Saint Stephen’s erased a 14-point halftime deficit against Vero Beach Saint Edward’s to win the Sunshine State Athletic Conference championship 21-14 on Saturday at Pennington Field. Quarterback Fred Billy earned Florida Bowl MVP honors for his 25-carry, 212-yard performance against Saint Edward’s at The Master’s Academy.
Billy orchestrated three touchdown drives during the fourth quarter, plunging it in himself twice and setting up running back Chase Brown for the game-winning touchdown with 2:25 left in the third. The Falcons’ defense held, forcing the Pirates into a turnover on downs to clinch the first state title in program history.
Saint Stephen’s victory marked an impressive turnaround for a program that was among the worst in the region just five years ago. The Falcons were winless in 2011 before turning into an SSAC power with back-to-back appearances in the conference championship game and now a state title.