A sea of maroon greeted the North Miami Beach Chargers after a 14 hour bus trip from Dade County.
Two hours later, they’d have to make the same bus trip home for a second year in a row without a win – this time with no points to show for it either.
More than 5,000 fans packed Eagle Stadium to watch Niceville High School take on the South Florida team. Among them were players from the 1988 State Champion team- including current Niceville High School teacher and football coach, Adron Robinson, who returned to The Nest to commemorate the team’s 35th anniversary and support their former teammate Danton Barto, as his #55 jersey was retired at halftime.
Niceville lighted up the scoreboard after a slower start to the first quarter. Alante Reese scored first for the Eagles on a 26-yard fumble return for a touchdown on their way to a 29-0 final score.
The second quarter saw the bulk of the scoring action from the Eagles. Senior Maddax Fayard a key player for the Eagles, scored early on in the second. Roughly ten minutes later, Niceville’s Tristen Anthony added another six points to the Eagle’s score board with a pick-six he brought back for a 33 yard touchdown.
A field goal attempt that sailed between the uprights from kicker Logan Marise had the Eagles ahead 23-0 at half time.
A strong showing from the North Miami Beach Defense halted Niceville’s offense. However, with six minutes left in the third quarter, Maddax Fayard scored his second touchdown of the night, and the only touchdown of the second half of the game, leaving the Eagles with a final score of 29-0.
The Eagle’s defense looked strong as ever, allowing North Miami Beach to gain very few yards in each play and gain no points the entire game. The offense proved itself to be a weak point for Niceville, with multiple incomplete passes and only 6 points scored in the second half. However, this likely isn’t a cause for concern as it is only the first game of the season, leaving plenty of time for practice and improvement.
Aside from the game, the band debuted a beautiful new halftime performance, the cheerleaders were loud as ever, and the dance team’s pre-game performance was great as usual. The student section was extremely loud and energetic, dawning confetti and colored chalk cannons after every touchdown.
The weather was very hot, but the Eagles persevered per usual and did not let the heat get in the way of a great performance.
Overall, the energy was buzzing in Eagle stadium last night, and the Niceville High School win foreshadows another great season ahead for the Eagles.