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Falkville’s Peyton Sallee drops back to pass in the Blue Devils’ playoff loss to Cleveland on Friday night. Special to the Enquirer/Libbi Sallee

Falkville season ends in 24-0 playoff loss to Cleveland

A season that began with eight consecutive wins came to an end Friday night when Cleveland upset the Blue Devils 24-0 in the first round of the 2A state playoffs. 

The Panthers jumped out in front on their first possession with an eight-play, 97-yard scoring drive. Da’qarrius Phillips’ 25-yard touchdown run capped off the drive. 

Following a Falkville three-and-out, Cleveland extended the lead to 10-0 with a 23-yard Jonathan Hernandez field goal. 

The Panthers pushed their lead out to 17-0 on their second touchdown, this time from nine yards out. The key play of the drive was a Logan Washburn 32-yard run on a fake punt. 

The Cleveland defense held the Blue Devils’ potent offense scoreless in the first half for the second time this season. North Sand Mountain was the first to hold Falkville scoreless, in week nine. 

Washburn gave the Panthers their final points on a one-yard quarterback sneak in the fourth quarter. 

Cleveland (8-3), which finished third in Class 2A Region 6, advances to the second round to face Aliceville, the top seed of Region 5. 

Falkville (8-3) ends the season on a three-game losing streak. The Blue Devils started their season with eight consecutive wins, including five shutouts. 

The Blue Devils say goodbye to 11 seniors, including three-time All-State athlete Christian Angulo, All-state linebacker Luke Fitzgerald, quarterback Peyton Sallee and wide receiver/defensive back Mikell Philyaw. 

The senior class combined to win 33 games in their four-year career at Falkville. This was also the first senior class to appear in the playoffs four consecutive seasons. 

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