Flat Rock Middle School concluded their memorable season on a high note by winning their third middle school championship in six years. On Thursday, the Eagles defeated the Whitewater Middle Wildcats in a thrilling 12-8 victory.
“It feels good and awesome to get a championship,” Flat Rock receiver Travis Franklin said.
Both teams started slow out of the gates. After a scoreless first quarter, Flat Rock started to gain momentum behind strong defensive play. They recovered a fumble on their 4-yard line and halted the Wildcats in the red zone.
The Eagles took advantage and turned the turnover into points. Quarterback Geimere Latimer strung together back-to-back first downs and capped off the drive by hitting Franklin for a 70-yard touchdown. Flat Rock went ahead 6-0 and the score held up as both teams went to halftime.
“I saw that they didn’t double team me this game,” Franklin said. “So, I wanted to go hard this game.”
Whitewater responded in the second half. They pounded Flat Rock on the ground with several inside runs. The downhill attack created easy first downs for the Wildcats. The long drive ended as halfback Will Snellings scampered into the end zone on a 36-yard touchdown. The Wildcats cashed in the two-point conversion to take an 8-6 lead.
Flat Rock rebounded with a quick touchdown in the fourth quarter. Latimer found receiver Victor Newsom on a long fade route. Newsom made a few defenders miss as he took the ball inside the 5-yard line.
On the next play, Latimer scored to give the Eagles a 12-8 lead. The score held up as Franklin nailed the game shut with an interception on the Wildcats’ final possession.
The win etched another milestone for Flat Rock. They finished the season undefeated and earned their first championship under head coach Keith Justice.
“It means a lot as we have plenty of great receivers, quarterbacks, and offensive line,” Justice said. “Travis Franklin is going to be one to watch in the future. We also have Cameron Watts and Victor Newsom. All three of those guys are the three best receivers in the county.”
The season slate was difficult, but the sweet joy of a county title made it all worth it.
“We are the only ones that won one and that are going to Sandy Creek right now,” Franklin said. “It feels awesome for my team.”
Whitewater looks to reload next season. They have a solid foundation and will contend for titles in the future. Flat Rock will lose a lot of eighth graders, but they have the system for continued success.
“I am really proud of both teams,” Justice said. “I love Coach Mundok, and their team could’ve won that game. They played just as well as we did. Really there are no losers here tonight. It’s a great win and I am really proud of the guys.”