19 at Bragg Memorial Stadium at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.
The Yellow Jackets were handed their first loss of the season when it mattered most, after leading for much of the game. The deciding factor wound up being Mainland's defense, which held St. Augustine potent offense to just 204 yards. Mainland, meanwhile, moved 505 yards.
Things were looking bleak for Mainland at halftime, with St. Augustine getting up 13-0 solely with special teams scoring. Surely at this point Mainland faithful began mulling over the prospect of two straight state championship losses, following the heartbreak in 2022's season finale.
However, in the third quarter the momentum changed tangibly. St. Augustine missed a field goal attempt and dropped a would-be touchdown in the end zone, both of which would've proven game-winning if they'd been successful.
Mainland's offense came alive in the third quarter, culminating in a 44-yard pick-six by Locklan Hewlett. They soon found themselves up 18-13 over St. Augustine, before the Yellow Jackets responded with a touchdown. After missing the extra point, they went up 19-18 in the fourth quarter, desperate to hang on in their first championship game appearance in 16 years. As it turned out, they wouldn't.
The winning field goal came from Jacob Gettman, a 23-yarder as the clock ran out. In the most dramatic possible way, Mainland secured their first win in the state championship game in 20 years. Head Coach Travis Roland, who was a part of the '03 championship team as a player, can now add the title to his resume in his third year at Mainland. The Mainland Buccaneers finish their season 14-1 with the title.