MADISON — Things went awry for Florence early in its Class 7A, Region 4 showdown against James Clemens and the Falcons couldn't recover.
The host Jets built a 37-0 lead by the second quarter and cruised to 51-20 victory at Madison City Schools Stadium. James Clemens (3-2, 3-0) extended its win streak in Region 4 games to 10 in handing the Falcons their worst regular-season loss since 2010.
Florence (2-3, 1-2) fumbled on the second play of the game to set up the Jets’ first score and things only got worse afterward.
James Clemens scored touchdowns on five of its six first-half possessions and added a safety to build a 37-7 lead at intermission.
“We started off slow and we struggled to get something going, and when we did we didn’t finish the drive,” said Florence coach Will Hester. “We just didn’t execute at a high level. They made a lot of plays but we missed some plays as well.”
Zeke Bishop caught two touchdown passes and Dee Beckwith scored on a 7-yard run for the Falcons’ points. Beckwith and backup quarterback Gardner Flippo attempted 36 passes as Florence was forced to try to play catch-up through the air after halftime.
Connor Cantrell tossed two touchdown passes to Chris Hope, Dylan Blackburn ran for two more and had a game-high 104 yards on 17 carries and Chance Starling also contributed a touchdown pass and TD run to lead James Clemens. The Jets piled up 398 total yards.
Beckwith threw a 4-yard TD pass to Bishop with six seconds left in the second quarter for the Falcons’ first score.
The four-star athlete later capped off a 10-play Florence scoring drive by running to the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 7 at the 1:15 mark in the third quarter.
Bishop snagged his second touchdown of the night — this one a 24-yarder from Flippo — as the Falcons drove 77 yards in 12 plays on their last possession.
“We’re in the same spot we were last year,” Hester said. “We understand the situation and we’ve just to continue to work and get better. We still control our own destiny.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Falcons, who will host 6A, No. 3 Muscle Shoals (5-0) next Friday at Braly Stadium.