The Bronze is Back!
The celebration mounted on the Patriot
sideline on a clear and crisp Friday
night in Milton, FL. The Battle for the
Bronze, a tradition dating back
decades, consists of giving the winner
of the Pace/Milton game a Bronze
helmet they get to keep at the winner’s
school for the duration of the year for
“bragging rights.” The Bronze helmet’s
home until 2019 is securely at Pace after a tremendous defensive effort gave them the 21-14 victory.
The Patriot offense started out on fire, but after two large gains it stalled and led to a punt. The second series led to a fumble turnover on the second play. It seemed that Pace was in for a dog fight as they couldn’t get any momentum in the first quarter. The quarter ended with 0-0, but Pace was in the middle of an 11-play 90-yard drive that would be capped with Bivins rushing up the middle for a 27-yard score.
But the story of the game was Patriot defense. As Milton tried to pass the ball more, the Pace secondary swatted away Tyler Buchanan’s passes all night. In fact, Pace’s Tyler Strain, J.C. Peacher, and Coltan Bennett all came away with interceptions that shut down Milton’s offense all the way into the third quarter.
Going into the half, Pace led 14-0, then scored again on a 6-play 60-yard drive to begin the second half. Pace would then only have three more drives: two ending with punts and a final drive to run off over 4 minutes to end the game with the coveted victory formation. It will be the first time Pace has qualified for the playoffs since 2013 when they won the district title.
"It feels amazing," Bivins said. "Our senior class... we haven't got to experience that yet, It's an unbelievable feeling."
"That's big," Head Coach Kent Smith said. "That was the kids' number one goal, to get in the playoffs, and we think we have a good chance.
With the Bronze helmet safely back in the Patriot trophy case, there is still one more regular season game to cap off a great turnaround season: Pensacola Catholic. Pace plays Catholic for homecoming Friday, Nov. 2.