FSDB Crunches City of Life Christian, Improves to 4-0

The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind held visiting Kissimmee City of Life Christian to a season-low eight points.

Walter Douglas runs the ball between defenders.
FSDB running back Walter Douglas breaks free for a 57-yard touchdown during the first quarter against City of Life Christian Academy. [Photo by Will Brown/The Record]

Their offense is old-fashioned. The fundamentals, physicality and execution the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind showcased on Thursday night are timeless.

The Dragons improved to 4-0 after defeating Kissimmee City of Life Christian 40-8. FSDB scored touchdowns on three of its first five offensive plays to take control of the contest.

This year has been one of change for the Dragons football program. After 105 years of fielding 11-man football teams, the proud program transitioned to eight-man football. The move, as well as the return of Eric Lefors as head coach, has proven to be a devastating combination.

“It’s amazing,” said sophomore tailback Luis Merced, who opened the scoring with a 36-yard touchdown run. “Last year was frustrating. This year, I’ve learned a lot more, where to go, who to tackle and I know my plays by heart.”

Merced’s instincts are what changed the game.

FSDB led 28-8 with 12 seconds remaining in the first half. City of Life Christian had the football at the Dragons 14 yard line and in position to get within two scores of the Dragons.

The Warriors hoped to bait Merced into following a shallow route and throwing the ball over in — and between the Dragons’ two high safeties—for what should have been an easy touchdown. Instead, the visitors threw the ball short, Merced anticipated, jumped the route and returned it for a touchdown.

″(It was) my first time having an interception. I just went the other way,” Merced said. “I had a feeling they were going to run that play. I noticed the running back was going to go that way. The quarterback was eyeballing him the whole way. I got the ball and kept running.”

Merced’s pick-six was one of three touchdowns he scored Thursday. It may have been the biggest. City of Life Christian football coach Nathan Soriano said the interception was the defining moment in the game.

“What we rely on heavily is our offense and our offensive efficiency,” Soriano said. To see that at that moment was devastating.”

City of Life Christian (3-2) entered Thursday’s game averaging 61.5 points per game.

There may be more space to operate on an eight-man football field; but, the Warriors were one of the most potent eight-man offenses in Florida until they made the trek to Usina Field.