Top Plays of the Year

2017-2018 School Year

Clay Today Sports
Posted 6/6/18

Oglesby interception score locks Eagles playoff winJACKSONVILLE – In the fourth quarter, with the score still locked at 14-10 with Lee ahead, Fleming Island took a Lee punt to start another …

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Top Plays of the Year

2017-2018 School Year


Oglesby interception score locks Eagles playoff win

JACKSONVILLE – In the fourth quarter, with the score still locked at 14-10 with Lee ahead, Fleming Island took a Lee punt to start another march for the end zone at 11:49. Using 10 plays and burning over six minutes off the clock, Brown found tight end Nick Ferendo in the end zone for a short five-yard touchdown pass to go back up 17-14.

On the next Lee drive, first and 10 at the Fleming 33, Jackson Bull and Josh Harris converged on Jones, looking for a sack. As Bull reached around to tackle Jones, the ball popped out. A quick acting Jack Surgeoner scooped up the ball for a 68-yard fumble recovery touchdown.

“For a second, I didn’t realize it was a fumble,” Surgeoner said. “I couldn’t believe it was right there.”

With the 24-14 lead with 3:56 left in the game, the momentum shift to Fleming Island continued to build stronger. All that ended 33 seconds later as Jones once again did his best Harry Houdini impression, escaped from several defenders and looked to be ready to take off running once again, only to set his feet and launch a 34-yard toss to Teddy Ingram who was left all alone when Jones looked to be running, closing the score to 24-20.

Fleming Island would take the kickoff 14 yards and send the tactful offense back out. Going three and out, the Ryan Smenda punt would pin the Lee offense all the way back to the 35-yard line with 2:13 left in the game. After an incomplete pass, Jones tossed a deep ball out to his receive who was covered by two defenders. The ball was tipped and Eugene Oglesby came down with it. It was off to the races as Oglesby dodged several Generals on his way to the end zone and another Golden Eagle defensive score, 31-20.

Fleming Island would win 31-26 and continue to the region final; a 38-13 loss to Bartram Trail, the Class 7A runnerup to Venice High School.

RHS Sanders propels Panthers in tough region playoff win

RHS Sanders propels

Panthers in tough region playoff win

ORANGE PARK – Ridgeview High’s volleyball had to reach into the history of the recent success of the program and pull out a hard-fought 3-2 region quarterfinal win over Stanton Prep Wednesday night at Ridgeview High School.

Ridgeview opened the playoff match by storming to a quick 25-18 first game win behind strong play at the net from right side hitter Saige Rivers who was dominant at the net with blocks and kills keeping the taller Stanton Prep net off balance. Rivers finished with 12 scoring kills for the game with junior Jonae Sanders tops for the night with 17 scores.

“She is such an athlete and can get up fast and tall to make the opposite players think twice about challenging her,” said Brightman. “We have always had good blockers up from with Jonae (Sanders, five blocks) and Aniya (Marshall, nine blocks) and now Saige (Rivers, seven blocks), who is a little taller, adding the offensive element to the mix.”

Ridgeview continued to play spirited ball Stanton attempting to get an edge at the net with quick moving strikes over the top, but the Panthers prevailed 25-23 in game two. Game three saw the Panthers slip a bit on defense with Stanton storming back from a 17-10 deficit to force a 24-24 tie at game’s end and force extra points to the finish.

Both teams were flying on defense, but Stanton got ahead off Panther errors and won 28-26 to force extra games.

Stanton continued with their play into the fourth game and took a 25-23 win to put the Panthers hopes on the line.

In the final game, with Stanton winning the final two to tie the series at 2-2, Ridgeview blitzed to an early 11-5 lead in the climactic fifth game, but let Stanton get to 11-11 before pulling away for the 15-13 win with Sanders nailing six kills in the final.

Mussante runs best race in toughest field

PONTE – Middleburg High freshman Emma Mussante’s district cross country time of just under 21 minutes was her best of the season, but in the super strong district 4-3A lineup with the top two runners under 19 minutes and the top 10 under 20 minutes, the region hopes for Mussante were dashed with a 23rd place overall finish. Top 15 advance to regions from district championship races.

