Ammon-to-Bradshaw still a potent combintition

By Ray Dimonda Correspondent
Posted 6/1/22

STARKE - The Oakleaf Knights closed out the 2022 Spring Football Classic with the last game for the Clay County teams, travelling to Bradford to take on a very motivated Tornado team in their turf …

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Ammon-to-Bradshaw still a potent combintition

Posted

STARKE - The Oakleaf Knights closed out the 2022 Spring Football Classic with the last game for the Clay County teams, travelling to Bradford to take on a very motivated Tornado team in their turf field stadium. Knight’s Head Coach Frank Garis was ready to see if he had some players ready to claim their position for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.

“We are just trying to evaluate everybody, get out of here healthy, and play hard,” said Garis as he headed out onto the field just before gametime. “We want to see everyone on top of their assignments and no mental mistakes, no mental errors.” Asked if he had any tight competition in the key positions, Garis replied “Everybody is competing for everything right now. No one is locked into anything.”

The offense was spearheaded by Junior Quarterback Drew Ammon. Ammon showed some great highlights with a very strong arm. At times, it seemed the receivers may have run a wrong route, or there was miscommunication as Ammon’s pass went to no one. Ammon faced a second down and 10 yards to go for a first down, rolled out and saw tons of green to his left. Ammon lit the afterburners getting the first down, plus, and used his head to avoid a needless tackle to reach forward as he went out of bounds to live another set of downs.

After the first quarter, the stray passes seemed all worked out and Ammon was connecting. It seemed down the field, Ammon targeted Junior Taylor Bradshaw. Bradshaw showed great hands anytime the ball was in the same ZIP code, with one touchdown which required him to climb a ladder to get above the defender, reach over, take the ball and fight on the way down to score a touchdown.

In the backfield, Junior Devin Outlaw was a beast. Outlaw had no problem taking on defenders head on, and when asked to punch it in from three yards out, bowled over a defender, shook him aside and punched it in for six points. Outlaw also proved a reliable receiver, hooking up with Ammon for several good gains.

Up front, Junior Jordan Mitchell, Freshman Chase Johnson, and Junior Krishawn Sanders showed they are stout protectors with amazing size and speed. Once the Knights figured out where the Tornado blitz was coming from, they looked much better coordinated and provided Ammon with time to work.

Defensively, Sophomore Akeem Neal had an outstanding goal line stop, showing the powerhouse can get behind the line and make plays. Neal was backed up by another outstanding playmaker; Justin Marsh-Mensie. The sophomore showed he can shake blockers, get behind the line and shake things up, racking up a monster sack for a huge Tornado loss.

In the defensive backfield, Sophomore Amarrion Grant had a great pick and return for yards, showing the Knights could disrupt when needed. Sophomore Takoda Brown and freshman Drake Stubbs showed some serious speed, coming across the field on a Bradford deep pass, and saving a sure touchdown. Freshman Camari Davis was flying all over the defensive backfield, getting in on just about every other defensive tackle. With such a young defensive backfield and only a couple weeks of practice, it is understandable how Oakleaf had some issues with coverage that experience and jelling together will help once fall practice comes around.

The Knights seemed well equipped to be strong contenders for the upcoming season once they get back together and work on the finer points that the spring classic limited time just can’t provide.

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