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Maritime-Health Sciences Hangs On To Capture First Section VI Championship

For the first time in program history, the Maritime-Health Sciences Falcons are the Class B champions of Section VI.

In a game that featured big plays in each phase, the Falcons took advantage of missed tackles and lapses in coverage, defeating the Purple Eagles of Albion 34-20 at New Era Field on Friday night.

“This is the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life,” running back John Washington, who finished with 141 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, said. “I’m just so proud of my team.”

After winning just two games in 2018, the first-ever Charter School program in Section VI saw growth both on and off the field that led them to a nine-win championship season.

“I’ve got nothing but respect for those guys,” head coach Ty Parker said about his players. “The heart, fight, desire and determination to come back shows the character of our team and what they’re made of.”

Parker added that while he knew his team would be better than the 2-6 team they were a year ago, he “would be lying” if he were to say he knew his team would be playing for a Section VI title just a year later.

“These guys stuck together, played for each other, and they trusted the process,” he said. “When you got a lot of skilled players and a lot of talent, you got a lot of egos and different personalities. Our guys, they stick together and play for each other.”

The Falcons got off to a quick start, scoring just two minutes in thanks to a 62-yard punt return by Sophomore Addison Copeland. They would add another touchdown later in the first quarter on a one-yard run by running back Maurice Vaughn. 

Vaughn finished with 89 yards on the ground and two scores while the Falcons as a team ended with 327 yards rushing.

Albion pulled within a score on a five-yard Deyonci Farley run in the second quarter, but the Falcons answered back with 26 seconds left in the first half to up the lead to 14. A one-yard Copeland run on the Falcons’ first drive of the second half put Maritime up by 20, ultimately becoming the game-winning touchdown.

The Purple Eagles managed to cut the score to 26-20 halfway through the fourth, but the Falcons would put the game out of reach thanks to a Washington touchdown after a 62-yard kick return to the Albion three by Reuben Hampton.

“It was actually one of our captains, Shaukeem Mallory, that got us back,” Washington said of his team hanging on at the end. “I’m not going to lie, he saved us from ourselves. Much love to him.”

Though the season isn’t over for the Falcons as they travel to Brockport next week for the New York State Regionals the team knows that a section title is worth celebrating.

“It’s unbelievable,” Copeland exclaimed. “It’s just too exciting to put into words.”

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