Pass-happy? Indians defy rain to beat Raiders

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 10/14/20

CRESCENT CITY - Keystone Heights High football has been a history of big guys up front, tough running backs and stingy defense.

So, what happened Saturday night at Crescent City High School might …

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Pass-happy? Indians defy rain to beat Raiders

Posted

CRESCENT CITY - Keystone Heights High football has been a history of big guys up front, tough running backs and stingy defense.

So, what happened Saturday night at Crescent City High School might be considered surprising, but not to Indians coach Chuck Dickinson who unleased a flurry of “passing” touchdowns as his team flew to a 41-14 win.

“That first one was a four route selection for our quarterback, Gage Stevens, who has become very good at making the read to the open guy downfield,” said Dickinson, who got a triple 70-plus yard rushing game from Colton Tibbetts, Dalton Hollingsworth and Tyler Jenkins to support his air game. “The second touchdown with the pass was a similar set up but with three receivers to read.”

The win on Saturday leaves Keystone Heights at 3-1 with Jefferson County (0-4) next at Keystone Heights.

On the misty, rain-soaked night that saw both teams warm up in a downpour that soaked the turf and created puddle hazards around the sidelines for sliding tackles, Dickinson’s vaunted run-strong scheme seemed inevitable, except that Stevens, on third and two at midfield, found end John David Schenck wide open in the middle of the field just 30 yards from him. Stevens floated a perfect spiral that Schenck gathered in and carried 20 yards to paydirt to put the Indians up 6-0; 7-0 with kicker Ian Schofield’s PAT with 10:21 left in the first quarter.

“Our quarterbacks coach, Ken Mudge, a great quarterback out of Orange Park High known for his long passes, has passed on to Gage some of his readings skills to find receivers downfield in a progression of reads,” said Dickinson. “Gage has learned to take the strong running game we have and add some passing potential to it. He likes to throw and wants to throw, but his patience makes plays like this happen at the right time.”

From there, the Indians crunched the run game up front to a 21-0 lead with a scoring run from Tibbetts from four yards out and a second, yes, second scoring strike from Stevens from midfield; this time a sideline route pass and run to Schofield. Up 21-0 at the half, the Indians stayed in run game to move the clock, but Crescent City got some elastic plays to score first and knock the lead to 21-6.

Twelve plays later, with Hollingsworth and company pounding the teeth of the Crescent City defense ended with Hollingsworth pounding in from eight yards out.

“We tell all three running backs to run downhill, square their shoulders and get the first three or four yards and then they can look for daylight,” said Dickinson. “The slop of the field made the game a good conditioning game as the guys had to work hard just to get five yards.

Up 28-6, Tibbetts snared an errant Crescent City pass near the Indians’ 40 and sprinted in ankle deep water to the Raider one yard line to set up his own scoring plunge a play later for a 34-6 lead into the fourth quarter.

Hollingsworth would score the final six to close the game.

On defense, Ryan Jones and Logan Williams both tallied 12 tackles to lead the Indian defense.

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