Columbia nips Mainland; advances to regional finals

All seemed lost after the Columbia Tigers lost five games in a row to begin their season, but then their fortune made a 180-degree turn after a 35-34 victory over Miami Beach.

Since then the Tigers have won five straight and find themselves in the state semifinals after a thrilling 28-26 victory over the Mainland Buccaneers Friday night.

Mainland was on a streak of its own – winning eight straight games and finishing the season 8-2.

The Buccaneers took the early lead with a first quarter touchdown. Columbia tied the game 7-7 with a second period score, and took its first lead 14-10 into halftime.

The Tigers extended their lead to 21-10 after a third quarter touchdown, but the Buccaneers retook the lead with two straight  touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter.

Columbia answered with a score of its own to lead 28-24, and then held on for the victory.

Columbia is now 5-5 on the season, They play the winner of the Pace-St. Augustine game in the Class 6-A Region 1 finals next Friday.

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