Ceasar, Falcons soar to Class B Championship
The Health Sciences Falcons soared to the Section VI Class B title, defeating the Pioneer Panthers 38-27 at Highmark Stadium. The Health Science running game drove the Falcon offense with 325 yards on the ground, eating up 31:08 of the game clock. The rushing attack was led by running back Antwan Ceasar who had 29 carries for 215 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons had 398 offensive yards while also being 3⁄4 in Redzone chances.
The first half was full of action. Health Sciences showcased their speed early on getting out to a quick lead on their first possession - a nine-play, 67-yard drive capped off by a five-yard touchdown run from Ceasar.
Their second touchdown came on their next defensive drive after a pick-six from defensive end Montrice Webster after corralling a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage before taking it 45 yards to the house.
In the second quarter, the Pioneer offense finally found its footing after the Panther defense
stepped up when Jake Kopinksi hauled in an interception that seemed to put the momentum on the Pioneer sideline.
The Panthers then took advantage of the turnover and scored 14 unanswered points on back-to-back drives thanks to two big passing touchdowns from Gavin Schwab to Dalton Giboo for 56 and 84 yards, respectively to tie the game.
Health Sciences responded on the next drive when Shamere Banks hit Demetrious Payne for a 22-yard touchdown pass to take a 20-14 lead.
Pioneer then had a chance to respond with less than a minute left in the first half, until Brandon Carroll forced, and recovered a fumble along the Pioneer sideline, allowing the Falcons to take a six-point lead into the half.
The Health Sciences offense leaned heavily on their trusted running back Ceasar who had 25 carries for 114 yards in just the first half.
Gavin Schwab led the Panther offense with 157 yards in the air in the first half, with Dalton Giboo on the receiving side with 151 of those yards in just four receptions in the first half as well.
The aggressive Health Sciences defense was stubborn at the point of attack, holding Pioneer to only 17 rushing yards in the first half.
Pioneer opened the second half with a long nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended in Schwab throwing his third touchdown pass of the day, this time hitting his 6’5”, 215 lb tight end, Sam Platt for an 11-yard touchdown pass that gave the Panthers their first lead of the evening, at 21-20.
Health Sciences immediately responded, going 51 yards on a seven-play drive that led to 18 unanswered points. The one-yard touchdown run from Kavon Pitts, gave the Falcons a five-point lead at 26-21.
The Falcons held their five-point lead going into the fourth quarter after forcing another 3 & out from the Panthers offense in their second drive in the third quarter.
The Falcons then added to their lead with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Banks who Carroll to make it 32-21.
After Jeremiah Shuford picked up a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the Falcons then took advantage of the good field position. They drove down to the one-yard line where Webster came in from the Tight End position to run a quarterback sneak for a touchdown giving Health Sciences a 38-21 lead.
Pioneer ended the 18-point run when Schwab hit Karter Giboo for a 11-yard touchdown pass that saw Giboo drag his feet along the sideline of the endzone for a beautiful reception, making the score 38-27 with six minutes left.
Health Sciences then drained the remaining six minutes running the ball at will from the Power-T formation, leading them to victory.
Schwab led the Panther offense throwing for 258 yards on 13 completions and four touchdown passes while also leading Pioneer in rushing with 28 yards on seven carries.
Dalton Giboo was the premiere target for Schwab having 185 yards on six receptions and two touchdowns. Platt hauled in four targets for 53 yards and a touchdown as well. Kopinksi had the lone interception for the Panthers and contributed four tackles to the cause.
Banks finished the game with four completions for 73 yards two passing touchdowns and one interception. Carroll led the Falcons in receiving with his 41-yard receiving touchdown and Webster had the lone turnover with his pick-six for the Health Sciences defense.
Health Sciences will represent Section VI in Class B in the Far-West Regional on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Williamsville South.