The Wakulla War Eagles knew that they would be in for a tough dog-fight, battling the undefeated Miami Norland Vikings in the Citrus Bowl. Coming into the game both opponents faced plenty of drama and needed late heroics to seal semi-final wins the week before. Norland coming from behind to beat Palmetto and Wakulla snatching a triple overtime win over Pasco last Friday.
However, the day and the 5A title belonged to Miami Norland. Lead by one the state’s top running backs (University of Miami commit) Duke Johnson, the Vikings used a potent ground attack and Johnson’s 136 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns to shut out the War Eagles 38-0.
Proving too much for coach Klees’ hard nose bunch, Duke Johnson and the size and speed of Norland controlled the game nearly from the first whistle. Allowing Wakulla a season low of only 13 yards rushing and 37 yards passing, the War Eagles relied heavily upon Will Thomas and Demetrius Lindsey to spark the offense to no avail. The Norland defense frustrated Wakulla to a afternoon of 3-and-outs while the Viking offense lulled away the War Eagles chances with several clock eating drives.
“This loss hurts bad”, Wakulla head coach Scott Klees said, “But I’m so proud of this group and this has been an incredible journey”. Ultimately the War Eagles had no answer for Duke Johnson or anything else in the Vikings arsenal.
Norland out gained Wakulla in every statistical category including the all important ‘time of possession’ with a whopping 29:34 minutes compared to Wakulla’s 19:26. A team loaded with experienced 3-year senior starters, The War Eagles advanced farther than most expected in 2011, finishing with a record of 12-3. And with a handful of key players returning, Wakulla will look to reload for 2012.