“That was one of the fastest first miles Emma has ever seen and I think she got caught in the front pack which went about six minutes, 20 seconds for the first mile,” said Middleburg High girls coach April Martin. “She got stuck in the middle of two packs and was running by herself for the second half of the race and that’s tough.”

Mussante finished with teammates Madison Crutchfield in at 33rd in 21:47.80; Sara Myers in at 47th in 23:42.80, Rebecca Nichols in at 56th in 26:13.00 and Yoliana Velazquez in at 57th in 26:25.70.

“I like that all of our girls had huge personal bests today; even a five minute best by one girl,” said Martin. “We just happen to be in the fastest district in the state.”

At the Class 3A championship race, Creekside took second to Tallahassee Chiles with Ponte Vedra fourth and Nease sixth.

Fleming Island swim relay gets third gold

FLEMING ISALND –The Fleming Island High boys 4 x 50 free relay squad; Jacob Thompson, Jack Neeley, Andrew Heinton and Nick Hackett, scorched the field at the Class 4A swimming championships held Fri., Nov. 10 in Stuart to bring home a third consecutive gold medal for the event.

“The look on the faces of the Seminole High team was priceless,” said Fleming Island High coach Jordan Bright, after Seminole entered the meet as a very confident threat to the streak. Seminole finished second.

“The three straight 200 free relay thing was a bullseye that has been there all season,” said Fleming Island coach Jordan Bright, who loses three of the four swimmers on the 2017 version as only Heinton remains. “The relief after the final was palpable.”

In the 200 free relay final, with Thompson the leadoff leg, it was Bright’s three seniors that closed the slight gap that Thompson gave to rival Seminole High.

“There was some talk about the order of the relay, but I insisted on Thompson first and we would fight through with the three seniors,” said Bright.

Thompson opened with a 21.92 split; the fourth fastest of the field with Riverview opening at 21.39 and Seminole at 21.94.

In the second leg, with Neeley,, the 50 free runnerup on deck, Fleming Island pulled slightly ahead of Seminole with his 21.07 split as the second fastest split of the leg with Lake Brantley clocking a 21.09, but Seminole going 21.55 and Riverview going 21.65. Fleming Island totaled 64.26 for three legs with Seminole at 64.35 after a 20.86 split and Riverview at 64.43.

In the anchor leg, where Hackett lurked after being unsuccesful in defending his two titles, Fleming Island got the winning edge with Hackett blasting the pool for a 20.56 split, the fastest of the event and enough to push the Golden Eagles to a 1:24.82 All-American time and the gold medal. Seminole, with a 21.10 anchor leg, took second at 1:25.45 with Riverview third at 1:26.19.

“Up to that point, we were having a rough night with no golds, but the 200 free relay win was awesome to bring home,” said Bright. “I don’t know if it’s ever been done at the Class 4A meet.”

KHHS’ Jackson survives near-disaster district duff

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Keystone Heights High freshman golfer Camille Jackson almost lost the district title on her ninth hole; the 18th hole at Ironwood Golf Course in Gainesville, when she scored an eight after a series of disastrous hits.

“I had to hit out of a hazard on the par four, so I had a penalty shot from there,” said Jackson. “Dad told me to chip out to the green, but I went for the green.”

Jackson successfully hit off the hazard, but landed in front of a sand bunker.

“I duffed into the bunker, then skulled over the green to the other side of the hole,” said Jackson. “I chipped up then three putted for the eight.”

Coach (and dad) Billy Jackson left the scene prior to the three putts.

“As she was compounding her mistakes, I was watching her mid-course collapse after scoring an even score par to that point,” said Billy Jackson.

Jackson eagled the last hole to finish first with a series of second nine pars.

Jackson advanced through regions to get to the Class 1A state meet where she finished 45th with a 19-over 163 (82-81).


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