Niceville, FL---The Niceville Eagles are heading back to the State Championship game, their second trip there since 2009. The Eagles earning that berth by beating Osceola Friday night in an absolute thriller at Eagle Stadium, 31-30.
The Eagles put up the first touchdown on a long pass from Ashton Hooker to Aaron Willis to make it 7-3. Hooker would later hit Tyre McCants on an 84 yarder to make it 14-9. And before the half Hooker connects with Willis again for 54 yards and Niceville took a 21-9 lead into the half.
In the third quarter the Kowboys strike for two touchdowns, one on a long punt return to take a 24-21 lead. The two sides then exchange 4th quarter scores, to make it 30-28 Osceola late.
Then with less than a minute to play, Zach Bailey nails a game winning 33 yard field goal, to give Niceville the 31-30 win and a trip to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando next Friday night for the 7A Championship game. The opponent down there will be Dwyer, the team that beat the Eagles for the title back in 2009.
The attached video shows the following:
Takes it a little while for the Niceville offense to get going but following an Osceola field goal early in the second quarter, they get the big play, Ashton Hooker hits Aaron Willis for a 75 yard touchdown and the Eagles have a 7-3 lead.
Osceola answers that with an 11-play, 75-yard drive capped when LaDerrien Wilson cashes in from five yards out, PAT fails, it's 9-7.
But again the Eagles come up with the big play, this time Hooker looking for and finding Tyre McCants and that turns into an 84 yard strike and it puts Niceville back on top 14-9.
Then just before the half the Eagles pull out the trick play, the direct snap to McCants who then tosses back to Hooker, who finds Willis for the 52-yard TD. Hooker 245 yards passing in the first half, Niceville up 21-9. Osceola though scores a td in the third and then another in the 4th on a 68 yard punt return to grab the lead 24-21.
Hooker answers with a 70 yard td to Eli Stove, but again Osceola scores, to make it 30-28. Zach Bailey then hits a 33 yarder with half a minute to play and that's the difference in a 31-30.